Motivation Even When Denied

It’s funny, sometimes, how the smallest of things can be a form of motivation, and then, when that small thing is taken away, well, it’s tough to get the motivation back.

The funnier thing was that there was no guarantee, at the beginning, that this small thing would even be a possibility yet I let it motivate me, and then somehow I let it being taken away motivate me more.

Let’s get to it….

The Challenge?

I was told about a possible exercise challenge. The gist was that if you hit some exercise goals you could earn up to three dollars a day.

How could I ever get F.I.T.?

One goal was fairly easy, $1 for walking 3,000 steps in 30 minutes. That’s not too bad as all it really came down to was a brisk walk for about 20 to 30 minutes.

A second dollar could be earned if you walked 10,000 steps in a day. I thought to myself, “Self, that shouldn’t be too bad, especially if you are getting those 3,000 steps in.”

Lastly you could earn a third dollar if, I suppose, you had no job because you had to figure out a way to walk 500 steps in under seven minutes, during six different hours. Even I can’t come up with that many breaks during a day.

So, two dollars a day for five to six days a week over the course of a year, that was my goal. Yup, $500ish bucks for getting healthy, or at least being an awesome power-walker!

And so, without the confirmation of being able to actually be a part of this exercise challenge, I started.

Search “InspireMyAwesom” on Peloton

Search for InspireMyAwesom on Peloton. Don't deny my motivation!

The good thing was that I already was slowly getting back to exercising. We had a treadmill so that was a start, and there weren’t any coats hanging on it. I decided to join Peloton Digital. Yea, you know those people with the exercise bikes? Turns out they also have a treadmill, or, for people who don’t want to re-invest in a new treadmill, you can at least participate in their classes via their digital platform.

I signed up with the username “InspireMyAwesom” a month or so before the thoughts of this exercise challenge even arrived, but now I was really stoked that this could actually help pay for my monthly subscription. All I had to do was get on that treadmill, let Selena Samuela, Becs Gentry, or Matty Maggiacomo keep me motivated, and Bamm!, here would come a dollar, and I would be well on my way towards two buckaroos a day!

For almost two and a half weeks I busted my ass, clocking in about 178,000 steps and 83.5 miles. I would drive my wife crazy walking through the house to get 500 more steps until she did the smart thing, as she does, and suggested I go walk on the treadmill instead of freak out the dog by walking around the kitchen island. I suggested longer walks on non-treadmill days, parked a little further away from entrances, but then the day came….

No Dough for You!

“Sorry, you don’t qualify for the challenge.”

Yup, my hopes of easy money vanished into thin air, and crap, I already would have earned $26.00.

I can't believe I did 178,000 steps! How's that for motivation?

My dollar motivation was taken away.

As dumb as it sounds, I was bummed. Thoughts of just stopping exercising quickly came to my head, let alone walking around for an extra ten minutes just to get 10,000 steps. I mean, what was the point? The tiny bit of money motivation factor to go those extra few steps was gone.

The next day, however, those thoughts began to change. Maybe this exercise thing was actually starting to become a habit. I mean sure, I wasn’t getting to 10,000 steps each day before the possible exercise challenge anyway, but I was really enjoying the Peloton classes. I always looked forward to the live classes at 5AM especially when I would get a shout-out, and even when there wasn’t a live class, I mean, who doesn’t like a 30 minute Broadway Fun Run with Matty or a 30 minute interval run with Selena. Heck, I even liked the Yoga Flow classes with Anna Greenberg and hoped to put more of them into my schedule.

Suddenly the thought of seeing how much real money I wouldn’t make had turned into motivation. When my wife and I would go for a walk, and I made the 3,000 step goal, I would say to her, “I didn’t make a dollar!” The other day I had already not earned a dollar by walking over 10,000 steps, but I looked at my Apple watch as I got into bed and it read “Total Steps: 10,999.” Yes, I got out of bed and walked so I would get over 11,000!

Did I Really Want to be a Power Walker?

The other thing is that the loss of that financial motivation might now be a proverbial blessing in disguise. Why? That exercise challenge limited the benefit to steps. I could bust my ass benching 300 pounds for 30 minutes and guess what? No money that’s what! I might find myself doing yoga for an hour and what do I get for my effort? No dollar! Without the dollar or two my exercise possibilities have grown. Why be limited to walking around, I mean, how am I going to get abs of steel and giant guns for biceps by just walking, right?

How long will this exercise thing last? I’m shooting for the rest of my life, but who knows? What I have discovered with this is that sometimes we get motivated by what we might obtain while sometimes the motivation comes along from something we are denied.

Would I like the money? Sure, but somewhere along the way feeling better has become worth more than a couple of bucks.

Thanks for stopping by! Keep being awesome and inspired!