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Lack of motivation

Old 03-01-10, 07:31 AM
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Lack of motivation

I've loved bicycles all my life and have actively cycled off and on over the years. I've been around 210-215 for quite a while, at 5'9". I'd like to be no more than 180. The problem that repeatedly climbs on my back is motivation.
For those who have overcome this very real problem to be able to get into regular riding, please let me know your strategies. Please don't tell me something like, "Just do it." That aint workin'.
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Old 03-01-10, 08:44 AM
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When I face motivation issues, I remember that it's up to me whether I ride or not. Sometimes a lack of motivation is your body telling you "Hey STUPID! You're overtraining me!"

Maybe you just need a wee break.
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Old 03-01-10, 09:04 AM
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I find that for me just riding is the motivation. I will go weeks at a time not going to the gym because of lack of motivation. But the bike for me is a given. If i have the chance i ride. I will tell you that if you don't have a riding partner that helps a lot. Get with a good group of people or even just 1 or 2 and that will help motivate you. If you love riding then it will get easier. Just make excuses to go ride!!
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Old 03-01-10, 11:27 AM
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If you have planned a ride, but don't feel like going, try telling yourself that you'll just get yourself and the bike ready to go. If you still don't feel like going, you don't have to. More often than not though, once you've gotten changed, pumped up the tires, filled a water bottle or two, you'll be ready to ride. I've never regretted going for a ride, but there have been times that I've regretted skipping one.
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Old 03-01-10, 11:59 AM
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Life is simply a matter of priorities. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but we all use that time differently because our priorities are different.

Start by looking at what you are doing instead of riding. You have to face the fact that whatever that is, IT has a higher priority in your life than riding the bike.

For me, sometimes IT is watching TV, which is obviously messed up. Sometimes IT is spending more time with the kids, which isn't.

Find your IT, kick it in the nuts (if it needs it), and get on the bike. Otherwise, accept the fact that IT is more important to you and move on.
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Old 03-01-10, 12:23 PM
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I log my miles on bikejournal.com, which also shows your ranking compared to other people posting on the site, and that's a bit of motivation to me to put on the miles.

I'm also trying to maintain 500 miles/month, and having that goal helps.

I'm also trying to get a RUSA R-12 award. I doubt you could get it living in Taiwan, but that kind of carrot hanging out there is another bit of motivation for me. Failing that, getting involved with groups rather than riding solo is a bit of motivation to get going.

I've got a decent bike. I've got my old cruiser bike with baskets. I've got a cargo tricycle. Being able to switch around some helps. When I don't feel like going fast and long, I can mosey around on one of the others.

I will say as far as motivation in general, it helps to have a form of exercise that you enjoy. I hate jogging. I like walking up mountains. Bicycling is not quite as much fun as hiking up mountains, but as close as I've come on flat land.
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Old 03-01-10, 12:33 PM
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everyone's motivation is different.

when mine waivers I just put the gear on and the rest takes care of itself. sometimes you might have to combine it with something else to make it fun. for example throw the bike on your car and go somewhere you really like to visit and explore it on your bike.

good luck and have fun! :-)
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Old 03-01-10, 01:46 PM
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"The Naked Truth" motivation technique:

Buy a full length mirror and place it on the bathroom door, so you can stand on the scale and look at yourself.
Wake up, strip down, and go stand on the scale in front of the mirror. Don't wash your face or comb your hair first. Just get up and spend a good 30 seconds or so looking at the number on the scale and what you see in the mirror.
Are you happy with what you see? If not, get on your bike. (Put some clothes on first, though )

That's usually enough to keep me from skipping more than 1 or 2 days on the bike, even after a really long ride.
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Old 03-01-10, 10:55 PM
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CliftonGK1, that method would sure help me loose some pounds. Not only would it motivate me to ride, I would be to nausiated to eat...
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Old 03-02-10, 06:51 AM
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I found a simple fool proof method, and that is bicycle commuting. I ride a minimum of 12 miles a day. Through the winter months that is about all I get, but once the conditions are a little better, I begin to stretch out my commutes so that I am doing about 25 miles a day.

Whether I want to ride or not I have too, I have no other means of transportation. Plus I don't pay for gas or parking and I feel great when I get to work.
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Old 03-02-10, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ryanwood
I found a simple fool proof method, and that is bicycle commuting.
+1 on this. When I don't ride I get asked,"where's my bike?". I've also found and stay intouch with some friends that are regular riders. Nothing like a little peer pressure to get you going...
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Old 03-02-10, 07:09 AM
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I went running one morning as I had a flat and couldnt bother with patching.

Everybody I passed asked "Where's the bike ?"

They all mad me feel as if I had murdered the bike and buried it in my backyard.

I ride in an area that has many riders and I also have a regular riding partner and that is more than enough motivation for me, plus I have been losing weight.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ryanwood
I found a simple fool proof method, and that is bicycle commuting. I ride a minimum of 12 miles a day.
+1 Commuting is a big help in my opinion.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gotls1
If you have planned a ride, but don't feel like going, try telling yourself that you'll just get yourself and the bike ready to go. If you still don't feel like going, you don't have to. More often than not though, once you've gotten changed, pumped up the tires, filled a water bottle or two, you'll be ready to ride. I've never regretted going for a ride, but there have been times that I've regretted skipping one.

+1 for that!
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Old 03-02-10, 10:01 AM
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Part of what motivates me is having a goal. I've recently registered for the Shiner GHASP, it'll be my first century ride. That way I've got a set goal that i can work towards.

For daily riding, it helps me to store my bike right next to my front door. It's tucked behind a chair so it's not in the way, but it's there- constantly begging to be taken out.

Additionally, on the weekends or as much as I can, I use the bike to do grocery shopping and other around town stuff. Last season i went for two months without using my truck at all for groceries. The knowledge that I'd be spending several doallars of gasoline to buy a $3 think of milk bothers me.
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Old 03-02-10, 12:49 PM
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For me, when I need motivation, I promise myself something in return. Like, if I go out and ride XX miles XX times a week, then I can go buy that new XXX I've been wanting.
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Old 03-02-10, 12:57 PM
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I've promised myself $10 toward bike and accessories for each pound lost.

I also "set myself up for success." I work in an office that requires suit and tie. I put all of my suits in my truck which I keep parked at work (underground, secured garage). I ride my bike home monday night. Tuesday morning, it is a bit hard to have lack of motivation.

I also do things like promise my kid a bike ride after work. When I get home and he attacks me at the door with his helmet, its tough to say no.
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Old 03-02-10, 12:57 PM
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I found that taking a long ride 10 to 15 days a month was ideal for me. I can't ride everyday, getting ready and cleaning-up after the ride just kills too much time.

A long ride of two to three hours, or more, is really ideal for me. It's great for fitness and I feel like I've really pushed myself.

I also know that my body will benefit from the rest since I avoid riding everyday.

I also mix it up. I'll join a group ride, commute and attend an event just to make it more interesting.

Michael

P.S. I also keep a log and set monthly mileage targets, this was very motivating.

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Old 03-02-10, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by kjmillig
I've loved bicycles all my life and have actively cycled off and on over the years. I've been around 210-215 for quite a while, at 5'9". I'd like to be no more than 180. The problem that repeatedly climbs on my back is motivation.
For those who have overcome this very real problem to be able to get into regular riding, please let me know your strategies. Please don't tell me something like, "Just do it." That aint workin'.
I decided that I do not want to die.
I decided that I want a better life.
I decided I would rather spend money on "Cycling" than on medical bills.

You ARE right, "just do it" - doesn't do anything. You may not get motivated til your health starts to fail (like me), or perhaps not even then?

But, one point I would like to add? If you *enjoy* riding a bike, simply ride it for enjoyment, but, do enjoy it daily, every other day, etc...simply by only riding for *fun*, you will get stronger, and sooner or later, you will find the *fun* of riding takes more time to become un-fun...something to ponder perhaps?

I mean motivation comes in many different ways? What pushes YOUR button? It's truly easy for me, ride or DIE - and sadly, I have the health issues that makes that statement all too real. If you are simply slightly over-weight with no health issues, and you are happy, then just ride when you feel like it.

Rewards for me have always been great motivators! Whether a reward from my wife, or getting something nice for myself, etc... tie it to weight loss if you like?

Just some thoughts from a guy way worse off than you
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Old 03-02-10, 08:27 PM
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Thanks for all the good words so far.
For me, sometimes IT is watching TV, which is obviously messed up.
Hits home for me too often
Peter_C, thanks for your inspiration. I don't have a lot of medical issues, but it only takes one to cause real problems. At 210 I look and feel really overweight, and I have high blood pressure requiring daily meds. The possibility of a stroke scares the heck out of my wife. These things do scare me, but evidently aren't enough motivation to keep me going regularly.
I'm working on it though.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kjmillig
Thanks for all the good words so far.

Hits home for me too often
Peter_C, thanks for your inspiration. I don't have a lot of medical issues, but it only takes one to cause real problems. At 210 I look and feel really overweight, and I have high blood pressure requiring daily meds. The possibility of a stroke scares the heck out of my wife. These things do scare me, but evidently aren't enough motivation to keep me going regularly.
I'm working on it though.
An Example: My "A1C" (a 3 month blood surger average) - DRs want you at 6.0 or below. At 6.2 they get very upset and threaten to say "You are a Diabetic NOW" and put you on meds. My last "A1C" prior to my kidney issues was 6.9 and I was put on meds....While in the hospital, they took me off many of my meds (including that one) to help my kidneys come back. My last "A1C" done a few weeks ago was "5.7" (without any diabetic meds) - best "A1C" in many years, and my DR of 20+ years stated it was not the lost weight, but rather the exercise on the stationary bike that made ALL the difference (remember, I have yet to kick the Pepsi habit).

My point is, it needn't be a life-altering change all at once to bring your health up. Is the blood pressure genetic, or stress? Who knows? If the DR says you are safe enough to exercise, it ALL helps...even if it's only 20 minutes a day, or one hour 3 times weekly...

I was content to be a happy FAT person. I *like* eating! And I am a cripple. The leg was so bad, walking 100 yards was too much many days. The heart DR said get the new knee, and start exercising, or be dead by 01-01-2010. Am still here, on less meds, dropped bout 50 odd pounds, am cycling - and will bike MORE as the weather improves, and hope to lose more weight, and quit the Pepsi too...

Can't do it all at once, but while *I* do not notice feeling better (cept for pain) - less meds, happier doctors...just a shame I had to almost die (twice) in 2009 before I get the 'motivation'. Am not saying you are as bad as me, but, neither was I 10yrs ago...

Last edited by Peter_C; 03-02-10 at 09:33 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-02-10, 11:27 PM
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I was always pretty athletic as a kid. Then I hit high school (pre Title 9), college and worst of all, a career full of long hours, lots of travel and eating out. Next thing I knew, I was 'obese' according to the weight charts. Even so, growing up slim, I still didn't get it. I always figured I could take it off later when X, Y or Z was taken care of...then my back started going out over and over...I had to buy a cane to get around when that would happen. Last time it happened, I had to use that cane for more than a month...then a woman I worked with, who was not much older, fell and broke her hip. I saw her struggling with a walker and the PT and realized that if I didn't face reality, I wouldn't be that far behind her. Not only that, I'm divorced so there would be no one home to take care of me if I couldn't do it myself. That scared the heck out of me.

Since running (I used to dream of running a marathon) and even walking aggravated my back, I got on my bike. That worked for my back and I was able to start small. I'm still a newbie but for the last couple of months, I've been doing increasingly long rides on the weekends. I'm feeling stronger and actually really enjoying the long rides. They are like a mini-vacation for me. I've been hoping to ride with a local group for a while. I'm at the point now where I could go far enough but I should probably get a little faster first, but I see real progress and have something to look forward to...

I think the combination of my back problems and my friends struggles broke me out of a state of complacency. I don't have forever to turn my health situation around. None of us do. I had to decide if I was willing to give up what I wanted 'right now' in order to have something I really wanted...health and a full life. And postponing that decision was making a decision.
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