If given the opportunity, I would spend all of December, January and February alone in bed, binge watching Netflix, eating croissants and bacon and chocolate cake and ice cream and prime rib and scalloped potatoes.
Thankfully, I don't have this opportunity. Not that there's anything wrong with any of these things per se, but if you are a person like me ~ sensitive with, shall we say, an "artistic temperament" prone to bouts of melancholy and hopelessness ~ you know very well that too much of this sort of indulgence is a fast track to hell.
My work as a strength coach is not the career I chose for myself. It chose me. The very lessons I need to learn are the things that I earn my living teaching. Things such as how to stay present in my body when difficult situations and emotions arise instead of flying off into La-La Imaginary Daydreamer Escapeville Land or how to remain committed to a long-term process even when it stops being shiny and new. This work is a spiritual practice of sorts for me and, unlike many other strength coaches and personal trainers I know, it does not come easy to me. I have to work really hard to stay on track. It is challenging, but the blessing is that it allows me to have genuine empathy for the struggles of many of my clients.
One of the mantras I use with my clients (myself included!) who struggle to develop intrinsic motivation around movement is this: Just get warm.
When you feel unmotivated remind yourself this: Just get warm. Once your body gets moving you might find that your spirits lift, that your lack of motivation vanishes, that you are happy to be moving. You might also find that your are still tired and unmotivated, and in that case it's good to go home and rest.
This is how we learn to use movement as a tool for self care instead of as as a tool of obligatory punishment or as an outlet for arbitrary ambition.
For me, yesterday all I wanted to do was go home and continue watching Gilmore Girls and eat a rack of ribs.
But I didn't.
"Just get warm," I told myself.
So I did.
And this happened.
And it was needed.
And I felt better