Skip to main content

On Creating A Motivational Environment

This past weekend, my family and I went up to Cleveland to watch our friend Sam Felsenfeld run the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.  Sam is running 60 marathons in 2010 to raise money and awareness for Train4Autism via his charity Operation Jack (named after his own Autistic son).  My wife was going to run the 1/2 marathon in Cleveland, but an injury put her on the sidelines, so we went up to experience it and support Sam.

One of the things that many self-improvement experts talk about in regards to creating motivation and putting yourself at a higher vibrational level is to put yourself among those types of people.  And you could not do better at this than to hang out at a marathon and cheer on the runners as they complete this awesome event.

Now this is not to make less of running shorter races at all.  As you may recall, I ran a 5K a couple weeks ago to gauge my fitness level and I enjoyed it a lot.  But there's something about the people who have put in the time and work to get to the point where they're running a marathon that is just a step or two beyond that sort of thing.  I got up one morning and ran a good 5K with just my normal level of fitness, but with a marathon you have to train specifically for that event.

And the training is not easy.  You're out pounding the pavement and working on your strategy for the race every time.  You're thinking about diet and hydration and making sure you time things right so that you don't have to go the bathroom in the middle of the race as much as possible, and that you don't lose all your energy partway through.  You're paying attention to how specific footwear affects your stride and how you feel during the race.  And you're carefully monitoring your diet to keep your energy levels high and weight low.

So when you're among a group of people who has been living that plan for so long (it takes weeks and even months to get ready for your first marathon) you're among people who are infectiously focused, motivated, and excited about what they are doing. And it rubs off, believe me.  As I said a couple weeks ago, I'm not a runner - but being among all those people who were achieving and living their dream of finishing a marathon made me want to go after it myself.

I think that's part of the draw of these things, too.  Getting yourself among a bunch of people who have moved themselves to a higher vibrational level, and one to which you've moved yourself, is refreshing.  It's work sometimes to keep your enthusiasm up.  Even as just a regular bike commuter, I hear all sorts of people who say "Oh, I could never do that" or "that just sounds like a lot of work." Well, yes it is, but the results are so worth the effort.  And to do a marathon, you must hear the same things from people who ask you what you're up to a lot.  It's hard keeping up the motivation sometimes with people around you who just don't "get it."

So being among the folks who are with you means you can relax a bit, and get out and do what you want to achieve.  And for those who aren't among that crowd currently - it can't help but bring you up to it.

The next time a marathon is in your area, just go and absorb.  And see if you don't feel the sensation of being swept along in a sea of motivation and high energy!


  1. and also Sam's (OperationJack's) friend Erin who had been training and did not feel good about her race on Saturday then turns in a Boston Qualifier time!

  2. So true - don't forget Erin! Was shooting for 4:20, turned in a 3:40 or so! She was on top of the world...


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Taking on a Challenge: Is It Worth It?

Over the past 30 days, I've been doing one of these internet meme athletic challenges, in this case the #PlankChallenge.  I'm sure you've seen them.  These are the challenges where someone posts a picture like this: It's pretty easy to see how this works.  You basically just do the prescribed amount of reps/time for the exercise in question for each day, and then announce your progress on social media using the indicated hashtag.   I think these are a great idea, but not necessarily for the reason you think they are. Yes, they help you get in better shape, especially when it's a challenge on a core muscle group like planks above.  That can't be denied.  I will take issue with the amount of rest this particular challenge allows you, however.  Some of these challenges will actually do a hard day, then drop back to an easier day as a rest of sorts... the one I just completed did not do this, as you can see.  That got to be pretty tough in the second ha

How Essential Oils Are Manly

The real man's toolkit: essential oils and duck tape.  "Yeah, I use essential oils." Silence. This is the normal reaction I get why I, as an adult male human, tell other men that I use essential oils instead of things like aspirin, Tums or Rolaids, Ben Gay, or any number of other pharmaceuticals. There's this impression out there that essential oils are girly, I guess, or that they're like most other products that are primarily for making things smell nicer: they're for the ladies. Or even that they're new agey and woo-woo - to be used only when listening to Windham Hill CDs and cleansing your chakras. Real men don't care about smells, right? They thrive on sweat, piss and vinegar. They belch, fart, and otherwise release smells into the air that are simultaneously hilarious and relieving to the body. They get upset because their wives bought decorative soaps and guest towels for the bathroom that they're not allowed to use. They frown a

Your Goals Might Not Be My Goals

I got a tweet to my @Train4AutismCLB account the other day, just out of the blue, that really got me thinking about goals and motivations.  For those who aren't in the autism community, there's a bit of a rift regarding the charity Autism Speaks, which is the biggest, most visible autism charity out there.  Many people who are higher-functioning autistics believe that one of the organization's stated goals of "curing" autism would only take away a facet of their personalities that make them what they are.  Then there are those who would love to have a cure for autism or at least some way to relieve some of the nastier aspects of autism and help their loved ones to have an easier time functioning in today's society.  It's a fine line, no doubt.  But the tweet I got was from someone whose profile said they were an aspie, which is shorthand for someone with Asperger's Syndrome.  This is a high-functioning form of autism where people are very smar