Confession: I Still Struggle with the First 10 Minutes

By , SparkPeople Blogger
"Viewing exercise as a tool for living the life you want is far more motivating than thinking of it as a means to an end." ~ Coach Nicole

If you look at my SparkPage, it is filled with quotes--quotes that I find motivating and inspiring, especially when life can be a tad too overwhelming for me to find the inspiration within myself to get up and move. These wise words allow me to connect with where I am right now in my life and apply them to where I hope to be in the future.

Having just celebrated my 7th anniversary of reclaiming a life of health and fitness, I must confess that after all these years of working out consistently at least five days a week, I still struggle with motivating myself to get up and out the door, whether that is for a run or going to the gym.

Don't get me wrong there are those days I am eager to don my running attire to head outside or to go to the gym, but when my motivation begins to wane, breaking that barrier of resistance is TOUGH. I have to remind myself that this journey is one I will need to be on for the rest of my life. Just ten minutes is all it takes--10 minutes or 600 seconds--to keep me moving in the right direction.  

A few weeks ago when I was scheduled to go out for long run of 9 miles, I was doing everything in my power to find something to keep my mind occupied and away from running. I did not feel like running, but I knew if I did not get out that day, I was going to have to run the next day when I had a lot more on my plate. I really had no excuse. It was a nice sunny Saturday afternoon with unseasonably warm temps for January. There really was no excuse I could come up with not to go, but I first had to convince my brain otherwise.

To give you a little background as to why I needed to go on this run, on December 31st I received notice  that I had made the cut to run in the New York Road Runners New York City Half-Marathon on March 18th. In my six years of running, it has always been a dream of mine to run Central Park as well as the streets of Manhattan. How many people can say they ran the streets of New York without being run over by cars and cabs, not to mention being cheered on by thousands of New Yorkers?

But the one question I have to answer is--how can I fulfill my dream if I'm not prepared to do the work to get me there?

I went to my computer and read through my quotes and came across the following one:

"I have never regretted going out for a run, but I have always regretted the time when I could have run but I didn't"~Anonymous

When I read that quote I laced up my shoes and hit the ground running. I wish I could say that after all these years of running the first mile was never a problem for me, but I have accepted the fact that it truly can be one of the most difficult one to get through. But this is where you must dig in your heels and find the courage to 'JUST DO IT'.

Nine miles and 95 minutes later I was glad I did not succumb to sitting on the couch watching yet another re-run of the Real Housewives (one of my guilty pleasures) or in front of the computer catching up with all the coming and goings of my friends on Facebook. There is some sense of overcoming that first ten minutes!

I have to remind myself that I don't have to break into a sweat every day to meet my goal. Going for a nice evening walk with my hubby or neighbor can do just as much for my mental well-being as it does for my physical being.  I just have to do it. So when my motivation is less than stellar, I always tell myself, "just 10 minutes and if you no longer want to continue on, then you can quit."

Do you struggle with the first ten minutes? What are some things you do to keep you motivated to get up and moving?

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SPARKUVU 6/6/2021
I've never raised my goal from my original 10 min a day, if I did, I would make excuses why I couldn't. Also use JUST DO IT to get started for the 10 min (that is usually 1 hour). Report
RAPUNZEL53 6/28/2020
I can relate Report
The first step is the hardest Report
The hardest part for me is deciding that I will do it. Then getting up and starting is the next hardest. Report
thanks Report
The first 10 minutes of anything is the toughest. Report
Thank you. Report
Right,right, right. Just got to get started. Report
Thanks Report
Thank you for the information. Report
Thanks for the blog. Report
sometimes just getting started is a big thing Report
It's always nice to know I'm not alone! Thank you for sharing this! Report
I might not feel like exercising but I fight through it anyway. I keep telling myself that if I don't exercise,I'll feel even worse because the guilt of not exercising will consume me. After I exercise, I take a shower, put on clean clothes and I feel like a whole new person! It is so invigorating! Report
great blog thanks for sharing Report
I always struggle with the first 10. Once I'm past that, I'm good to go (usually for another hour). I never regret pushing through. Report
Oh boy, do I struggle with the first ten minutes! After that, I'm okay, but those first ten minutes of getting my heart rate up are torture! Report
This is a keeper! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The first 10 minutes is always a challenge for me whether it's on the treadmill or outside. Some days, it's not until mile 2 or 3. LOL! I am glad to see that I am not alone. It's definitely a push, but once I get past it, I'm good for the rest of the workout. Report
To get me over that 10 minute mark, I need motivating music... the louder, the better. Then I will move. It needs to be concert sound, though. Then I am sweating before I realize it and in the vigorous zone. If I can get my ear buds in and press play, then I can get over that 600 second hump. Report
Motivating myself to get out the door is a challenge for me most days, but like others have said, I always feel worse when I don't work out than when I do.
The first mile of a run (so, about ten minutes!) is sometimes challenging, but it's actually somewhere in the middle of my runs that I have to dig deep and find my motivation to keep going. I've found that giving myself an encouraging thought or two, and then letting my mind wander to non-exercise/health related topics helps to distract me and makes the time go by more quickly. Good music doesn't hurt, either! Report
I agree. I've always told my exercise friends that I've never been sorry after I exercised. Report
What i do is think about i need to be healthy and live not just for me but my family to and put out my hands and ask my self what do i love. being over weight are being healthy, and i look at my list of reason i need to work out verse the ones i don't and the reason i do out weigh the reason i dont. Report
I love working out, always have. But, you are right about the first 10 min. My brain keeps telling me there are other things I should do first - clean the bathroom, wash the dishes, feed my husband, sit and rest after a long day at work. Once I get started though, I'm always glad I did. Report
Fantastic! Report
Those first 10 minutes are always tough for me. I take that feeling of dread during the first 10 minutes, and remind myself that I'm going to feel even worse if I don't feels much worse to let myself down. I'm always reminded of that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I finish a run and meet my daily goals! Report
Although I don't run I wish I had a push to get out and walk. I do it but I have to talk myself into it. I Jazzersised until no longer afford it. Curves just closed and so I had to join PF and I push myself there as it is not an all womes club. I have to remind myself I'm there for my health not how I look to others. Report
That is so me!!! Thanks for sharing!!!! And i love the quotes!!! Report
Thank you for this blog! Yes, I do struggle with the first 10 minutes and I have always told myself that if I can just get past 10 minutes then I'm on my way home. I have discovered that the worst part of my entire workout is simply hearing that alarm go off and having to get myself out of that bed! Report
Thank-you for such a wonderful post. I do wish you get to the point that you are looking forward to, rather than dreading, the first ten minutes. May you have continued success!!! Report
I am so glad I am not the only one who struggles with getting up and going. (I had a feeling I wasn't alone.) Once I am going I am usually okay. I remind myself how I will feel AFTER the workout is over. That feeling is always positive and uplifting. And I need all of the uplifting I can get at 5am to workout. :) Report
Some days I struggle with all of the minutes, like you the big struggle is to start. Some days its easy and if there is a lot of pressure to go to other chores or even to post on my SP, I can get really up tight. I guess it is just my nature. I preferred the team sports iIplayed in my youth rather than the single person walk. I am so pleased you will be doing your dream RUN Pat in Maine Report
Wow Nancy, I would never have thought you struggle with this, even after all these years of knowing you. You are always so enthusiastic about your runs. This is a great blog for anyone who struggles to get started. Yesterday morning, my morning visualization actually had me visualize my foot moving out of bed and hitting the floor - cause I just didn't want to get up. But once I visualized my foot hitting the floor, I was okay. We can all have different ways to get moving, as long as we don't give up to excuses!

Have a great day. I'm finally going to my first Zumba class tonight. So excited! Report
Whether it is exercise or getting to that chore that you would rather not do, just getting started is often the hardest part. I loved your quote about running "I have never regretted going out for a run, but I have always regretted the time when I could have run but I didn't"~Anonymous. For me it is horseback riding. I have had a few major crisis in my life the past few years and at first I used my horse as the rock I so desperately needed to hang on to. More recently I have found it harder. I will make that quote my focus. Thank you Report
You've hit the nail. Exactly on the head. I work out at 4:45 each morning, and there are a lot of times I wish I didn't have to get up so early, but if I don't do it then, it doesn't happen! Thanks for the post - nice to know there are others out there with the same issue...even after 7 (or more) years of dedicated exercising. Report
The timing for this blog couldn't have been more perfect for me! Earlier today I was thinking of ways to motivate myself to just get up and move! The biggest part of my problem is that it hurts so much when I first start walking. I know that if walk for a bit, most of the hurting goes away but getting past that first few minutes is almost more than I can take.
I think I'm going to put a picture of myself at my lowest weight as my wall paper on my iphone. I always have the phone with me so if I'm lacking in motivation I can look at that picture and not only see a picture of a healthier me but I can remember how good I felt when the picture was taken. Report
Glad to read this! I always wondered if it was just me that hated life the first mile of every run. Sometimes it even takes 2 or 3 miles to settle in. Then it happens, that sense of pride and accomplishment that I am out there running. I don't think I have ever regretted that I went for a run or completed a workout when it was over. Report
I am retired so do not have to get up and out each day - so it is so easy to just stay in for another day. But, when I do get up and out I feel so much more motivated - like today. A shopping spree at WalMart, errands in town and then to the club for a walk on the treadmill. So, this evening am feeling so much better than if I has just stayed in for another day!!
barb Report
What a great blog! Yes, just getting started is the hardest part. Once you're moving it is all good! Report
"But the one question I have to answer is--how can I fulfill my dream if I'm not prepared to do the work to get me there?" Better quote

The standing agreement I have with myself is if I'm miserable and want to stop after 10 minutes, I will. I can count on one hand the number of times I've actually stopped after 10 minutes. Sometimes that first mile is the longest one, but it's rarely the last one. Report
I struggle with those first 10 minutes everyday, but I still make myself get up and go. I always feel better after. Report
Unbelievably perfect timing on this blog!!! Thanks so much for posting this today! The first 10 minutes is definitely the hardest 10 mins for me also! Once I am in the groove though, I can keep on going!!!
Awesome!!! Report
It's nice to know that a lot of us go through the same things just to get started exercising! The hardest part for me is making myself go to the gym, to class or to the track. I always pack my exercise gear for after work. Then sometimes at the end of the day I just don't feel like going. But then I think about what the next day holds and that I have to go because tomorrow is a different schedule, and if I don't go today that screws the whole week up! So I go, and then it feels wonderful when I'm done and I am so proud of myself for "just getting there" to begin with.
Thanks Coach Nancy! Report
I love your quote. Here's a little tip. When you run that wonderful sunday morning in March, PACE PACE PACE. Try to train in the park going east to west (cat hill and harlem hill are harder this way!)
To help me through those first ten minutes. I usually start at 63rd street. I always say, if I can run to engineers gate and i'm done, i'll quit. By the time I'm there, I'm in my stride and I continue.

GOOD LUCK! I'll be in the crowd (i didn't get in via lottery). Report
I LOVE your quote that motivates you! Being handicapped challenges me to walk some days, but I keep the vision in my head of what I want to look like at my son's wedding and that is not how I look today. Although I have to say today is the first day I got into a smaller size and felt REALLY good about my progress.
I will NEVER walk or run 9 miles - I lost that ability about 14 years ago. I do not dwell on it - instead I focus on what I CAN DO. Thanks to spark people I stay motivated no matter what obstacles come my way.

Can i just say : THANK YOU Coach Nicole! I appreciate your exercise videos very much.

Jean Report
Getting myself out of bed and into my exercise clothes is the hardest part for me. Once I have them on, I have no reason not to exercise and I enjoy it once I begin and the feeling after is priceless. Report
I can't run so I guess I don't understand the feelings there....but I can say this much....coming from someone that got short of breath walking to the mailbox to exercising 60 minutes each day 6 days a week and down 24 pounds, THAT is my motivation. To know that 60 minutes of Step Aerobics is part of each morning I'm thrilled that I can now accomplish that. That 60 minutes is mine and I earned every single minute of it. I own that 60 minutes and no one can ever take that away from me. I wouldn't think of NOT utilizing it! For the last few weeks I've had a bit of a heart issue from some medication that needed to be adjusted and I couldn't exercise....I was forbidden to do so until my EKG's came back better....I felt as if I was being punished, I mourned those 60 that everything is back to normal I'm happy again! I guess some folks would need to come from where I was to appreciate HAVING that time to do something so good for yourself. I plan the REST of my day around that 60 minutes....not the other way around! Report
WONDERFUL blog! Thanks, Coach Nancy! Getting out the door is the hardest part and it always helps to remember why we are doing this in the first place. I have a lot of seasonal activities I enjoy that necessitate staying in shape even if I don't feel like it. Report
I know those first 10 minutes well. Once I push through them, everything is golden, but it is a hard slog sometimes. Report