Over the past couple of months something hits me at almost every Gaia Fit boot camp class and Small Group session. Boot Camp and exercising in general mirrors real life much more than we realize it and for better and worse, how you approach it may give you a little insight on things you may need to work on.
What does that even mean?
Before I begin, I want to be clear that this is a drop your ego, no judgement zone. When some of my first realizations hit, it was actually me listening and watching class participants and then taking a look at myself - a hard look at myself. But the good thing was, it helped me change some things and fast.
So let's try to explain this a little better. Do you do any of these behaviors?
1. Stay comfortable.
2. Stop right before the finishing mark.
3. Get sloppy at the end. Does half a rep count?
4. Change from an uneven surface to a flat surface.
5. Modify before you try.
6. Refuse to modify anything.
7. Talk through everything.
8. Not talk through anything.
9. Do more because your suppose to feel knocked out dead at the end.
10. Not even get to class because... your knee or shoulder hurts, you are tired, it is raining, it is too hot, you have too many things on your to do list, it is buggy, you will be 10 minutes late...
I hear them already... the defensive excuses, the eye rolling (yes, I can hear your eyes roll, I am a mom.) And I get it. I have been there. Aside from a recovering sugar addict, I may be a recovering defensive addict (in the very beginning stages). It is hard to drop that ego. I know, but try. Not for me - for you.
Let's check these behaviors out bit more:
Do you allow yourself to get uncomfortable? I don't mean just a tad. I mean fight to keep the head straight, breathing out loud hard uncomfortable. So uncomfortable, you want to scream and maybe you do. I watch many people stay just within that comfort zone. You allow yourself right to the edge, just enough to make yourself feel like you are doing something, but just within what you can handle and keep composure.
Challenge: Stop it. I want you to do something in the next class that scares you. I want you to work so hard on one circuit that you are not sure if you will be able to do the next circuit. Don't leave anything in the reserves.
Stop right before the finishing mark or get sloppy at the end. Does half a rep count?
I think I may see this one more than the staying comfortable. Do you stop when the countdown hits 2 or finish that last lunge right before the cone or rush through and allow that half a pull-up to count or stop when there is 5 seconds left because you can't complete a full rep within the time?
Challenge: Finish it! All the way to the end! As simple as that. Finish it.
Change from an uneven surface to a flat surface.
Yes, the grass makes things more challenging. Yes, you might have to slow down - it does not mean you are doing less work. Do you walk on grass outside of class? Do you garden? Would you like to be prepared for the times in life when you are going to have to be on an uneven surface.
Challenge: Practice it in a safe environment and work on muscle control. It will help you in the long run. (Injuries are different - with an injury, we work from stable and build to unstable. Be smart, but challenge yourself. Prepare yourself.
Modify before you try or Refuse to modify anything.
This is one that has two extremes. If you can't do all 10 the advanced way, do you try to do at least 1 or 2 or more and then modify or just play it safe? If we always stay modified, well, we will always stay there which means we are not allowing ourself to get stronger. On the other end, do you refuse to drop down on your thighs for a push-up. Yes, you moving not even an inch. Slow down. Learn it right and you will get way more out of it in the long run.
Challenge: Put the time into learning the exercise. Once you have learned it, don't be afraid of the challenge.
Talk through everything or Not talk through anything.
I really don't mind talking. Not kidding. Really. However, do you talk through everything to take your mind off of it never connecting the mind and the body? Or on the opposite end of this one, do you take everything so seriously, you do not have any fun with it?
Challenge: If the instructor is talking, please stop. Ok. So sometimes the talking drives me nuts. Do at least 2 reps before you start talking. Feel and connect with the cues and what you should be doing. If we are working at level 10, stop talking and if you can talk at a level 10, go up to the first challenge on the list and get out of your comfort zone. We are not one of those places that requires not talking - there is no fun in that. Life doesn't work like that either. Workouts should be fun too, but don't stop paying attention and ramp it up when you are suppose to.
Do more because your suppose to feel knocked out dead at the end.
Sometimes this is a case of going back to getting out of your comfort zone and sometimes it feels good to just plain old kick your own you know what. However, not every workout is suppose to wipe you out. Your body needs variety. It like variety. You are working out to feel stronger and to have more energy. Allow your workout to provide you that energy. Feeling run down, tired and hurting all the time is not normal. Plain and simple.
Challenge: Allow yourself to feel good and a workout to feel easy sometimes. However, if you are always a in your comfort zone person, ignore this challenge because you have not felt knocked out dead yet.
Not even get to class because...
Challenge: Yes, this one speaks for itself. Stop making excuses. You have the power and control to make it happen. Make. It. Happen.
Do you see the relationship of this list to real life?
The most successful people have failed more than they have succeeded. Get out of your comfort zone. Discipline yourself to do it right and challenge yourself to get to the next level. Finish it. Don't stop before that finish line. You are cutting your journey short. The road is not always going to be smooth. Learn how to maneuver through the bumps. Have fun, but know when to take it serious. Find balance in life. Work hard. Get knocked out tired from working so hard at what you love, but not so hard that you can't have a little fun and enjoy life. Otherwise, what are you working so hard for? And finally, just stop. Stop the excuses and begin the journey! Because it is awesome and you are amazing!