It’s Time to Get Motivated!

Posted December 30, 2019

Here we are again staring at another new year.  We need to reset as we are now about to roar into the 20’s of the 21st century.  Well, let’s hope to roar into the new decade, but we need motivation first. When is the last time you looked in the mirror and asked yourself, “What motivates me?” Different things motivate different people but I think we can all agree that most people in one way or another do get excited about the prospects of going on a vacation.

Vacations are great motivators!

The vision of snow skiing, or hiking a ski mountain in the summer, is one of my most effective personal motivational tools. My ski trips are planned and then used as my personal fitness GOAL! I am also beginning to plan summer cycling and/or hiking trips as well. If I am weight training or if I am working out in the HOTWORX infrared workout sauna, I am in constant training for my next ski trip, or hike! That’s me. For you, it might be the same or it might be a surfing vacation, or a trip that involves scuba diving or paddle boarding, a yoga retreat, or some other physical activity.

I have always believed that in order for anyone to achieve a balance in life, some sort of physical fitness goal has to be a part of the equation. For me, now that my bodybuilding and football days have passed, that physical fitness goal has changed to quality snow skiing for the most part. I work to improve my physical fitness for the purpose of upping the “quality” of my snow skiing game. Skiing is the most fun that I can have while achieving a high level of quality exercise at the same time. Recently, though, I have added hiking to the mix.

My most recent fitness vacation did involve a mountain, but not for skiing.  Rather, this mountain, the Gros Piton in Saint Lucia which originally attracted my attention for its sheer beauty became the object of my passion for fitness. Years ago, I remember admiring and then tearing out a magazine picture of Sugar Beach, which is nestled between the two volcanic Piton mountains. These two mountains comprise the smaller Petite Piton and the larger Gros Piton.  I taped that magazine page to my washing machine to remind that one day I would go to Sugar Beach to experience the beauty of that island in person. 

It wasn’t until recent years that my Saint Lucia thoughts turned to a wonder of what it would be like to actually climb the Gros Piton. Those thoughts turned into a new fitness goal to scale the Gros Piton. With that new goal in mind, I set out to create a business objective that would allow my colleagues and I, along with our significant others, to travel to Saint Lucia for a corporate vacation retreat.  We did indeed accomplish the business objective and earn the trip sending us down there to that beautiful island in December 2019.

I invited all of the group to climb the mountain and when it came time for the actual hike there were four of us who stepped up for the challenge. They included me and my girlfriend Brittany, my great friend and HOTWORX business coach Jeremy Harwell (the original manager of the first HOTWORX location in Oxford, MS), and one of my best friends for many years Jerome Price, the husband of my business partner Nancy.

I often train at HOTWORX with Brittany and I can always rely on her for a great infrared workout. Jeremy, Jerome and myself constitute the “Wrecking Krewe” which is our self proclaimed name for our 7:30 a.m. Monday-Friday morning weight training group.

Jerome agreed to hike up to a point and then wait for the rest of us to climb to the top and come back down. Jerome battles from a lingering back injury.

So, we decided to take a boat from the small village of Soufriere to the beach at the foot of the Gros Piton to begin our trek.  We wanted to scale the entirety of the mountain from the beach to the top.  Most of the hikers begin from the end of a road that leads to a beginning point about a quarter of the way up the mountain, which is cheating in my opinion.  Normally, according to most accounts, it takes four hours from that abbreviated point to hike up and then back down to that same point.  Very few Gros Piton climbers begin from the true base of the mountain which is at the beach. 

We scaled that mountain from beach to top (2,618.9 ft.) and back down to the beach in four hours and thirteen minutes. The climb took us up a makeshift trail that consisted of dirt paths, steep rocks, railings (where there was railing) made of branches that were randomly nailed together, trees, giant roots, vines and stumps, along with many other winding obstacles and crude man-made steps. I burned an incredible 2,769 calories during that climb. We all agreed that it was the the best HIIT workout of our life thus far! What a rush it was to get to the top. 

Accomplishment of a fitness goal is always fun!

So, I practice weight training and HOTWORX to make myself a better skier, and hiker now. If I have better skills, then I have more fun on the slopes, and to me that is the greatest natural high ever! Planning for a good ski trip or a great hiking excursion is a super motivator for my fitness routine.

I always set a specific date for my next fitness vacation. Then, I ready myself with weight training and HOTWORX. When I finally get to the vacation destination, it’s GOAL time!

Use of a physical fitness goal that involves a sport related vacation can supremely elevate your workout program.

Ready, set, GOAL your way to top notch fitness!

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Stephen P. Smith, MA

CEO and Creator of the HOTWORX
Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player
Certified Professional Trainer