WHAT KEEPS ME MOTIVATED TO WORK OUT: After A Life Of Competitive Sports, by Lola Wusu

November 08, 2023 2 min read

After A Life Of Competitive Sports
by Lola Wusu, Verse™ Creative Director

Years after my college athlete days, I struggled to find motivation to work out — with goals shifting from sports performance, to health, to fitting into stylish clothes. Despite enjoying various types of workouts, I lacked the drive to push myself.

After my life in competitive sports, I struggled to find the purpose for and a true interest in strength training. As an athlete, the interest was easy, "Get stronger to jump higher or run harder so you can have the stamina to finish strong." As a "civilian adult," (as I like to call it) my goals changed from being healthy so I can live longer, to fitting into those very expensive, non-stretch, jacquard silk/wool pants I adore. That plan quickly foiled as I soon realized that as a fashion designer, I can easily make myself a new pair that fits whatever physical shape I'm in.

Post-pandemic, I started playing sports again and hired a strength coach, Lance (who was featured in one of our most popular Instagram Reels). My motivation was reignited! Competition became my interest, and my accountability was reinforced by my trainer. Exploring different sports like boxing, surfing, pilates, and swimming added excitement to my fitness routine. The variety, novelty, and moments of performance familiarity gave me the internal motivation I needed to sustain my post-athlete lifestyle.

But there’s one other crucial component that really enhances my motivation. That’s Music. 

Music has been a steady and integral part of my workouts since I can remember. It's important that my playlists are as diverse as my workouts. Depending on the workout, my headphones play podcasts and genre-bending playlists. (Here's my workout playlist, shared inlast Monday’s newsletter). Sometimes it’s the change in beat and tempo, or a motivational quote that keeps me in the workout. For me, the newness is the interest I need to keep going. It took me over 10 years to discover what's sustainable for me post-college athletics. I'm curious, what motivates you on your fitness journey? Is it versatility and learning, like it is for me? What's on your playlist?

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