Last year, we sought out your favorite motivational quotes. This year, we’ve distilled the wisdom of that dailymile pool of 398 respondents. Here, the first dose in our Fuel + Fire series, finds our ragin’ sages coaxing you to get your butt in gear.
It’s been well over 30 days since the turn of the New Year. Are you keeping your resolutions? Weeks ago, did you say you wanted to start running? Or lifting weights? Or maybe you thought you’d increase your mileage or train at a higher intensity?
Well, if you threw yourself into it, onto the floor (or the road or the trail or the track) this past month, you should be the owner of a shiny new habit by now. Way to go!
Maybe, like me, you just wanted to be more consistent.
What’s that? You flubbed the mission fully (or partly, like me…ack!) and find yourself no closer to the mark than you were yesterday or last month or last year?
Sniffle. Sniffle. Boo hoo.
Now you’ve done it. Or, rather…you really haven’t done it, have you?!
Well, wipe that misty mug of yours and get your brave face on, because the dailymile community (YOUR community, remember?) is gunning to give you some advice. What’s the first step? Maybe a little hand-holding? “Hold on, lemme roll up my sleeve…,” growls Ultratrailchick as she pushes past you to start her run.
Hey, are you takin’ notes? Because it’s ON.
Outta nowhere, Coach Mike bounds over and starts shouting in your ear: “Everybody wants to know what I’m on,” he quotes Lance Armstrong. “I’m on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?” Ouch. Hey, nobody said it was going to be easy, did they? Alan elbows his way over to you, stares you down and gives you a little shove from behind: “GO! That’s it. Simple. You can quote me on that if you like.” I like, Alan.
Quick-cut to the winningest quote submitted by 10 swingin’ dailymile hipsters:
“Just do it!”
Submitted by Clay, Judy, Jeff C., Keath L., Justin L., Tanya, Heather and Jen, the second most-cited maxim comes from no less than Star Wars’ Master Jedi Yoda: “Do or do not, there is no try.” And who said we weren’t a philosophical bunch?
Allie, inspired, shares the words of Robert Frost: “The only way out is through!”
Nodding, Court says, “My dad would always say [that] to me. This was his encouragement and advice whenever I dealt with adversity during my childhood. He died 11 years ago, but I use his words on a daily basis, whether tackling my workout, my dissertation, or a pile of grading. Thanks to his parenting, I can say that I have made my way through many things that seemed impossible or insurmountable!”
Wearing t-shirts proclaiming ‘Amby Burfoot rocks!’, two women jog by. The first, Rose, sings, “There is no failure in running, or in life, as long as you keep moving.” Katie lets out the following before jogging out of earshot: “It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are relative to anyone else. You set your own pace and you measure your own progress. You can’t lose this race because you’re not running against anyone else. You’re only running against yourself, and as long as you are running, you are winning.”
You want to run with them. But you’re embarrassed, and feeling out of shape. Jill S. tosses a favorite Chinese proverb in your direction: “Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” Kim gives you a stronger dose of tough love via the words of Benjamin Franklin: “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
Yowza! That stings. Spurred on, you start walking. You pass a store with the following sign in the window (placed there, unbeknownst to you by Nancy E.):
You shuffle along. A window display honoring various legendary figures catches your eye. You stop and gaze at a photo of opera singer Beverly Sills; the quote below it reads: “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going (Steff E.).” Aviator Amelia Earhart winks at you to get your attention. (Huh? Are you seeing things or something?) “The most effective way to do it,” she leans in and murmurs, “is to do it (Haley D.).”
Great. Now you’re hearing things, too. But are you listening?
Peter Maher, the Irish-Canadian Olympian and sub-2:12 marathoner, crackles to life: “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. “It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’ (Anne V., Dustin W., and Jessica)” So, are you gonna be a wimp? Are you gonna stand here window-shopping all day or are you going to get moving already?
Loud footsteps bear down on you. Someone pokes you from behind…sharply. Hey!
Israel R. rushes past, saying, “Get your ass [out] there and get it done.” Timmay blasts by, howling, “Aren’t you getting the picture yet? Just Run, dammit!” Cynthia‘s more like a breeze, cajoling with her fav quote by Mary Hayden-Cook: “One foot in front of the other.” And Zms P. encourages, saying, “You can always take another step.”
You start walking again.
Laura runs up alongside you and cheers you on. “Just remember,” she says, “right, left, right, right left and repeat…” You pick up the pace to a slow jog. “Right on!” says Corinna as she pulls up on the other side. “You’ll never regret the runs you do and always regret the runs you don’t do,” she says. “So no matter your time, it is time well spent.”
You take your slow jog up a notch, and then see a group of people cheering you on from the sidelines. Jen L. holds a sign that says, “Jillian Micheals says there is no tomorrow…and I agree!” Mark T., Steve and Morey call out in unison: “There will be a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day!”
Your head is swimming in advice. Your lungs are filling with air. Your legs are moving and you’re feeling good. Chaz races over to your side. “Screw all this holistic feel good garbage,” he bellows and barks. “Nothing says I love you quite like, ‘C’mon candyass, get your butt in gear!’”
You rally. It’s tough. Yet you give it your all. You’re gasping. You’re straining. But having a ball. Big grin, you settle into your run. Three simple words…yep, that’s how it’s done.
Just do it.