Jim Silva: Find your motivation, then get active

I’ve written a lot about motivation through the years – what motivates me to run and what motivated me to begin my fitness journey nearly five years ago.

To recap my story: In August of 2009 I decided I was tired of being out of shape. I was a few months away from turning 40 and needed to do something. After watching my close friend run a marathon, I decided I was going to change my ways.

At first I could barely run a mile. But slowly and surely I increased my fitness, improved my eating, lost weight and worked my way up to running a half-marathon. A few years later I decided to train for my first marathon. And now five years later I’ve run three marathons and am in the best shape of my life.

What I needed to begin my journey was motivation.

Motivation comes in various forms. You can be tired of feeling unhealthy. You may be battling health issues and need to get stronger. You may want to lose weight or want to look leaner and more fit.

I don’t think there is any bad motivation. What motivates you may not motivate me. You just need to figure out what that motivation is and focus on it.

Motivation can change. When I started my fitness journey I was focused on turning 40 and wanting to feel and look better. Then I was motivated to be a healthy example for my two kids. And I was motivated by my readers, who encouraged me while I was training for my first marathon.

I’ve also been inspired by my Team In Training teammates, and worked hard to inspire them.

I am continually trying to prove something to myself. That I’m strong. That I’m capable. And that I can endure.

I encourage you to find your motivation. Think about what motivates you, and then focus on it.

Use that motivation to help you get stronger and healthier. It’s a worthwhile journey.

Locals complete Western States 100-miler

Congratulations to ShadowChase Running Club members Nile Sousa and Thomas Lopes, who completed the 2014 Western States 100-mile endurance run. The ultra-marathon takes runners from the start in Squaw Valley to Auburn.

Sousa, 60, of Modesto finished the race in 25 hours, 38 minutes, 8 seconds. He finished 149th out of 296 finishers and placed second in his age group (60-69).

Lopes, 42, of Riverbank finished in 28 hours, 54 minutes, 25 seconds. He placed 254th.

Congratulations to both on this tremendous accomplishment!

Different kind of 5K

Along with the boom in running events over the past few years, there has also been a boom in fun runs. There are mud runs and obstacle races.

Last weekend there was a Color Me Rad 5K event in Modesto. The event features competitors dressed in white being sprayed with multicolored cornstarch during the run. It sure looks like fun.

I’ve never done one of these events but I’m getting interested in them. I consider myself a traditional runner, but I think it would be fun to try one of these races.

I think it’s a great way to attract people who may not be interested in running a traditional race. And whatever gets people outside being active is good.