What is your routine for keeping motivated during the winter months when it's too cold, dark & dreary? Couch potatoes want to know! :)First, let me confess that I am quite a lazy person. Napping is one of my hobbies! I would much rather sleep in than get up early and run before work. Especially in winter when you're getting up without even the hint of sun in the sky. But, I know how wonderful running and lifting make me feel, so I've made them a priority in my life. I've incorporated in my exercise routine a strategy I learned through parrots -- setting myself up for success.
I joined a running club several years ago and, through that club, found a group of people that get together every Sunday for a run. I've made some amazing friends this way, and know I'm getting at least one longish run in per week. I now actually have running appointments set up 5 days a week. There is no way I'd get up at 4:40 to run by myself -- the warm bed would overtake my good intentions -- but knowing that someone will be waiting for me motivates me to get up even when I don't really want to! And at the end of the run, I'm always happy that I did so! Most larger cities have running clubs, or you might be able to find a running partner on craigslist.
I also find it helpful to write on the calendar my exercise for the day. I don't like seeing too many blank spaces, so that's another way I help to set myself up for success, by adding a bit of accountability.
Another thing that helps me is setting goals. I'm a very goal-oriented person, and several of my 2009 goals were exercise-related. For example, I want to average at least 26.2 miles per week (that's the distance of a marathon), get at least one PR in a race (accomplished!), bench press half my body weight (accomplished!), and complete the 100 push up challenge (temporarily halted, will try again in late May). These kinds of things help me think of myself as an athlete rather than someone who runs just to be healthy, and that mindset means I need to keep active.
Mallow, I know you can do it :) It's become so routine now that I get crabby if I go more than a day or so without vigorous exercise. Fifteen years ago I would have laughed at you had you told me this is how I'd turn out. I wasn't an active person and was carrying around quite a few unwanted pounds.
Doodle Bird, in response to this post, asked:
Why are you more protective of Calypso?Of my 6 parrots, 4 of them have significant neglect and minor (as far as I know) abuse in their pasts -- Calypso, Rocky, Beeps, and Stella. The latter three, in my opinion, have all overcome their pasts. They behave as healthy, well-adjusted parrots. They explore, are curious, and, for the most part, have whole-heartedly subscribed to our philosophy of parrot personal responsibility. If they're unhappy about something, they realize they're empowered to change the situation. Their behavior is very similar to Max's, who has lived a life of comparative captive parrot luxury.
This is not the case for Calypso.
He's made huge strides since he's been with us. When we first got him, he used to climb down from his cage, seek out a corner, and sway back and forth, as if in a trance, repeating, "Shut up stop it shut up stop it," over and over. He hasn't done this in years.
But, he acts afraid of Thomas. He refuses to fly unassisted, preferring to have me support him as he exercises. If he wants to go somewhere, he gets into his begging posture and makes begging sounds until I transport him. If I ignore his request, he eventually gives up and stays where he is.
As usual, I'm anthropomorphizing, but he acts like someone who's been beaten down and has low self-esteem. Because of this, I have a protective bent towards him. In training, I don't ask him to do as difficult of tasks as the others because I don't want him to fail. I go out of my way to make sure he gets the biggest cashew nuts (his favorite). Among other things.
I truly believe he's quite happy with us. He dances and whistles and loves making kiss sounds. He loves eating and playing and (when he's in the mood) training. I need to work on raising my expectations of him to match those of the other parrots because he's always surprised me with his abilities when I've given him the chance.