Gym Motivation

Yesterday I went to a spin class and I have to tell you: it almost killed me off. I’m not even joking. At one point, about twenty minutes in, I thought I was on the verge of a heart attack! I used to do spinning twice a week every week, until the ‘No Gym Experiment’ began late last year. It’s amazing how quickly your fitness levels can drop in the space of six months – considering that my ‘base’ level of activity is actually quite high. (Fast walking, running up escalators, etc etc.)

Anyway, despite the fact that I thought I might die, I continued with the spin class and worked really really hard. I was so sweaty that even my shins were wet, and I’m pretty sure that’s not a normal place to get sweaty in! As I was cycling away I had to do my usual motivational exercises inside my head. I thought that I’d share a few of the things that fly through my brain in times of  extreme physical stress.

1) I imagine that if I complete the class and work extremely hard then as I’m getting changed afterwards my phone will ring and it’ll be my agent telling me that I’ve won myself a humungous contract. With Gucci or L’Oreal or – this is my favourite one – Victoria’s Secret. This one is quite a good motivational trick because although it’s very unlikely, it’s not absolutely impossible. In my little head there’s a voice (a deep one, for some reason) telling me, as my lungs burn and my face turns puce, that if I just do ten more minutes, the Times Square billboard will be mine! Sad, but true. Moving on swiftly…

2) I imagine that I’m being chased by that weird monster thing from the SAW movies – you know the one, it’s got squiggly eyes and it rides a trike. It’s bloody comical when taken out of context, but it in the film it scared the life out of me.

jigsaw Admittedly, he probably couldn’t get up much of a speed on his tricycle, so that part of my motivational fantasy is a little far-fetched. I would be streets ahead of him in reality – me with my gym-kit on, tyres smoking, him in his formal dinner attire, squeaking along on his ridiculous contraption. But, you know, whatever works…

3) This is the best one: silent revenge motivation. It works best in boxercise or ‘Body Combat’ classes because you can throw punches and high kicks and it all feels very real, but basically you think of people who have really got your back up and you pretend that you’re punching them in the head. Obviously this would never happen in real life, but in the confines of your own head you can really let rip. Punch on the nose, poke in the eye, kick in the knee-cap – it’s brilliant! The best thing about it is that they can’t fight back, they just have to stand there saying ‘ouch! Please stop! I promise that I won’t try to run you over on a pedestrian crossing/play my walkman really loud/splash you with a puddle/call you Sugar Tits ever again!’

4) Finally, I just think about how I feel when my body is in tip-top condition. Not having to hold my tummy in, feeling ultra-svelte in my jeans, feeling light and fit. That’s the best motivation of all I think, really, when you cut to the chase. This image pops into my head:

ruth crilly

and it kind of spurs me on a bit! As you can see, I’m not ridiculously skinny in this and neither am I rippling with hard muscle – I’m just confident and healthy. Granted, it was taken about seven years ago, but let’s ignore that fact shall we! There’s still hope…


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