Jacob Ward

How To Sustain Motivation

08 July 2021

The most commonly asked question that I get on social media is ‘How do you sustain motivation?’. The only way in which I can articulate this is through describing what I would define as a moment of awakening. Continue reading to find out how I faced adversity and turned it into a positive experience.


The injury


Firstly, to give you some context into how this moment came about I’m going to briefly talk about injury. For those of you who aren’t aware, at the age of seventeen I experienced my first major injury. In my teenage years I was an avid cricketer and spent most weekends either playing for my local team or representing my county. As a seam bowler the strain of bowling is high and injury is extremely common. However, I had managed to avoid any injuries, that was up until the age of seventeen. It happened at a pre-season game for school. During the warm-up I was bowling some loosening deliveries to prepare my body for the game. However, on my last warm-up delivery I felt a sharp pain in my upper-gluteal / lower-back area. I knew immediately that something wasn’t right and had to sit on the side for the rest of the game. The injury was first diagnosed as a mild gluteal tear, however after months of constant pain I was forced to get an MRI scan for further clarification on the injury. The result came back as an annular tear of the annular fibrosis surrounding the L5 S1 disc as well as a bulging disc. I was told that my recovery time would be 8-12 weeks but every treatment I tried didn’t seem to help and the injury continued to bother me. Eventually about 16 months later, over a year after the injury was meant to have healed I was eventually able to go back to training at 100%. The process of recovery was long and highlights that it is never as simple as you think, there are naturally plenty of bumps in the road.


My ‘Eureka’ moment


Getting injured felt at the time and throughout the recovery process like the worst thing that could possible happen to me. The only two things that I have ever been passionate about: Fitness and sport were taken away from me in an instant. Mentally it was a very dark time for me and it didn’t seem like there was any light at the end of the tunnel. However, arguably it was the best thing that ever happened to me. How could that possibly be you might ask… Well, being injured is what initiated what I would define as a ‘Eureka’ moment and acted as a turning point in my life. My time off training gave me something that was crucial at that point in my life, perspective. Not being able to train made me aware of why I was so passionate about being active and helping others achieve their fitness goals. It re-ignited the fire inside of me which had been lost previously. I became aware how I had taken simple things such as being able to run or do simple movements in the gym such as squatting for granted. This is essence is why I am always motivated to train and better myself. I’m grateful for a second opportunity to prove to myself and others that I can achieve anything that I set my mind too, whether that is in regards to fitness or life in general.


Take home message


So what should you take from this? Not everyone has a defining ‘Eureka’ moment in their life such as a major injury that gives them unlimited amounts of motivation to train every day, I’m fully aware of that as I was in that situation before. However, take a moment to reflect on the reasons why you exercise or why you want to start in the first place. These reasons may be related to imporving your body, improving mental health, improving fitness or various other reasons. Once you’ve considered these reasons, store them in the back of your mind for when you’re struggling to find that extra motivation to get to the gym. When this situation arises take a moment to consider these reasons. Personally my main reason for training is because I love the process of improving myself, whether that is my fitness of my body. I always remind myself of this when I'm struggling to get out of the house to exercise! If your reasons for exercising are strong enough then you shouldn’t struggle to pick up that lost motivation again. If you continue to struggle then this suggests that your reasons aren’t strong enough and therefore it might be worth searching for that new reason to train!