Events are powerful motivators. They get you started and keep you going when you’d rather be doing something else. They hold you accountable. They keep you honest. They reward you with pride and glory or inspire you to try again. Events can slay the inner demons that chain you to the couch or fridge or barstool. Big events, like a marathon or an Ironman, can change your life. Events can help you remake yourself into someone new: someone stronger; someone healthier.
And then you cross the finish line—that’s when the real clock starts.
What are you going to do with this newfound fitness? With this achievement? What are you going to do when your medal gets buried in a box pushed deep in your closet or attic? Will your celebratory pint of Ben & Jerry’s once again become “the usual” during your favorite Sunday night television show? Will the midsection of your race shirt start getting tighter and tighter as your “race recovery” progresses? Will you let that recovery extend from one week to two, or from two to three, or three to four? Will you allow that inner demon a new voice in your head?
Too often I’ve seen people set such lofty race goals that they burn out on training or wind up owing their family too huge a payback (for the long hours they spent training) to afford the time or desire to train at all. And I’ve seen people choose a race as a motivator to lose weight only to complete the event, celebrate their achievement and return to life as normal and slowly watch the pounds creep back.
Like I said, when you cross the finish line, that’s when the real clock starts.
Exactly how much time do you have before you let that fitness slip away? Our writer D.C. Lucchesi takes a look and also provides some tips from coaches on how to keep what you got. Sage Rountree, in our “Getting Started” article, talks about how to keep motivating yourself to stay in shape after the glory of your big event wears off. In our cover story, Meredith Dolhare writes about Charlotte resident and Upgrade Lifestyle coach Kelly Fillnow and how her positive attitude contributes to her success. Kelly was also generous enough to provide you with her own tips on “Making Fitness Last.”
So what’s your plan? When you finish your big goal race of 2010—like the Ramblin’ Rose Women Only Triathlon in Charlotte or Chapel Hill—how will you make that fitness last? Remember, once you cross that finish line, that’s when the real clock starts ticking.