Friday, 18 January 2008

Motivation = Self Belief?

The path to climbing glory - copyright TRNovice
I recently came across an interview with celebrity personal trainer Kacy Duke, who works with stars such as Kirsten Dunst, Rachel Weisz and Bruce Willis. I thought that if you can inspire a bunch of non-athletes to change their bodies overnight, you might know a thing or two about motivation.
I CAN = The Motivation. Once you believe in yourself, you can start tapping your true strength and potential. This is HIGHLY motivating for clients. I know I really have them when they’re in the gym beaming from ear to ear because they can’t believe what they’re capable of! The more you see you can do the more you want to do. You, not any outside influences, are your own motivation.

As I understand it, Kacy believes that a large part of motivation comes from the belief that you can succeed. Interesting, but this presents a Catch 22 situation where by if you don’t believe you can achieve it, you aren’t motivated to train, etc. (so maybe that’s where I am going wrong :-)).

I occasionally run, yet I maintain the fact that I am the world’s most abysmal runner. However, I keep at it because it is a challenge and good for general fitness but when things get difficult it is the first thing to be axed and indeed I’ve gone for months without running. Getting back into it is such as struggle that I use it for motivation not to stop. I don’t believe I will ever be a successful runner. I don’t want to – it seems like too much work for too little a reward.

When I was younger I did ballet and gymnastics and while I was able to maintain a reasonable level, I never put that bit extra into it. In the US, where I grew up, a lot of emphasis is put on sports when children show proficiencies as a lucrative college scholarship might lie in the balance. I never wanted to spend all weekend on the uneven bars. I wanted to play with my friends. I definitely didn’t believe I was Olympic athlete material, yet it was expected that I commit to such a training programme.

Climbing is the first sport that I ever participated in where I felt that I had a decent shot at, but I don’t know if I can do it. For every moment that I feel I am climbing reasonably I have about 100 counter examples of when I completely failed to meet my expiations. I don’t know which time is more reflective of my overall ability. Yes, I have always been hard on myself, but am I overly so about my climbing? Maybe I should add a bit more I CAN to my training programme; after all you don’t need to get a boulder problem right 100 times, just once.


Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Bravo!! That's more pull ups than I could do on a bar - let alone on a finger edge! This is perhaps why I spend a lot time when leashless ice-climbing thinking I'm about to die...

Jenn said...


I'm actually better at finger tip pull ups than big edges. I guess that's because I climb more on tiny edges :-)