Mar 13, 2020
Wouldn’t it be nice if our motivation was consistent? If every day we woke up we knew exactly what we wanted to do, how to do, and the motivation to actually get it done? Truth be told, we probably experience pockets of this, and maybe some of you can string together months at a time of getting into “flow.” Finding our motivations and processes is a process in itself, and it’s a journey worth going on.
Let me introduce a person that has been on that journey, and done it well, Margo Mountjoy. Margo began her relationship with professional sport as a synchronized swimmer for her home country Canada. Today she is a member of the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission, a member of faculty and a consultant for multiple Canadian Universities, and a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Among these and other things, Margo has served as a team physician and continues her research work in the fields of women’s health, anti-doping, and abuse in sports environments. If there is someone who has a great amount of motivation, it’s Margo. Pull up this podcast right now to hear all the things Margo is doing to help the sports world.
Although going from professional athlete to Olympic committee member seems like an obvious progression, Margo’s journey was a bit more winding than you would expect. “I didn’t start my Ph.D. till I was over 50,” she says. After she ended her competitive swimming career, she attended medical school and stepped away from athletics to focus on her education.
From there, Margo completed her residency and began her career as a physician. It was during residency that Margo found a love for promoting physical wellbeing. Since that time, Margo has often been driven by seeing a need and working to fulfil it. Personal accolades or titles don’t motivate her, simply helping people does, and it’s what has kept her working so hard for so long.
Whenever we get discouraged, it’s good to complete an inventory and see what our motivations are. When what we do is greater than ourselves, we can always go a little further. “Nothing personal motivates me,” Margo says. Receiving a hand written note thanking her for her work can mean just as much to her as having impressive research articles published.
This isn’t to say that Dr. Mountjoy doesn’t get frustrated occasionally. “I’m not someone who is going to solve all the problems in the world,” she says, “It is a little frustrating at times...but you must remain patient and wait for the opportunity.” As she works on changing cultures and systems, there will inevitably be moments that Dr. Mountjoy can’t control, but she doesn’t feel overwhelmed. She stays ready to act when the moments are given to her.
For Margo, keeping the goal as her guiding force is powerful. She has the athlete’s best interest at heart which keeps her motivated and patient during the difficult times.
We can learn a lot from her vision. As a runner, it’s important to have those end goals in mind that allow us to enjoy the moment and do the things that are best for us. Whether that is allowing ourselves to eat enough food to keep our body energized, or keeping a thought of those who look up to us in mind as we hit walls on our runs, having sustainable motivation is key.
Wherever you are in your running journey, it’s good to know where you are. Do you have a pain that is bothering you? Do you have a hard time sleeping? Do you feel like you have less any energy than the people around you? Are you always hungry or always full?
We will never be perfect runners, but there is no sense in delaying our potential. Dr. Mountjoy stresses the importance of being aware of all your body functions. Make sure that you are checking in on yourself and doing those things you know will help you perform to your best ability. Get your sleep, eat enough nutritious food, and seek professional advice for any issues that you have questions about.
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Thank you to Margo, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.