It’s been a week since I ran my first 10K with John and guess what exercise I’ve done since then? Nothing;) I spent the first few days after the race basking in the glory of my achievement, but was it really my achievement?
To run a 10K race requires training, dedication but above all motivation. I believe to motivate oneself to achieve a particular goal (whatever that is) can be difficult, but if you add Parkinson’s into that equation, then the task becomes all the more harder. And why? Because People with Parkinson’s have depleted amounts of dopamine in our bodies and one of the things that dopamine regulates is motivation. So how did I motivate myself to run 10K? Well the honest answer is I didn’t. I wanted to run the 10K race but I sometimes struggled to motivate myself to go for a run (this struggle to motivate myself is a common theme throughout a lot of my daily activities). If I didn’t have Parkinson’s you could call me lazy… But scientific research is on my side to prove otherwise! The main reason I trained three times a week was because John trained with me. Without realising it, John was my motivation to keep training. There were of course other reasons involved like raising money for Move4Parkinson’s, but the underlying factor in my motivation was that it came from the support, help and encouragement of others.
Of course, we need to be sensible about this. I’m not saying I can’t do anything for myself. I can do lots of things on my own, but with support from friends and family, those tasks that are a little harder than normal can be made easier. So for me, it’s essential to stay honest and realise that I am no longer the indestructible force of my former youth. Instead I have learned a far greater strength, which is to ask for help when I need it. That way, when my motivation is low, the support and encouragement of others can really help me achieve whatever task (big or small) I need to do.
And that’s what People with Parkinson’s need. Someone to offer them support, hope and encouragement – a reason to believe in themselves. I am very lucky to have those people in my life because without them, I don’t think I would have run the 10K race. So, as much as I would like to believe it, I’m not a lone warrior with the motivation to move mountains. I am a person with Parkinson’s, but with my motivational band of brothers, I can achieve anything I want.
It’s time to get back exercising…
About the Author:
Andrew Curran Diagnosed with PD in 2008 at the ripe old age of 29, Andrew is from Meath, but lives and works in Dublin. He spent 6 years on and off travelling around the world, the highlight being an 8 month trip in 2010 where he circumnavigated the globe without flying. Leading a more settled, routine life now, Andrew has learned to accept PD and work with it, which allows him to enjoy life one day at a time.