I have found that if I tell someone that I have gone for a run (especially in the rain/cold), slept outdoors in a bivvy, done press-ups in the mud, got up very early to exercise, got soaked kayaking, climbed a mountain (or similar) I typically get one of three reactions:
- What a nutter (what sane person would do that?)
- That is cool, but I could/would never do that
- Awesome, I love that too!
If I get the first reaction, that is a shame, if I get the second, I think ‘here is someone to work on’ and if I get the third it is ‘let’s go!’. This has got me thinking though, why do I like doing these seemingly crazy things. Why is it actually fun to exhaust myself in a muddy park on a cold, dark wintry morning?
Over the years I seem to have organically been awarding myself ‘cool points’ (I might also have thought of them as ‘smug points’). Gone for a run, that is x number of cool points. Running in the rain, well that is double cool points. Got up at 0530 to go run in the freezing cold in January must surely be quadruple points right?
It’s worth noting that I never seem to have actually associated any actual numbers or any official scaled chart, only that the harder or tougher it is it, it is worth more. As weird as this system is, it does actually work with me as a motivational tool.
This does raise the tricky question of why I feel I need these points? The truth is probably a long held insecurity that leads to a need to test myself. The good news is that I do genuinely feel better for doing these things. They are not joyless achievements or hollow victories but uplifting and often lovely moments.
I wonder if anyone else has devised an internal reward mechanism or if it is just me? Let me know….
Anyway, cool points for everyone!