How do you get back on your horse?


Well-known member
Guardian from Alberta
Posts: 457
"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Socrates"
That is, what lessons have you learned that help you recommit to consistency?

This podcast from Mind Pump reminded me how STARTING isn't the hardest part of exercise, it's maintaining the discipline to keep going over time:

And then there's this great speech from Rocky:

Eventually we all fail. We all get knocked down by life. How do you pick yourself back up and continue the fight? 👊


Warrior Monk from Terra
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 387
@JohnStrong thank you so much for putting these two here and also asking the question. The Balboa speech is a classic, it's about resilience and grit (two very different things) more than anything else. I sort of skimmed the Mind Pump video and it is OK-ish but ... there is also a certain amount of muddled thinking in it not least discounting motivation as a feeling which therefore should not be examined.

Neuroscience has given us, over the last five-ten years, a very good idea of why we do some things or fail to do them. We know, for instance, that motivation is a specific emotion that arises when the discomfort we feel in one particular physical and mental state reaches a threshold level that is, to some extent, unique to each individual. We are then moved, virtually against our own conscious volition, to take action. For instance, a person who has had a life-threatening health scare is highly motivated to stay healthy and watches their nutrition and never misses their training. Their motivation over time will change, particularly as they get fitter and feel healthier but, at that point, sustainability is maintained by other neurochemical processes involving serotonin and dopamine which affect mood and are linked to the brain's reward system. Their entire identity and behavior will be so linked to training and being fit and healthy that not doing what they have to do will result in them feeling disgruntled and 'off' which, in turn, will lead to that internal sense of discomfort that brings about the motivation we feel to do things.

So, to get to your question of "How do you get back on your horse?" - to begin with you need to have an understanding of why you 'fell off it'. What made you stop? What keeps you from maintaining a fitness routine day after day? When you identify the obstacles and remove them, the task itself becomes easier. When you have identified your reasons for wanting to be fit and healthy and clearly felt their imperative, then your motivation to do so is back.

This video, short as it is, helps a little:

The thing to remember is that 'discipline' can't be consistently hard. That way we fail. So what we do has to be made as easy as possible to do. Then the excuses for not doing it become harder to swallow.

I am not sure how much all this helps and it probably raises quite a few questions so don't hesitate to ask me anything you feel needs greater clarification.


Rogue from Wales
Posts: 11
"On the road to Long Covid Recovery"
It's a good question! And it always reminds me of when I fell off my horse pony and remembering my mother screaming at me "GET BACK ON THAT B***** PONY" - she didn't stop screaming at me until I got back on. I went on to be a strong competitive endurance / race rider. Back then it was just what I did because I had always done it and I was expected to do it. Brewing in the back ground however was the beginnings of a chronic illness which would sap everything out of me through my late teens to late twenties.

I had surgery, started to recover and hit the gym, hard. I had a miscarriage, hit the gym harder. Had a baby (just as the covid lock downs hit, c-section) recovered my health and then got hit hard by covid which seems to have destroyed the fitness I had left!

What gets me back on the horse? It has varied with every time I have fallen off the horse. Sometimes there's a grand goal in the far distance, sometimes I'm punishing myself for perceived failings (I'm not saying that's a good thing - ! Overdoing it in the gym is bad!) e.g. a miscarriage, or in my current situation the realization my quality of life is affected and that I need to regain my fitness to be the mum I want to be.

I guess there's a part of my identity which has always been that's I'm a physically strong, flexible, woman and maintaining / regaining that is a strong motivator for me. When I'm not this I feel wrong so I end up throwing myself into exercise again.

I usually fall of the horse because of illness or get disheartened, but reimagining my goal or having a strong image to chase gets me back on.


Well-known member
Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 593
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
Mostly because of disgust when I realise I fell off the horse and became an undisciplined slop. I have my days when I just get nothing done and just flake around, but if it lasts longer, at one point I can't help and feel disgusted at myself. That usually does the trick.