Motivation Monday: Don’t Have To, I Get To


Do you ever find yourself dreading workouts that you used to love?

My care-free country runs on vacation over the summer helped me to fall in love with running all over again. As I get back to more serious training, I don’t want to lose the joy of running.


morning run


I realized on a recent easy family stroller run that much of running (and life) comes down to my attitude.  We had a great run because I chose to say I “get to” run with the whole family.  Near the end of a training plan, that often changes.  I find myself saying I “have to” run 10 miles tomorrow, or I “have to” do a tempo run today.

I’m learning that “HAVE to” leads to attitude (and negativity).

“GET to” leads to gratitude.

Don't have to


It struck me how many other areas of my life could benefit from this simple word replacement.

I don’t have to cook dinner for my family, I get to provide healthy meals and have access to fresh foods.

I don’t have to wake up early, I get to savor quiet downtime or a workout before everyone else gets up.

I don’t have to stay home with my daughter, I get to savor this time and enjoy her every discovery.

I don’t have to teach spinning, I get to motivate others on their fitness journey.

I don’t have to be busy all the time, I get to choose how to spend my free time.

I don’t have to do and be all things for all people, I get to use my time and talents to love those around me and seek the peace of my city.

I don’t have to stress about our future, I get to enjoy today and can trust that everything will come together in time.

And tomorrow, I don’t have to get up early to squeeze in a run.  I get to energize my body, mind and spirit.



Laura Peifer is a social worker (MSW), and is a part-time spin instructor, health coach-in-training, and mom of a spirited 2 year old.  She has been running for over 12 years, and loves healthy recipe experimenting and nutrition. Her blog, Mommy, Run Fast is a compilation of training tips, healthy recipe modification, and challenges including virtual races and Menu planning link ups.  She can also be found on Twitter, Instagram and >Pinterest.



  1. cheryl says

    Have said this for over 40 years with my running, cycling, swimming, weight lifting, yoga, hiking….etc. etc. It’s my reward after a hard day/week/month/year of working!

  2. says

    Found you via a link on Love, Life, Surf ( I just love this mindset! Although I love to walk, I really dislike exercising. Inevitably, anything I do turns into “Well, I have to do this today” and generally I am so dispirited or ambivalent about it that I just don’t do it. I write a great deal about gratitude, and am always so thankful to find new perspectives. Thanks!

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