Winter Motivation Comes down to Just Showing Up

I woke up to a cold rainy morning and I just want to crawl back under the covers. I had a 3600 meter key swim session planned but I already had in my head all the reasons why I should stay in and miss it. Especially as I imagined having to strip down to my bathing suit and plop my already shivering body into a cold pool. So what helped me turn around my negative mindset? I reminded myself that all the regulars who normally go to the pool at this time are probably thinking the same thing and as such the pool will probably be nearly empty. So I imagined myself doing my session in complete calm and that got me out of bed. I did my swim, the pool wasn’t too cold and it was indeed calm. I had a great session and was ridiculously happy when I left the pool.

Training, especially outside, during the winter is always a challenge for me. I’ll admit that in Montpellier, the winters are mild. It rarely falls below freezing here and snow is almost non existent. We get 300 days of sunshine so obviously I don’t have it too hard. But even still, with shorter days and the cold mornings it’s still difficult to stay motivated.

With motivation, everything plays out in the head. So for me the only solution is, really, you have to constantly talk to yourself. Know what your typical excuses are to skip a session and already have a counter argument for yourself. I do that and sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, I do my best to stop thinking about the excuses- what will/could happen or what I don’t like and just focus on showing up. No reflection, just show up. And always, once I show up, whether it be at the pool or getting on the bike just outside my front door, the rest goes without any thinking and I just get to the task at hand.

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