The Loss of Motivation

I’d like to discuss something here that I have occasionally hinted at in other posts, but during this time, I feel like it’s much more prevalent. At least it is for me; perhaps others are feeling it as well.

Here’s the short part of it:

I feel totally unmotivated to do anything right now.

Now, for further explanation:

At the end of 2017, I had completed an epic year of accomplishments in the OCR world. I had completed my first competitive run in Warrior Dash. I’d finally traveled to a different state for a race. And, most of all, I completed a Spartan Trifecta, running 25 miles, completing over 60 obstacles, and who knows how many burpees. It was a great year, and to this day, the most proud I’ve been of any year since I started my OCR journey in 2014.

Then, 2018 led to all sorts of new adventures. Not the least of which, I got married to my amazing wife who stuck with me when I finished the Spartan Sprint with one of my weakest performances in an OCR, ran her first race with me in Rugged Maniac, and continues to push me to be better than I was yesterday. However, for those who haven’t done so yet, planning a wedding takes A LOT of time. And we did all of that within about seven months. Plus, we both work full time as teachers, which many of you know is exhausting work.

So, in the first part of 2018, I lost a lot of my focus in training. I still trained, but it was no where near as much as I had the previous year. I knew I had to get back into it, but it was just a struggle. A complete and total struggle.

Fast forward to the second half of the year. Going back to school was obviously our primary focus, but we also started the process of working with a builder to build our new home. I got back into some training, and even signed up to run another competitive wave in Warrior Dash. And it was a struggle as I was not ready for that race one bit (still had fun though).

Fast forward again to the summer. We started signing paperwork for a loan, we started making plans with our builder, we signed off on a design. Then, in the fall of 2019, our house-building process finally began with the tearing down of our old house in preparation for the new one. With our space being drastically limited (going from having a house to a single bedroom and most of our belongings in storage), we decided to re-join Planet Fitness so we could start working out again.

And then, the coronavirus.

COVID-19 changed everyone’s lives (not like everyone doesn’t already know that). It forced my wife and me to figure out how to do our jobs from home, and it put a huge dent in our OCR experiences.

(Now, I want to make something clear: I do not mean to minimize others’ struggles by discussing my own as equal; I know they’re not. People are in hospitals on ventilators and many are planning funerals that they may not have for months. Weddings have been postponed, proms have been cancelled, and we have no end in sight. But, as this blog is focusing on my experiences, that’s all I have to share.)

In February, both my wife and I got sick, me right after her. It lingered in both of us for about two weeks, and by the time both of us were healthy enough to return to the gym, they were closed.

At that point, I found myself lost. We’re all going through this wilderness together, but I sometimes wonder if I’m doing the right things. Yes, I’m limiting my trips out and about to only essential things, as per Florida’s stay-at-home order that is still in effect as of this writing. Yes, I am washing my hands several times a day and keeping myself healthy. And yes, I’m still doing my job, as different as it may be, with helping my students out through digital means.

But when it comes to working out, training, keeping up with my own routines, I’m at a loss. And even worse, I check my Instagram feed and see people who are making it work. Tough Mudder and Spartan Race host daily workouts in Instagram live. Many of the OCR athletes I follow are still finding a way to get their training in, whether they’re a pro with a full obstacle course in their backyard, or they’re a dedicated amateur racer who uses their pull-up bar in their doorway.

And me? You should see the high scores I’m getting in my cell phone games! Woooo boy do I have some talent!

What’s going on here? This time three years ago, I had already completed four OCRs, and I was gearing up to drive to Miami for my first Spartan Race. This time three years ago, I had picked out a weekend to drive up to North Carolina to take on a Spartan Super. This time three years ago, I was sitting at jewelry store picking out an engagement ring to give to my girlfriend.

Now? I can’t even get myself up to do some pushups. A couple of burpees. I started making my own weighted medicine ball with a used kickball and a bag of sand. And I didn’t finish it.

Maybe it’s the omnipresent blah that’s taken over with this virus. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t go on my Facebook feed anymore without seeing people complain, criticize, or cringe at what’s happening around the world. Maybe it’s the fact that we canceled our trip to Jamaica this summer, and I’m bummed out. Whatever it is, I can’t shake it. There are people around the world working harder to be the best selves. And I don’t have the motivation to do anything other than play cell phone games and binge Netflix when I’m not helping my students.

I’m not asking for much from this post. I’m not even asking for advice. I’m just venting. Maybe even asking for permission to vent. Maybe I want to know I’m not alone here. I’m not really sure. I just know that this is happening now. And I’m not happy about it. And I’m not sure how to fix it.

I’m also sharing because I’ve talked about restarting this blog several times and it hasn’t happened. That’s been a frustration of mine as well. So thanks for letting me get some of this out of my system.