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“Excuse me, have you seen my mojo?”

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I actually yelled at my dog Stella for pooping on our walk this morning. Like, what was she supposed to do? When a doggy’s gotta go, a doggy’s gotta go. But I was in no mood to dig out a bag, scoop up her warm, squishy poo and carry it around until I could find a garbage can.

I felt bad almost as soon as I did it, but my reflexive response was irritation. In fact, my reflexive response to a lot of things these days seems to be irritation. For weeks – idk, maybe months – I’ve been touchy and bad-tempered. I nit-pick at my long-suffering husband (even more than usual), I get annoyed in traffic (seriously, does nobody know how to merge?), and I’m impatient with nearly everyone. And uncharacteristically, I can’t seem to muster any enthusiasm for my workouts. I rush through them, just counting laps in the pool or watching the clock until my run is over.

This is just not like me.

Where the hell has my mojo gone?

When I showed up 25 minutes late for my personal training session this morning, I think my trainer guessed something was wrong. It’s not like I’m never late (I am), but I was even more surly than usual. When I started explaining how out-of-sorts I felt, I very nearly started crying.

“What’s up?” she asked.

“I dunno, I feel like I’ve lost my spark. I count on my workouts to charge me up, to fill up my tank and re-energize me. But lately I mostly just dread them.” I said, feeling completely deflated. “Used to be that I was always building up to something, always improving, always getting better or faster. Lately, I just feel like I’m treading water. I’m just working out because I have to, not because I love it.”

“Hmmmm,” she pondered. “You have been really busy with getting your book finalized and ready to be published this summer, and putting your house up for sale and getting ready to move is taking a lot of time and energy. You’ve got a lot on your plate right now,” she observed. “But let me think about it while we work out.”

So we started in on a pretty normal workout for us: squats and lunges, bench press, some stability ball pikes and tucks. All fairly routine. When we ended she said, “How would you feel about charting out our weight lifting workouts so they’re a little more focused? So you can see your progress over time? I mean, I already keep track of how much you can lift, but what if I worked up a spreadsheet for you so that you could see how you’re getting stronger?”

“Yeah, that’s a good idea. I like seeing improvement,” I agreed. “I think that’s part of what I miss about running so much (I can’t run much these days, post-knee surgery). I don’t feel like I’m getting better anymore.”

So that’s what we’re gonna do: my trainer’s gonna write up the specifics of my weight training workouts and chart out my progress – and while she’s doing that, I’m gonna chase after my mojo.

Now, this is not earth-shattering, nor does it relieve any of the pressure I’m under in other areas of my life. Still, I know from marathon training and triathlon training, I am my best self when I am in hot pursuit of a goal. I crave the rush of physical challenges because it reinforces for me every day that I am one tough cookie. Also, I find that difficult workouts really put clean eating in perspective. I always say that making good food choices seems easy after a difficult workout. As a matter of fact, everything seems easy after a difficult workout!

My mojo is out there and I’m going after it. If you’ve felt yours waning lately too, come with me! I think we’re happiest when we’re striving to be our best selves. Sometimes it takes a few months’ worth of a funk for me to remember: I can’t be my best when I’m passive. Success is risk. Success is putting it all on the line. Success is being willing to fall flat on your face and fail. But I’ve come to realize, failure isn’t nearly so bad as holding back. So no more holding back for this girl!


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