Trainers, Will and Marcus, competing at the Garage Games in Tucson last month.

Everyone has a different reason for coming to CrossFit. Whether it is to get back in shape, get in shape for the first time, lose sixty pounds (or ten or a hundred), challenge yourself physically and mentally or deciding to take your health and fitness to a whole new level; motivation is essential if we are going to make changes that stand the test of time whether it be in CrossFit or in life.

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” William B. Sprague

CrossFitters, Trent and Cody work on their L-Sits.

Motivation doesn’t always come knocking. More often than not, we are going to have to make the iron hot by striking it. There are short term motivators and there are long term motivators for change. Examples of short term motivators are: feeling guilty, wanting to lose weight, or making a change for a loved one. There is nothing wrong with these motivators they just don’t produce lasting change. Once the weight is off and we go back to eating the way we did before the diet – nothing has really changed. Once our guilt begins to wear off we go back to doing whatever it was that made us feel guilty…but now we have more resolve and have found ways to rationalize our actions; resulting in more guilt and nothing has changed. Changing for a loved one may keep us going for a while, but eventually doing something for someone else that involves a lot of hard work on our part just seems a bit unfair and we can only sustain that for so long before we wear ourselves out. Guess what? Six months later, nothing has changed. So what do we do? We need to find better motivators.

“The best way out is always through.” Robert Frost

The 8am CrossFit class tackles box jump overs, wall balls and strict HSPUs.  Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Better go through it. We have all been in a place in our lives where going around something or some circumstance seemed like the better idea. For the most part going around something or some circumstance only puts us right back where we started, but with a bit of defeat. It may take longer, it may not be easier, but going through is a guaranteed path to growth. You can think of this in terms of tackling a WOD, trying a new gymnastics skill, moving up to CrossFit from Basics or Prep or you can think of this in terms of your personal life. Someone once said “you cannot plow a field by going over it in your mind.” Bottom line, you are going to have to get your hands (and feet and face and whole self) dirty. Your motivation is going to have to be that you will come out the other side wiser, better, stronger, tougher, faster…whatever. You won’t know until you get in there and start getting dirty. A fine example is this: there is no way around a burpee; you’re just going to have to do it.

“Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.” Johan Gottfried Von Herder

If intensity and passion are the fuel, motivation is the spark. What good is misguided intensity or passion with no spark? Think about this: What got you to CrossFit? What keeps you there? What made you drastically change the way you eat and the way you think about food? Are your intensity and passion fueled by your motivation? What are the motivating factors that get you out of bed in the morning to hit that 5:00 a.m. WOD or bring you in after school drop offs or an eight or nine hour workday for those mid-morning or afternoon workouts? What makes you try track practice or Prep? What makes you tack on an extra running workout for the endurance club? Is it the energy, the health benefits, the community, feeling ten years younger, the mental break from your stressful job or life? Is it the reversal of medical conditions? What is it that motivates you? Find out what yours is, put it in words and commit it to your life. That, my friend, is your motivation. Now go get it.