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Why Do You Do What You Do?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 by Coach Tommy

I often ask myself “Why do you do what you do?” This is just my way of reminding myself why I get out of bed at 5 a.m. for swim practice, or run in the cold and dark after work, or head out on a long ride on Saturday.

Understanding why I do what I do is my motivation.

Motivations are different from goals. Goals are specific and time bound. For example, a goal may be “Finish the US Open Olympic Triathon in 2:30 or less on October 11, 2011.” This goal is very specific and has an end date.

Motivation is different. It’s more subjective and internal than goals. Motivation usually doesn’t have an end date. Goals are more about the “what” of triathlon: what you’re going to accomplish. Motivation is the “why” of triathlon: why you’re going to accomplish something.

A few of my motivations for participating in triathlon are:

  1. Maintaining a healthy and physically fit quality of life
  2. Enjoying the way I feel when when I’m healthy and fit
  3. Enjoying the social aspects and the friends I’ve made while participating in triathlon.

I encourage you to think about why do you do what you do. Write down your motivations for participating in triathlon. Read them often. Remember them on your long workouts when you feel like quitting. Think about them when the going gets tough during your ‘A’ race.

In thinking about you motivations you’ll find the why to keep you moving forward.

What motivates you? Why do you do what you do? Share them in the comments below.



2 Responses to Why Do You Do What You Do?

  1. Michael Cunningham says:

    I’m more prone to ask, “What the f*** are you doing?” around mile 17 of a 20-mile run or at 4:00 a.m.

  2. sharon says:

    michael why do you need 90mins to get ready for swim?? Just wondering, might help sleep longer roll out and hit it!!

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