A few months back I decided it was time to get in shape. In the past I’d tried the gym (yawn), running (a knee or ankle injury waiting to happen) and yoga (a little too docile for my liking). These often ended up getting boring or being massively time consuming. So I set about finding a new way of keeping fit, that would keep me engaged and fit into my busy schedule.

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While looking through Facebook videos and desperately trying to find a way to torture myself…sorry I mean get in shape, I came across a lot of chatter about HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training for the uninitiated. HIIT workouts see you race through a series of quick and intense exercises at 100% effort, followed by a short rest before the torture starts again. There are claims that short HIIT workouts can achieve the same results as cardio sessions which are much longer in duration.

Looking into HIIT a bit further I found a training plan called Freeletics (or free athletics for those of you that like long form) which had a cool app, cool philosophy and some impressive before and after photos. So armed with the Freeletics app, my workout mat and a water bottle I hit the parks full of optimism and a deluded vision of rippling abs and bulging biceps. There was one problem though; HIIT is really, really Hard! No matter how fit you think you are, a set of 25 burpees will quickly and unceremoniously show you’re that you are most definitely not.

One of the things I liked about Freeletics is that around the app and the workouts, they have built an ethos around keeping you motivated to finish those gruelling workouts. One of the resources in their motivational toolbox are their motivational videos. Just like a great pep talk from a respected friend, parent or coach these videos help you find the inner strength to reach your goal, no matter how loud your inner voice is screaming at you to quit.

These videos started out as a tool to put me in the right mindset to blitz my workouts, but have become something that I use in all areas of my life when my will power needs a shot of adrenaline. As dyslexics, an uncomfortable truth is that it’s likely we will have to work harder than our neuro-typical colleagues and friends. The plus side is this usually makes us pretty tenacious, motivated and determined people. However, it’s not an easy path and from time to time we all need a little help. Over the months I’ve been collecting motivational videos to add to my collection. Below are five of my favs, hopefully you will find them motivating too.


The modestly named, ‘Best Motivational Video Ever’ is one of my go to’s. It is a little long and gets a bit slow in places but it does contain some great mantras.

Fav quote: (04.33)

‘Greatness is a lot of small things done well, day after day, workout after workout, obedience (discipline) after obedience, day after day’

The Importance of Failure by JK Rowling

The world of motivational videos is quite oversaturated with big tough men saying big tough things. So the source of this video is surprising to some. Although she may not be the first person you call when things are about to ‘kick off’, this video does show that J.K. Rowling is tougher than she looks. This one’s a great pick me up after a big disappointment.

Fav quote: (02.11)

‘I had an old typewriter and a big idea, and so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life’

How badly do you want it? (Success)

This video is based on a cut down version of a much longer speech by Eric Thomas. This speech pops up all over the internet and is often cut in different ways to convey different messages. This is one of the shorter versions of the video and a good reminder that success comes to those that earn it. This is a good one for any struggling entrapnure.

Fav Quote: (3.36)

‘When you get to the point where all you want to do is be successful as badly as you want to breath, then you will be successful’

Inch by inch by Al Pachino

This speech is taken from football movie, ‘Any Given Sunday’. This is your typical big tough guy saying big tough things to lots of other big tough guys. Even so, this is a surprisingly touching and emotionally intelligent speech. I’ve seen this one used in countless business team building sessions. It’s a great one to play just before any competitive group activity. It’s also a great mantra for life generally.

(Warning: This video contains some colourful language, if you are easily offended then this may not be one for you.)

Fav quote: (2.40)

‘We claw with our finger nails for that inch, because we know when we add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the

[naughty word] difference between winning or losing’

Lose Yourself – Eminem

While not strictly a motivational video, Lose Yourself by Eminem is a pretty inspirational track. It talks about a time in the rapper’s life when he failed and about how much grit and determination it took for him to get back on his feet and try again. The music is heavily influenced by ‘Eye of the Tiger’ used in the Rocky films and the combination of music and lyrics make this one a powerfull motivator. I actually use this track as my alarm clock, it’s a great way to get out of bed with a mission to seize the day.

Fav quote: (1.43)

‘You only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow ‘cause opportunity comes once in a lifetime’

Words by Sean Douglas

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