I wanted to write a column about motivation but was having trouble getting around to starting it. So, seeing as the deadline was looming within hours, I resorted to entering the pit of meditation, the birthplace of philosophy, the cradle of intelligence — all otherwise known as the hot tub. I found a solitary patron who looked reasonably cognitive considering it was 6 a.m. and posed the question, “What motivates you to come here?” I had thought it would initially be centered on health benefits but the answer turned out to be, “It’s easy to come here.” The soaker went on to say how there is lots of parking, the building is easy to enter and move around, lockers rooms are well laid out, there are three pools to choose from and it is warm.
It tied in with an unsolicited email I received around the beginning of December , in which the patron wrote, “Last night I drove three minutes to the pool for a late night swim. The pool was as warm as ever, the lights were sparkling in the water and it was a pure joy. I did not have to fly some place, or pay big hotel rates, or go through customs lines, etc. It is all right there in our little town for a few dollars a day.” I guess thinking about other places we have been to in various towns and cities, that is true — whether you are heading to the rinks, pool, fitness, physiotherapy or a meeting, it is pretty easy to move about the building.
Motivation has a fairly significant presence around the Creston and District Community Complex. You just have to look into any room, arena or pool and there will be patrons swimming, walking, stretching, meeting, skating or curling in some fashion, and each of them with some goal in mind that motivated them to actually get out and do it. Maybe it’s health based self-motivation, peer pressure, spousal coercing or a variety of other reasons, but pretty much everyone has some form of impetus causing them to be here. People become energized when they have a meaningful goal to pursue. When we are driven to do something that we feel makes a difference in ourselves or the world, we are infused with positive emotion, energy and vitality, and our risk of cognitive decline also drops. The Japanese call this state ikigai, having a reason to get up in the morning or the belief that life is worth living.
Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It’s the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining goals — and you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period and start being who you want to be; whether it is an improved you through fitness and healthy eating, learning to play an instrument or learn another language, or making a difference in your community or someone’s life by providing your time and expertise.
Neil Ostafichuk is the Recreation Supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.