Ever struggled with the motivation to exercise? Then you’re not alone, as Jess reveals…
When Jess Ennis-Hill retired from competing in 2016, the motivation that had previously fuelled her world-class athleticism took a drastic nosedive. Here, she tells us how her mindset has changed when it comes to fitness and invites you to share your own motivation for getting Jennis fit…
“Today, my major motivation is to inspire my children, and I’m driven by the hope that if my children see me exercise, keeping fit will become the norm to them"
“When I was training and competing, exercise was essentially my job, so that was my main motivation. My body was a finely tuned piece of equipment, and the exercise was all about an end goal. Although I enjoyed training, I didn’t always love it, and the pressure and expectation that came with it made it extremely difficult at times.
“Towards the end of my career, even though I felt really proud of what I’d achieved, my motivation changed. Instead of feeling inspired to train and win, I was excited by the thought of retirement and wanting to stop.
When that day came, I remember walking my dog Myla through the woods. I’d already had the discussion with my coach, team and family about announcing my retirement, but the moment I hit share on Instagram, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders.
The next chapter
Over the next few months, I didn’t run, do circuits or any form of exercise. I just needed to switch off completely. Then, slowly, I began to miss it. Not the competition or training as such, but the buzz you get when you exercise, so I started training in my home gym, creating circuits, doing hill repeats and working out because it made me feel good.
"I still push myself and work hard in every session, but being a mum of two, I have to train smarter"
“Ironically, I still do very similar sessions to the ones I did when I was training for competition, I just do them in a different way and with a new mindset – and actually look forward to them.
I still push myself and work hard in every session, but being a mum of two, I have to train smarter, which means packing in quality circuits that don’t take hours – more like half an hour.
The little big driver
“Today, my major motivation is to inspire my children, and I’m driven by the hope that if my children see me exercise, keeping fit will become the norm to them. I want them to see all the great things you get from living an active life – not necessarily to the elite level, although that would be nice, too! Reggie always joins in when I’m doing my circuits and he often tasks me with the hardest exercises, saying, ‘come on mummy – let’s do one armed press-ups.’” Even Liv (who’s only one), gets involved when she sees me in my training kit. She totters into the spare room to grab one of my crop tops, puts it straight over her head and tries to do squat jumps.
We’re all motivated in different ways, with different things inspiring us at different times of our lives. We’d love to hear what motivates you today, so please share your stories with the Jennis Community