Category Archives: Exercising

Motivation / Determination

My first lesson in determination was that I could start a project, skip a day, and be able to pick it right back up.

I think before that I relied solely on motivation.  I would not stop a project until I finished.  I could start painting a room and keep going until 4 in the morning so I could finish and get everything cleaned up.

My fear was that if I went to bed, I would wake up and get interested (motivated) in another project and leave the first one unfinished.  Then I’d have several half-done projects lying around.  (or at least get busy with my day and never get back to finish my project)

Actually I got this first lesson in determination from reading the Bible.  Well, it took a whole year.  Of course life got in the way and there was a week; nearly two, where I didn’t make the time to read.  From that, I was involved in this constant self-control thing where I repeated to myself, “I have read it.  I am in the middle of reading it.  I am determined to finish it.”  That is when I felt the true impact of defining determination.  I began to trust that I do finish what I start.  I relaxed and recognized while I may have to stay on task, I don’t have to extend myself and “over-achieve” to finish.

It is funny that I don’t remember that lesson being in the Bible, but I got that lesson out of my action of reading it. I could do a whole slough of posts on good and bad attitudes in reading the Bible.  Just the act of reading it is a journey.

Today I am determined to log in 3 miles a day, every day in January.   Why 3 miles?  Earlier this summer my marathon friend and I decided that the tipping point for loosing pounds was three miles.  Any distance is good,  I’m not dissing anything less than 3 miles, but talking among ourselves, it seems like 3 miles is a threshold.  With this in my head, I made a challenge right after Christmas to do 3 miles a day everyday until January 31st.  If I skip a day, I just keep going, then merely count how many days I missed.

Since we have had a little holiday break from exercising, I’ve been getting geared up … actually I’m kind of keyed up … I can hear myself be annoying especially when it comes to other people’s treadmills as I wanted to get started right away.  Well all the sudden everyone’s treadmills are out-of-order.

Like … because … I made a challenge?  ???

Even though I wanted to get started right after Christmas; when January 1st came along I couldn’t argue that the challenge started with a new month (let alone new year) so I ran outside.

Friday, I didn’t get outside before dark, so I went to the gym and because of a 9:00 closing time; they kicked me off the treadmill at 1.68 miles.  Ouch.  I should have went to the one across town because I think they are open until 11:00 maybe midnight.

I saw it coming, I was on that treadmill thankful that this disruption happened early while my motivation was still high.  The non-motivational skills that I talk about are good for doing what is familiar.  Keeping the pattern.  When it comes to jumping hurdles and smoothing disruptions my non-motivational skills get umm … grumpy.  It is easier to say screw it. I have done it.  I am in the middle of doing it.  I am determined to finish my challenge.  Just because I skip a day doesn’t mean I won’t finish.  Then I will skip that day.  — That is perfectly okay.

But seriously, to skip a day on my second day?  !!!  My motivation was way to high for that.  My day was running out and I was determined to jump through hoops to get things figured out and meet my goal.  So I went to the nearest gym and tested the limits to see how late they would let me stay after close.  Now I know, when the clock starts passing 8:00 to go to the other gym.  If it were later in the month I might not have been as determined to figure out what I don’t know.

I’m still in an internal battle that I only met half my goal on the second day, but I also know that I didn’t let any excuses stop me and now I have gained new information for the rest of the month.  Plus I’m not counting any days missed.  I can justify any way I want.  That is the problem with justifying.

To be fair to the person working, I didn’t even ask if I could finish, they said, “It’s 9:00 we’re closing.” and I pouted “okay.”  My ongoing lessons in determination has been big in learning how to handle interruptions.

My time on the treadmill got me analyzing, “How close are motivation and determination anyway?”  The higher the motivation the more determined a person is?  How about when your motivation isn’t there, is your determination more firm?  That’s what keeps you going when your motivation isn’t there.  Isn’t it?

I found it funny that the synonym for motivation is determination but motivation didn’t show up as a synonym for determination.   A synonym for one but not the other. ??? At least according to my computers dictionary, it is possible to have determination without motivation.  (Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus 2008)



  • reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way
  • the general desire or willingness of someone to do something



  • firmness of purpose; resoluteness
  • the process of establishing something exactly, typically by calculation or research
  • the controlling or deciding of something’s nature or outcome
  • the cessation of an estate or interest
  • tendency to move in a fixed direction

(New Oxford American Dictionary 2010, 2013)


Day 2.  1.68 miles.  Indoors; treadmill   The Curve   “It’s green because its manual and doesn’t take electricity.”   (I should see if the distance/calorie/time read-out is powered by batteries or by me)

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