Thursday, January 12

A Broken Water Heater = Motivation

A new year. A fresh start. This time of year is supposed to be full of optimism and energy. So what’s wrong with me? I can’t seem to get motivated.

A new me? Eh, it can wait, I say. A new gym routine? Ugh, I can’t be bothered. I’d rather sit around in my jammies and watch TV.

Is it the cold weather forcing me into a recluse? Maybe it’s some sort of holiday hangover—a big let-down after months of festivities with friends and family?

I’m not sure but my recent attitude reminds me of Newton’s First Law of Physics: a body at rest tends to stay at rest. 

I needed something to get me back on track. A defibrillator to resuscitate my healthy lifestyle. inspiration. Who knew?
I found it in the most unlikely place: a broken water heater.

Last Friday our hot water heater broke. As of Tuesday morning, we were still washing dishes and brushing our teeth with ice cold water. Feeling guilty about bugging my friends to borrow their shower once again, it finally hit me—I can shower at the gym!

Not willing to enter American Family Fitness solely to use the shower, I attended the 8:15 a.m. cycle class. Afterwards I luxuriated in a ridiculously long hot shower. It was fantastic and it reminded me why I joined the gym in the first place.

Eight years ago and struggling to drop the last ten pounds of pregnancy weight after my youngest child was born, I decided to join a gym. I started slowly, attending pilates and yoga classes, nothing too strenuous. Amazingly, that first month I lost five pounds. I was thrilled that the weight was finally coming off, but what really shocked me was how much I enjoyed going to the gym. My weekly outings brought something into my life I hadn't realized was missing—a sense of freedom.

At that time, my children were aged six, three and one. Like every mom of preschoolers, there were no quiet moments to sip a cup of tea, read a magazine or watch TV. My days were filled with runs back and forth to preschool, nap time, potty training and sprinting through as many errands as possible—the grocery store, the dry cleaners, the bank---before afternoon activities, dinner and bedtime. A really good day was defined by a trip to Starbucks. Sipping a latte in the car was my treat, my little luxury.

And then I joined the gym. At first, I just dropped off my one year old Janelle into the daycare center, went to class, picked her up and went home. But then, noticing that Janelle was fine in daycare, I decided to bring some clean clothes and shower at the gym.




For a harried mother of three there was no greater pleasure than showering, getting dressed and fixing my hair and makeup completely ALONE. No little ones crying, whining or tugging on my shirt for attention. It was paradise.

Not only was I losing weight but I had regained some much needed me-time.

Exiting the gym Tuesday, my hair clean and makeup on, I felt fantastic. Ready to take on the day. Just like old times.

Our hot water heater is now fixed (finally!) and yet I’m headed back to the gym today. Not for a hot shower, but because, as I was reminded of yesterday, exercise makes me feel good. It’s time that’s devoted to improving myself and, borrowing a slogan from L’Oreal, because I’m worth it.

Now, don’t make me come and break your water heater. Go find your motivation and get out there. You’re worth it!


  1. It is a big problem and i hope now you should fix it and i only hate this type of things specially when we need it and this thing is not in order like your water heater and i hate to wash dishes and brush teeth with the ice cold water.

  2. That was some motivation you got there, Dianna! Who would have thought that a broken water heater can be a way to get your New Year started! You were able to solve your water heating problems and keep right on track with your New Year goals. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone! :-)[Elia Lester]

  3. “Go find your motivation and get out there. You’re worth it!” – That is the spirit! Well, I hope that you find your inspiration for a fresh start! And fixing the heater is not only for your goals, but for your house as well!

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  5. I know it's a bit late, but I'm glad that you found time to be with yourself alone, even for once. You really deserved it. Thanks to your broken water heater that made it possible for you to became motivated! Talk about an instant blessing in disguise. Haha! Anyway, I wanna hear more of your updates.

    Darryl lorio