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How I Motivate Myself to Exercise

Updated: Apr 19

A few months back I watched an interview on the local television station here in Des Moines Iowa. It was about this lady who was blind, yet every day she was making her way in to her local CrossFit Gym to workout.


I’m not a CrossFit follower, but I haven’t been able to shake the image of her doing box jumps. Doing the jumps is one thing (especially when you are drained) and to do them without being able to see is a whole other level.


In full disclosure, as far back as I can remember I have not had the ability to emotionally handle seeing someone who is visually impaired. Perhaps it is the fact that it is incredibly unfair, or simply because this world is designed to be seen.


Whatever the reason, I always feel like I should be accomplishing more when those scenarios happen.


Photo by Ryan De Hamer on Unsplash

Have you ever closed your eyes and got dressed, took a shower or even did your laundry? Better yet, have you ever put a blind fold on and walked out to get your mail, went swimming in a public pool or ran around the block?


I imagine the answer for most is no and have you ever thought about why? Let’s be honest, 99% of the time it is most likely because you don’t want to versus because you can’t physically.


In full disclosure, I am a brain tumor survivor, suffer from a disfiguring disease called Acromegaly and take enough medicine every day to kill a small horse.

Yet I feel ashamed when I am complaining about exercising and see a story like the blind lady doing box jumps.


By the way, when she’s done exercising, she still can’t see.


I created and hosted a podcast called Revealing Healing Motivational Health Stories where I interviewed nearly 100 guests on how they motivated themselves through health adversity.


I had people spill their guts on getting maimed by equipment, blown up by IED explosives, surviving suicide attempts, becoming paralyzed through freak accidents, severely burnt, overcome with diseases and yes even blinded to name a few.


In fact, in one episode (Lonnie Bedwell — Episode 18) , the guest told his story about being shot in the face with shotgun on a hunting expedition. The blast didn’t kill him but did take his ability to see.


What I noticed very early on with almost every guest was their ability to motivate themselves through the trauma. Not the trauma of a 15-minute workout, rather the trauma of simply living.


Lonnie was no different.


Photo by Alan Carrillo on Unsplash

In fact, he went on to kayak the Colorado River completely blind and do you know how far that is? The same distance between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Most sighted people won’t take on the white river ride at an amusement park, yet this blind man, with incredible motivation was able to do it.


Lonnie’s story is just one of many from that podcast where exercise of some sort was a saving grace in a moment of terrifying unknown. Actually, in many of the episodes, fitness became the center point for them getting though their adversity.


Why is it that some people can lose everything yet accomplish anything? When is the last time you managed 20 minutes of exercise for just three days in the week?


Did you know that 60 minutes of exercise in one week is less than 1% of the total time in your week?


Let me say that again — there are 10,080 minutes in a week and I just asked you if you are doing the bare minimum of 60 minutes of exercise.


If I am being to blunt I apologize to myself for not writing this sooner. Life is short, hard and at times incredibly unfair.


But exercise can be quick, easy and definitely helpful. The key is to know where to start and how to find the motivation to keep you going. Motivation is not bias and will attach itself to anyone given the opportunity. I have said this numerous times, the key to fitness success, lies within the consistent motivation to do so with an easy-to-follow plan


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