Gyms, yoga studios and pools are closed. Running and Triathlon races cancelled. It is easy to understand why you may start to lose your motivation to workout.

The key to maintaining your commitment is to remember your ‘WHY’. Why do you work out? Why do you race? When you dig deep into your motivation, you’ll find that COVID-19 should not affect your ability to stay the course, you may just need to use a different mode of ‘transportation’.

What are your goals?

It’s important to remember that the virus has not cancelled your goals. Ask yourself why you exercise, train and race? Most likely you do it to improve your physical strength and endurance, mental health, weight management, stress release and to boost your immune system. Aren’t all of those things still important, and even more so now?

Don’t let an obstacle set you back

Our entire world is being challenged right now. You can’t control what’s going on. You can only control your response and your attitude. It’s important to focus on what you can do versus what you can’t do. Athletes are used to this. If you are presented with an obstacle, you go around, over, or through. Quitting is not an option so don’t give up. Your approach may not be as planned but nothing is going as planned right now. Adapt and move on.

Do it differently

If you had a routine of doing Barre three times per week, continue with that plan but just do it online. Most facilities are offering saved and/or live classes so you can continue to participate. Perhaps, you had signed up for a race that was cancelled. Most have transitioned to a virtual option so do that instead. Don’t stop just adjust.

Try something new

If you normally swim and the pools are closed, perhaps this is a great opportunity to try cycling. If your favorite class is cancelled, use this time to try a different type of class online. If your gym is closed, now may be a great time to start running or hiking.

Sense of accomplishment

Many of us workout, train and race because of how it makes us feel when we finish. That does not go away just because you have to do it alone or differently than before. You can still engage in opportunities that challenge you and make you feel amazing and accomplished.


The sense of getting through something tough together is an incredible feeling. Being around other people who are inspiring, who set challenging goals and push to be the best they can be, can be extremely motivating. Even though you can’t be with your normal workout tribe physically, you can still be together in spirit. Perhaps challenge each other to a virtual race or set up a zoom workout. Participate in Facebook live workouts together. Schedule a happy hour with your regular workout buddies. You can still be together, while apart.

Don’t let this steal your joy and take you down. Yes, it’s tough but you are tougher. You can get through this and maybe even come out stronger on the other side.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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