Trail running and hiking

The Motivating Power of Dreams

by Tom Watrous on February 1, 2010

It is January. I have been surprised at how busy the gym is. I usually go when fewer people attend so I can enjoy the relative loneliness of a workout. I realized that it is January. Each January and into a little of February people are still working on New Year’s Resolutions. In two more weeks the gym will be quiet again. The larger question is how to stay motivated. Whether your personal choice is running, hiking, weights, aerobics, etc, how do you keep from burning out? Look to your dreams.

My preference is trails and peaks. I love to gain altitude and feel my heart pumping and my lungs taking the punishment. Unfortunately, I broke my femur in July. During my recovery, two dreams have driven me to recuperate. The first dream is one I have had several times in the last twenty plus years. I am running on a trail. It is autumn; I am in the oak brush and mountain maples. The ground cover of tall grass and low bushes is turning yellow. The trail is winding with small spurts of ups and downs and I am running. I feel great. I feel strong and my running is effortless.

Can you imagine a better motivator? That is why I must go to the gym, and get up on the trails. I am too young to give up that piece of my life. I am reminded (in three dimensional full life images with every sense fully engaged) that this is what I love. And I don’t want to give it up.
The other dream is quite opposite. We all have dreams that are somewhat similar. The common thread in these dreams is weakness. I am trying to run from something frightening but I can’t. I am in slow motion grabbing the cracks in the concrete to pull myself along. Since my accident this dream has adjusted to fit my scenario. My accident has left my legs weak, especially my thighs. In my dreams now I fall to the ground but I can’t get up. I am struggling to push myself to a standing position. Last night I was being chased by a huge cinnamon colored grizzly bear who talked. As he approached me I knew that he was going to come after me. I asked, “Is it my turn?”. He responded that it was. The weakness in my legs was enlarged in my dream.

Once again, what a powerful motivator. Each time this dream, or similar one occurs, I wake and remember why I can’t slack off. I am reminded from the depths of my own brain that I must and I will keep working to have the personal strength and health to perform at my best levels. I got up this morning and went for hike. An inch of new snow covered the already two or three feet on the trail. I only got a mile up the trail, but I was on a trail.

I will be on the trail or in the gym next December with a small handful of other diehards. These dreams are even motivating me to run, which I dislike. I am up to one and half miles now. I am so grateful when I am now on a trail, or walking along a stream, or kicking through the fast water that I am back doing the things I love.

I know you have dreams and some of them are like mine. Use their power to keep you doing what you love.

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Photography by Sara Moses

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

medical equipment hire February 8, 2010 at 7:59 am

jan/feb is always the time when people hit the gym and do the whole ‘work off the extra christmas food’ thing, which to be honest i never really did. Dreams can be powerful images which can stay with us days after we wake up and i like how your using it to motivate and push yourself. Thanks for sharing

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