I ran my first Spartan Race in December of 2015.

I did it as a way to bring my bootcamp members and training clients together and give ourselves a fun way to challenge ourselves at the end of the year.

But then something funny happened. I enjoyed the physical and mental challenge so much that I wanted to keep running these races. Over the course of 2016, I ran four more Spartan Races and I will finish up the year running the exact same race I started with last year…but this time twice in one weekend. They’re tough and brutal and I enjoy (almost) every second of them. Let’s face it…I’m hooked.

Discovering Spartan Race helped me fill a need I seem to have since I retired from roller derby in 2014. I have a drive for external competition of some kind. It fuels me to stay engaged in my training as I’m always working on improving something at which I’m inherently not skilled. Much like roller derby, every Spartan Race I run provides me with new successes and even newer obstacles I fail at and have to figure out how to complete before the next race. All of this keeps me focused and consistent with my workouts all year long. Spartan Races are most definitely my THING.  

All this got me thinking about what drives people to exercise. Especially as we inch ever forward toward the new year and the inevitable talk of New Year’s Resolutions. Why do most fitness-based resolutions end in failure? And what can be done to turn a fitness resolution into a long term fitness habit?

Ultimately, what I’m realizing is that for me and for many others, it really comes down to finding your THING. That thing that gives you a reason and purpose to stay on top of your training.

Why do you train? Without a clear picture of what you’re training for, what’s going to keep you motivated to keep doing it day after day, week after week, month after month? Because if you don’t have a compelling reason, you’re just not going to keep doing it. You need to find your THING.

Let’s think about why people commonly choose fitness as a New Year’s Resolution. Most often, the reasons and motivation are based around weight loss, or dissatisfaction with physical appearance or simply because exercise is something we think we’re just SUPPOSED to do. But none of these help define a clear path to success. It’s difficult to see the progress and the benchmarks along the way with these motivations, which can create frustration and stalls the process. And ultimately, I know a lot of people who say they'd like to lose weight, but when it comes down to it, I’ve never met anyone who calls weight loss their THING.   

Conversely, let’s take a look at the concept of an external challenge like a race. When you’re training for a race that has a specific distance, parameters and date, all of a sudden training has a well-defined purpose. You know what you’re training for and why you’re training. And if you keep running races, you may discover they’re your THING.

This is something I’ve learned about myself from my days as a roller derby athlete. For over a decade roller derby was my THING. And this stays true as I continue to sign up for obstacle races and half marathons. I have found a new THING. That’s the fun part about finding your THING. It can grow and evolve over the years. And it can change how you approach fitness from a long-term perspective.

If you’ve been having trouble staying consistent with your workouts and you’re looking to change that, perhaps it’s time to find your THING. And the best way to do it is to bite the bullet and sign up for a race or a competition. See what motivates and drives you and find your THING.

It doesn’t have to be a Spartan Race. That’s just what I’ve found that works for me. It’s my THING for sure. But maybe your THING is a 5K race. Or maybe you’re a triathlon person. Or maybe you want to compete in a lifting competition. There are SO many events you can sign up for that will give you a very clear training purpose. There are so many different events that can eventually become your THING.

I know what drives me. What drives you? What is YOUR THING? Find it and see how it can change your fitness motivation for the long run. (No pun intended…okay maybe a little.)

WANT A LITTLE EXTRA INCENTIVE TO FIND YOUR THING? HOW ABOUT SOME FREE WORKOUTS!

I’m excited to introduce the Bust Your Boundaries Challenge!

The premise of is simple: choose a physical challenge to focus on for the New Year, and then partner with me and my group fitness program Power Jam FitCamp (located in Santa Monica, CA) to train for it. And when you do that, you’ll get a FREE MONTH of workouts!

By having an event you can train for, you can get real-time, measurable results as you improve your skills and abilities. This will help your motivation as you continue to accomplish new feats that you didn’t think you could do. And there's nothing more satisfying than training for a competition and enjoying the payoff on game day.  And who knows? It may light a new fire in you to keep racing and keep training for the entire year and beyond! You may just find your THING!

Here's what you need to do:

1. Commit to signing up for a race or competition of your choice between January and June of 2017. This can be a 5K, 10K, half marathon, triathlon, marathon, Ironman, obstacle race - you name it. Just choose one that aligns with the personal boundary you’d like to bust through. If you never saw yourself as a runner, time to bust through that boundary and register for your first 5k. If you feel like you can handle a little dirt, perhaps an obstacle race is in your future. If you're really comfortable doing one thing, it's time to try something new that takes you on an adventure outside your comfort zone.

2. Partner with Power Jam FitCamp in Santa Monica to help you train for that race by signing up for and committing to 3 months of Power Jam FitCamp workouts starting in the New Year. Register HERE. (You will be required to sign a recurring payment agreement after which you will be automatically directed to the registration page.)

And here's the awesome part: once you confirm that you have done these two things, you will get to attend ALL Power Jam FitCamp workouts for the REST OF 2016 - FOR FREE! (between sign up date and 12/9/16). That's a bonus month of FREE WORKOUTS (valued at $179!) All you have to do is register for Power Jam FitCamp at the above link and send me your proof of race registration and, BOOM, you get to work out for FREE for the rest of 2016!

Now go out there and find your THING!

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