So, when I don't feel like working out? It's usually the music that gets me going. I have a pretty good imagination, which can get me in trouble in real life, but I try to use it to my advantage at the gym. Sometimes the music helps, sometimes not. I make up stories in my head, like I'm in some kind of competition and different people are cheering for me, while others are doubting me. Seriously. I make up fake mean girls in my mind just to show them. It's a strange but healthy kind of revenge, since I don't actually have any feelings of needing to get even or "show" anyone in reality. But having some kind of enemy to defeat makes for better warriors, I guess. It's all in the script you create for yourself.
There was one day when Mat and another trainer and a client were watching me and trying to get my attention while I was on the rowing machine. I was oblivious. They couldn't figure out what I was staring at, on the ceiling. But in my head I was on a lake in Muskoka, rowing past pine trees and soaking up the sun. Because goodness knows that the grey crap on the ceiling and walls is less than inspiring! In your head, you can be whatever or wherever you want.
When you have trouble writing your own script, the song lyrics make good substitutes. Sometimes I listen closely to the music and make up video montages in my mind. The only down side to this trick, if you happen to be creative AND obsessive, is that you can waste a lot of time once you're home actually MAKING the videos you came up with in your imagination. Um. Not that I know this from personal experience, or anything.
The point is, that when you find the right music for YOU, it can be a powerful motivator and make something that could otherwise be boring or feel like a punishment, into something fun and creative. Some days, anything with a good beat works for me. Other times, I need very specific kinds of songs. When the voice in my head is mean and nasty, telling me I can't do this, don't deserve to do this, am weak or a fraud, I have to literally drown her out with lyrics that combat those messages. I stream every song of survival, strength, bad-ass warrior superhero ninja, winner attitude directly into my brain and override the mean girl who sometimes lives there. Hearing a message enough times helps you start to believe it, and if you can't get your own brain to say it, there are plenty of musicians and artists who will do it for you.
So. What I do listen to? Cheese.
Fast-paced, upbeat tempos paired with the hoakiest lyrics that make me feel empowered.
I edit my script.
I tell myself I'm strong. I am a fighter. I can win. I can be great. Hard work and dedication? I have it.
"I can go the distance."
"Just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna die."
"I had bad habits but I dropped them."
"Right now! It's your tomorrow."
"You're gonna hear me roar."
Check it. Here are a few examples: