Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.

Elbert Hubbard

Motivation is a funny thing. By its very nature, it is fleeting and short acting. You can get motivated to do a task, or seek out a goal. But if you lack discipline, motivation on its own won’t get you anywhere.

I lack discipline.

Today was supposed to be my Sunday long run day – a 7.5k trail run with 13 days to go till my next race, a 10k trail race on the Central Coast. But I sit here, at 11am, typing this post completely lacking in any motivation to get out. I know what I have to do, I just can’t be arsed to do it.

Whilst this lack of motivation is probably just as fleeting as having motivation itself can be, I know I’ll get over it and will kick things back into gear later this week, it’s the lack of discipline to just get out there when I don’t feel like it which is going to be the undoing of my running goals for the year.

Motivation can be great for a one-off though. Take yesterday, for example – Parkrun Saturday. During the week, I kept watching the weather forecast, almost asking for an excuse not to go to Parkrun.

On Thursday, the temperature hit 43°C and Friday wasn’t much better. Nighttime temperatures brought some respite, but not much, maybe down to the low 20s. So the idea of running on a warm and humid Saturday morning wasn’t exciting. Except for one factor – my daughter.

My daughter has always been sporty – the only one in the family other than myself who has shown any interest in athletic pursuits of any kind. I’ve been wanting to get her into Parkrun for ages and this weekend was shaping up to be the best chance we’ve had to go. On Friday night, it was safe to say she was pretty keen, getting her running gear ready to change into first thing when she woke up.

That small bit of motivation was perfect for kicking me into gear at 6:30am on Saturday morning to be ready for an 8am Parkrun in town. I had completed one run during the week – my discipline otherwise was sorely lacking – but having my daughter keen to get moving was the swift arse-kick I needed to jump in the car and head to our local Parkrun.

The run itself was awesome – we ran at her pace and broke the run up into 4 min run/1 min walk chunks to get her through the 5k. By 3k she was pretty exhausted, but I kept up the positive chatter, and she got a kick on the last 100m to finish at a canter – proving to herself she had more energy and ability to get her legs to do what her mind was saying they couldn’t. She was so happy to have run the 5k once it was all done, and even had a few school friends there and supported them across the line. I’m hopeful this will spark a desire to do a few more parkruns and improve her time.

So to go from that moderate high to today is a bit of a shit. Developing that discipline will be paramount to getting through the next few weeks and coming out of it better than when I started.

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