What is the Best Way to Motivate a Person to Complete Fitness Goals?

Getting motivated in the gym takes more than just getting up or heading there after a hard days work at your regular nine-to-five job. It takes grit and determination. From experience I’ve been an on-again, off-again character at the gym since 2002. It wasn’t until November 2019 when I was sitting at dinner with Melcon chatting about the past year and our accomplishments of running a couple of 5km races, finishing a Spartan Race and meeting a bunch of other like minded people whom were also looking to be active, did I discover my enthusiasm for getting motivated in the gym.

During that conversation my friend says, “What are you planning for next year? More specifically are you planning on having any fitness goals?” My jaw continued to naw on the chipotle chicken wing as I pondered “fitness goals” for 2020?

After swallowing and gulping down a premium lager I looked across the table and replied, “yeah, know… I’ve not given it much thought. I did really enjoy the Spartan training though and wouldn’t mind getting at it with a few other races.” Then I starred at him and his brother Mel and said, “what about you guys? What are your race goals for 2020?” Mel looked at both of us and said, “I don’t have time for your shenanigans. If you want to do the MS Bike ride, I’m in. Or if there is another bike ride you are up for. Other than that, count me out of the Spartan race thing. One was enough, for me too.” We both turned our heads and starred at this brother. “Well Melcon, what is on your list?”

“Honestly, fellas, I’m just curious if there was anything on your minds about getting into the gym, and keeping the motivation heading into the last month of the year. You know staying motivated through the holidays and not having to be all resolution this or that…” as he went to finish his last thought my wife arrived and everyone said, “hey Sara… good to see you.”

“Lets be honest,” I started off with, “the beginning of 2019 was a rough start at the gym, then we signed up for the Spartan training and everything from March to June was awesome. We were working hard with everyone each week, meeting new people at the gym and getting into shape. Then we finished the Spartan race and training disappeared. Everyone in the group lost it for 2-months over the summer. When we all got back at it, we noticed it was more difficult than if we had just continued.” Everyone at the table just nodded their heads as I continued, “getting motivated in the gym, really is about staying consistent with the workouts, the preparations, the meal planning, food intake and staying away from the sweets. Then its being sure you have a goal. Personally, I like knowing that I was training for the Spartan race. It motivated me to stay on course. As such, I’m thinking about maybe a race a month, or every two at minimum and trying something REALLY CRAZY… say the Canadian Death Race?”

Jaws dropped to the table as my wife punched me in the shoulder and said, “what in the heck is a ‘death race’?” Looking between us Melcon awaited my reply but instead I picked up the glass of beer and took a swig. He looked into my eyes to see if this was just some sort of B.S. or if I was serious about this accusation. “Are you serious? Do you know what the ‘Canadian Death Race’ is?” After another swig of the beer, I looked around the table and went into a bit of a short rant, “its a race to the death!” as I began laughing hysterically whilst the waitress arrived with dinner.

As the laughter subsided I looked around the table and said, “of course I know what it is, its a 120 kilometre race that goes over the top of 5-mountain top peaks and its done in Grande Cache every year around September long weekend. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Especially if we sign-up as a team!” Then I started laughing manically again. Each of them were stunned speechless.

“Wait. Did you just propose that we do this as a team?” says my wife who just took a sip of her red wine. “Yup.” She starred at Mel, who starred at me, as I starred at Melcon. Then “Okay, do you know what kind of training we would have to endure, to get us all motivated in the gym?” says Melcon. Followed by a faint, “Hey… I didn’t agree to this. You two are nuts,” says Mel as my wife happily nodded along eating her mixed vegetables and shaking her head in disgust.

“Look, we have 8-months to get into the gym and work out. Plus Melcon is the best trainer we all know. And we just get Mar and a few others involved and by the time we are done there will be like twenty of us competing on like 4 or 5 teams. It’ll be a blast. Plus your really only finishing say 20 to 25 kilometres per leg per person. Its really not that bad. Its like training for a marathon. Well except there is elevation change and mountains, and well wildlife… but you won’t have to worry about bears or cougars. Because if they catch you, it’ll be your last race ever. Maybe,” and I left it at that as I departed the table for the bathroom to let them think about it for a few minutes.

Upon my return I heard Melcon say, “look if you are serious, and it looks like you are I am totally in. Mel just opted out and so did Sara. BUT we could get Mar and Damian to join maybe a few others I know whom might be interested.”

There… then it’s settled,” as I stood up at our table with a half full mug of Guinness to shout, “we’ll go to the gym and prepare ourselves FOR THE 2020 CANADIAN DEATH RACE!!” swallowing its contents then slamming the empty mug down onto the table with a thud.

~ James Curtis