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What's Your Why?

by Kim Wathen, M.S. Exercise Phys/Dietitian


In recent articles, I have discussed methods and tools to keep you active. By now you should be using at least some of them to get ready for the fast approaching riding season.

Goal Setting: Who Needs Them?
Winter Motivation

Even with goals, tools and methods, we all know it can be difficult to stay on track. You've heard the old saying about the best laid plans......

Taking time to ponder and determine your "Why" is often the most important step. Without a "Why" you will end up with a worthless pile of "Why-nots."

A lot is made about the “How-To’s” of training and riding: How to improve muscular endurance, how to improve your cardio, how to lose weight, how to be more flexible, and how to become a better rider and so on and so forth.

You also hear a bunch about the “What-For’s” of fitness: You should build lean muscle mass to gain speed on the bike, lose weight to ride more on the weekends and be heart healthy, exercise frequently for general health, etc., etc.

But what about the “Why” of training and fitness? The “Why" of fitness is markedly more personal, and in my humble opinion, infinitely more important. The reason I say it holds such relevance is because your personal “Why” is what drives you over the long term to continue your own pursuit of becoming a better rider through improved health and fitness.

Your "Why" is the underlying factor to all of this which will determine how successful you are at reaching your goals. It can also help you figure out exactly how much time, effort and intensity you wish to put into fitness and nutrition.

You have to ask yourself, "Why are you doing this fitness thing?"

Riding safety?

If you are an up and coming pro racer your why will be different from the so called "weekend warrior" with a job and family.

Determining your "Why" should give you perspective about how much time and effort you need to be and/or want to be spending on fitness and nutrition. If your "Why" is to simply stay healthy and fit, 30 minutes of moderate cardio 5 days a week will get you the majority of the health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease. If you are looking to be healthy and balanced and just have fun riding/racing you can be a bit less rigid.

If your "Why" is to become a professional racer or the fastest local racer in your class, a bigger time and intensity commitment is necessary.

Finding your "Why" can be applied to every area of your life. You may find yourself eliminating useless or time wasting activities to leave time for more important things!

So, what's your "Why?"

About the Author - Kim has an undergraduate degree in Dietetics from Michigan State University and began working as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant while finishing her Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. As a self-employed trainer and dietitian, she has the privilege of working with people at many levels of fitness. She designs custom nutrition and fitness plans based upon the client's goals and current fitness level. She has designed programs for, and currently works with a 17 year-old amateur football linemen; senior citizens, and professional motocross racers working to hone their athletic skills, and rise to the top of their sport.

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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  1. Gravatar
    laidback lenny March 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    "Why"- For me that is the determining factor for how hard I trained. I used anger as motivation, a lot less now than when I was younger. That extra five push-ups. Wind Sprints at the end of a seven mile run. Skateboarding till sweat blinded me. Swimming until my lungs felt like they would explode. You get the point. To train through the pain of rehabilitation. Guys like Mark Barnett, Bob Hannah, And RV2 as of late. Obviously the latter has some serious why(motivation) to accomplish what he has done so far this year. I was confident that I would shine superior at the end of the moto. Until someone like Brian Swink, Jeff Stanton, or Keith Bowen came along...

  2. Gravatar
    GlennJ March 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Agree 100% on all counts. Your reasons drive your attitude, which drives your actions, which produce your results. Starting with your reasons makes all of the sense in the world. Good article.

  3. Gravatar
    Lewis March 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I know my "why's": adrenaline and endorphin junky! The way you feel after having given it all: Priceless!

  4. Gravatar
    Bill March 24, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    When RC started working with Aldon my why was inspiration. I wanted to train as hard as RC because he was so dominate. After several years of following their careers I can now wrap my head around that level of training that has set the standard for the top guys today and it feels great!

  5. Gravatar
    Tpain March 24, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Cuz i gotta

  6. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer March 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    My Why is to live long, be healthy, and set a good example to my kids by actually practicing what I preach!

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