What is your motivation to walk the Four Days Marches?
Think in advance about your true motivation to participate in the Four Days Marches. This is very important in difficult times. Every walker has moments in which thoughts to stop prevail. At these times, thinking back to the original motivation may help you get over it. Motivation can be of different sorts:
You want to break new ground, you are independent and do not care about other people’s opinions. Your motivation is founded in improving yourself.
You are very competitive. You don’t want to be second in anything. You tell others that you have walked the Four Days Marches without any training (which hopefully isn’t true). You are motivated by comparing your own performance with that of others.
You are satisfied as long as you do things in your group or with your partner. Walking alone, your motivation decreases. Your motivation is founded in supporting the group and being supported by it and you talk or sing each other through difficult moments.
Setting up goals
One way of staying motivated is to define targets. Seeing the whole Four Days Marches as one long march will discourage many a walker. It is a difficult and long march for which a proper training is necessary. But you can separate the whole Four Days March into the four days, and start with finishing the day of Elst. Many people tell each other after finishing the day of Wijchen that they have done half the Four Days Marches already. Not many people have to stop on the fourth day, because after finishing three days their motivation is so high that they gain a second wind.
It also helps to set yourself mini-goals during a training march, for instance places to take a rest or famous spots during the walk. This prevents you from constantly asking yourself how long the walk will take and how much kilometres you still have to walk which are thoughts that cause you to feel more tired and disheartened.
Some people love to talk while walking. Other prefer to walk in silence or listing to music. This has to do with different preferences and with being an introvert of an extrovert personality. Take your preferences into account before you get irritated by others. Feelings of irritation can influence your motivation negatively. They can also lessen your resistance and you will feel more pain and tiredness.