Motivation from a man named Matt

Where do you find motivation?

Do you find it in goal making? Do you find it in health? Do you find it in a person? Or, do you find it in competition and challenges?

For me, it’s all of the above.

But today, I want to talk specifically of the person/challenge side of things.

About 3 weeks ago, my Big Brother and I engaged in a “friendly” challenge to keep ourselves active in this time of Covid. We declared we’d partake in moderate to intense exercise 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

When my husband overheard us laying out the terms of the challenge, he rolled his eyes.

When my son overheard us, he whooped and championed me to be the winner.

You see, both these boys of my life know all about mine and Big Brother’s “friendly” challenges.

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Pretty much, they become full out competition.

On day 1 of the challenge, Big Brother texted me his stats of 43 minutes; he had exceeded the timeframe by 13 minutes.

So, obviously I had to do 47.

This is how we are.

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Nine years ago Big Brother challenged me to a 10 km race.

He declared from the get-go he’d kick my butt.

Never mind that I was training for my second marathon at the time, and that I’d just come off my fastest half marathon of the time.

He’s a soccer player, he said, they run sprints all the time.


I won!

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That day with my brother is one of the best experiences of my life.

So many of my childhood memories are filled with him: sharing our birthday parties; racing wheelchairs in the halls of Children’s Hospital, and elevators too; tagging behind him and his friends, annoying the heck out of them, every chance I got; Big Brother rubbing my back when my blood sugars were scary low; going for drives in his truck as a teenager (those times he deemed me worthy) and trying to act super cool but inevitably snorting with laughter minutes into the drive 😀

As we grew older, and grew our own families, those times became less and less.

But that race day, that was just the two of us.

My brother is a huge motivating factor for me.

The ribbing, the taunting, the goading is exactly what I need to get my butt in gear when my fitness motivation falters. And Big Brother doesn’t let me down.

I knew when I presented this latest challenge to him, he wouldn’t let me phone it in.

Hell no!

Every morning he sent me his stats, and I often based my day’s exercise routine off those stats. If he put in extra time, you better believed my time would be more.

Our rest days weren’t aligned, and I often took it upon myself to taunt him on those days with my hard efforts.

He always returned the favour!

I’m pretty sure my legs, and even a little of my core, have never worked harder.

sweaty mess

He was exactly the motivation I needed.

Today is Big Brother’s birthday.

In his honour, I did a core strength session, which I pretty much loathe, but he loves.

That’s how much I love this guy!

But dear brother, please note, you’re never gonna kick my butt 😉

Happy Birthday Matt!



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