Let fear motivate you.

Some very sage words from Jillian Michaels on a recent episode of Biggest Loser:

Let fear motivate you.

Now, this is all based on how you interpret that phase, but in the context of my latest focus on learning to let go, fear certainly comes into play.

I’m not gonna lie – learning to let go is not only really hard to do, but it’s scary, too.

While I fully admit to being happy and excited and at peace with the whole “letting go” mentality – I’m still scared, deep down.

…Scared of what this change in mindset means. (does this mean I don’t love working out anymore? does this mean I won’t be picking up new challenges anywhere I can find them?)

Scared of if/how it’ll change my committment to working out (who am I kidding, it only motivates me more…just in a different way than before)

…Scared of the unknown.

This is all very much unknown, uncharted territory for me. Up until now, working out has meant schedules, numbers, and charts to keep track of progress.

But now? Working out is simply part of who I am. It defines me. But it doesn’t define how I live my life necessarily, either. I don’t live and die by my workouts anymore. I LOVE them. Yes. But I am no longer so tied to the structure of them…most of the time, that is. If I’m training for another half? Well yeah, a “schedule” of sorts will come into play, but nothing nearly as structured as some of the training schedules I’ve seen floating around the Internet.

Sometimes I wonder if fear as a motivator can be a negative thing too. I think it might be.

When it comes to overtraining I think that fear definitely comes into play as a motivator but not quite in the most positive of ways.

Fear of losing control.

Fear of not meeting some lofty expectation of yourself – huge weekly mileage tallies or multiple workouts per day, push, push, pushing yourself despite feeling tired, or sick or not quite “right” but doing it anyway. Fear comes into play there, for sure.

Fear of failure….Fear of gaining weight….Fear of not measuring up to your friends (IRL or otherwise).

And that fact worries me. Why? Because I see some of these tendencies in fellow blog friends, the tendency to push it a little too hard, ignoring that inner voice shouting “no!” and not finding a semblance of balance. It could be fear-based. It could be confidence-based. It could be based on something else entirely. And while I don’t claim to be an expert by any stretch, I do care about my friends…so I guess what this post comes down to is this: fear can be an excellent motivator, sure. But it can also push you to train too hard.

So my little PSA for today? Take good care of yourself. Listen to your body. Do what’s right for you, and you only. Breathe.

<Editor’s Note: And please, I hope you don’t mind my little rambling, PSA-ish post today, I realize we’re all different, with different needs, different melting points, etc. What works for me, what works for you, might be entirely different. I just worry. That is all.>