Back on track! Rediscovering that secret inner power within you

Chopped Veggie Salad

Ever since I got back from South America in the new year, I’ve been feeling absolutely demotivated. Laziness and procrastination infused me like some kind of malaise. It didn’t make me feel good- but I also just didn’t feel like working out one bit – a good week would be one lacklustre 5km run and maybe one Body Attack class, and that was it. Even looking at fitness blogs and fitspiration pics couldn’t pull me off the sofa more often than that, though I’ve found a couple more new fun fitness blogs – the Skinny Confidential, which offers some great motivational posts, and His-n-Hers Healthy-and-Happy, which offers a slightly different perspective, looking at a married couple with different diets and work-out routines. (That’s inspiring me because my bf and I have different views on exercise and slightly-different views on diets! Plus, it’s got some really great posts about food!)

As for cooking healthy meals – McDonald’s and KFC was more the order of the day. (a two-piece feed – haven’t had that in ages!) And breakfast? Nothing better than a Magnum for breakfast. In fact, that actually still kind of sounds good to me 😛

But! This week, I feel like I’ve finally got some motivation back and it’s not really because I woke up one day, bursting with energy. Na, I still didn’t feel like working out one bit, but I knew I had to do something to get my butt moving or I’ll never get it moving at all (every day, there’s always going to be some reason not to work out.)

So I just pushed myself to do it. I went for a Body Attack class on Monday, a Body Combat class on Wednesday, a 10km run on Friday and a Body Combat class on Saturday. That was the most exercise I’ve done in a week in ages and I’m so proud of myself for doing that! Especially the 10km run. I really haven’t been in the mood for running since I sprained my ankle badly bungee jumping in Peru – but I told myself, okay, let’s just get out there and if you don’t feel like running after four to five km, you can walk.

So I headed out. And I ran four km by the river to a bridge. Then I crossed the bridge. I stopped for a moment on the other side to get a breather. I’d also just moved house again (in less than six months), this time to live with my bf, and we live pretty close to the river which is so awesome so I was trying out a new route. This route took me near a sandy river bank with reeds and rushes, the smell of tangy salt strong in the air. The sun was setting and I lifted my face to let the river breeze cool my face. And… I just felt it again. That sense of inner strength and accomplishment inside me, that sense of power that comes from knowing you’ve worked so hard and busted balls to get where you are – and no one can ever take that away from you. And that reminds me of why I love running and working out hard – because it just gives you this amazing secret strength within you that sets you apart from everyone else and changes the way you handle just about everything else in life. Like triathlon athlete Angi Greene says, “I love the feeling that this body is powerful. You have a real secret weapon, that inner power. It’s like walking into an audition wearing Kiki de Montparnassse lingerie and knowing all the other girls are in grandma underwear.” Oh, yeah. That feeling.

And it was that feeling that gave me the encouragement to keep running and finish off the rest of that 10km run, pushing myself to go that one bit further by inventing little goal posts in my head. “Okay, I’ll just run until that lamp post or that water pipe and or that tree or that curve in the road.” Each time I reached my little goal post, I heard a silent cheer in my head, a yeaaaah! you did it! rush followed by a Okay, you did awesome, you reached that goal. Now try to keep running until you reached the next bridge. And so on and on until I almost reached the end of my route and realised that I could accomplish my run in 8km. I had a choice – I could stop at 8km or I could try and push on to make my usual 10km goal. I was tired, this was the first time I’d gone for a long run in ages, I could go home and shower and head out for dinner and drinks with friends, it was after all a Friday  night and I’d already done two Les Mills classes this week, I should give myself a break. I wasn’t going to be hating on myself if I only did 8km, I was already proud of myself for just shucking on my sneakers and hitting the pavement, and 8km wasn’t a bad thing when you’re just easing back into your usual routine again. But then I thought, hey, if you’re going to feel great just because you did 8km, just think about how fantastic you’re going to feel when you hit the 10km mark.

So I pushed on. It wasn’t anything noteworthy, the last 2km of my run. I didn’t run fast and I did make one or two quick stops along the route to grab a breather and ostensibly admire the sunset river view. But I didn’t let my RunKeeper app stop and I kept pushing on to nab those last 2km and it was with a sweet sense of accomplishment that I heard the RunKeeper automated voice tell me I’d hit the 10km-mark and allowed myself to slow to a cool-down walk. And inside, I was doing a Victory Dance and there was a whole football stadium cheering me on and a fantastic wave of euphoria mixed with a sense of accomplishment rushing over me. Success!

In fact, that feeling was so good, it was what kept me going on the next morning when the alarm rang. My first thought was to hit snooze, roll over and go to bed – it was Saturday after all! I’d done two classes and a 10km run, surely that was enough. I should let my newly sore muscles get a rest. But I was still running (eek – pun) on a high from yesterday’s run and decided to make the most of it and push on again. And so – on to a second Body Combat class! One hour of sweaty punches and kicks, and I was on my way out to meet the weekend – and super glad that I’m back on the track to fitness once again. 🙂


Now that I’ve talked about getting back on track fitness-wise, I’d like to talk about jumping on the healthy food wagon again. But I’ll save that for another post – in the meantime, here’s a scrumptious salad I modified from Julie of Peanut Butter Finger’s chopped veggie salad.

Basically, I tossed into a bowl:

  • One head of broccoli florets, chopped up small and blanched quickly in boiling water for a minute and a half.
  • One small bag of frozen peas, corns and carrots, thawed in a bowl of freshly boiled water for a few minutes.
  • One punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved.
  • One avocado, chopped up.
  • One red pepper, chopped.
  • One small red onion, chopped.

Dressing was the juice of half a lemon, combined with one or two spoonfuls of olive oil and a very small (maybe half a teaspoon) of Dijon mustard. This is the first time I’ve used Dijon mustard for salad dressing and I must say it adds a yummy tangy flavor. Just add very little though, as the taste is pretty strong. In fact, I made quite a big bowl of this salad and over the coming days, I’d sometimes omit the olive oil and lemon juice and just mix half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard in with the salad. It gave just the right amount of taste to this refreshing, crunchy, yummy summer salad.


  1. Pingback: Watercress Salad with Jicama and Seared Scallops | LauraLovingLife


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