Friday, September 4, 2009


Pronunciation: \ˌmō-tə-ˈvā-shən\
Function: noun
Date: 1873

1 a : the act or process of motivating b : the condition of being motivated
2 : a motivating force, stimulus, or influence : INCENTIVE, DRIVE

I thought a lot of about this word during my swim this morning. I definitely didn’t feel motivated when I got out of bed after hitting the snooze button a couple of times (I set it early on purpose because I have to be able to hit snooze at least once!).

I even joked to a fellow swimmer that my motivation was still warm in bed as I was getting in the water for my warm up. Yet, I still managed to get up and to the pool by 5:30. If it wasn’t motivation that got me there, what was it? Force of habit?

Pronunciation: \ˈha-bət\
Function: noun
Date: 13th century

applicable definitions
6 : a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior
7 a : a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance
b : an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary

Habit is definitely a part of Ironman training. You condition your body to expect certain behaviors, including waking up well before the sun and swimming/biking/running for longer than you once thought possible. I think habit is what got me out of bed, but what actually got me to the pool and into the water for an hour and a half?

Don’t get me wrong, I have learned to love swimming (when I am not hating it) and I always (well, almost) enjoy the time I spend in the pool, but it wasn’t my love for swimming that got me in the water.

Desire. Passion. Sacrifice. Commitment. Drive. Dreams. Fears. Goals. A training plan … and ultimately yes, motivation (now that I have looked up the definition).

I had a great 4100 yard swim, even towards the end when this “shorty got slow, slow, slow, slow” (thank you, Flo Rider). It is clear to me that IMFL is definitely my “motivating force” even though I picked up couple of wonderful "habits" along the way. I can’t wait for race day!


Trishie said...

Great post, love it. For me .. I don't think training is straight habit (picking at my cuticles - that's a [bad] habit). And I don't always feel motivated either. I think it's a Nike-esq. JUST DO IT a lot of the time.


Come on people! You make this sound like work. It's supposed to be a life changing experience and fun. Slow down, smell the roses. You want to do this again, right?

Lena Slazyk said...

I really love your blog. I am a full time working mom of 2 boys and 1 step son...I am thinking about signing up for Ironman next year. I didn't think it was possible to do it all until I read your post. I have so many questions for you though - mainly how did you keep from getting sick on such little sleep? and how did your spouse handle it?

Thank you for your blog! Good luck in your next Ironman distance triathlon.