I have always been able to tap into my memory bank and remember very vivid moments in my life. I think we all have those moments that we wish we could take back, those moments that we wish we could have again to get it right. I like to think of them as defining moments...
I have many defining moments, two in particular that really make me feel like I would love the me of today to go back in time and kick my own little butt.
I don't know the ages of the two events but the first one I know I was very young. It was a father and son bike ride, we went out and round the block in Zimbabwe. I'm guessing the local council had just re-done the tar on our road because when we set out it was thicker tarmac than usual. As we cycled I started to get tired, I started to wish I had never even bothered; we turned down our road on the home straight and hit the dreaded tarmac again.
It seems so vivid now but over the years I may have embellished the memory in my mind. All I remember of that day was breaking down into tears 200 metres from home because my little legs felt like I was cycling through quick sand. All I wanted was someone to drag me to the finish line, through the gate to our house and plop me down in front of the TV. I didn't have the stones to just man up and finish the cycle so I got off my bike and walked the 200 metres home feeling like a loser.
Fast forward to a few years later, to the first time I was trying to lose weight in my life; a challenge that kids today are going to have to face more and more. My dad and I went out for a jog, it was an early morning before school and I was struggling to carry the extra pounds that I had accumulated. Don't worry the tarmac had been worn down a bit by this stage so it was just the fat that was holding me back.
We followed a similar route to the cycle that I had done years earlier; believe it or not the exact point where I bottled it on my bicycle I bottled it on my jog. I felt completely panicked by my heavy breathing, the encouragement from my dad to keep going only made me panic even more. I remember thinking that I was dying. So what did I do…? I stopped, I gave up on myself again. I probably cried, then walked home and ate a big bowl of cereal to drown my sorrows.
Now I know what you are thinking… What a little loser... And so you should! Why was I so easily defeated by something so simple? I guess we will never really know, what I do know is that I use moments like those to drive me to be better to this day. Sure, I can focus on the positives: at least I was trying and all that jazz but the reality is that I could have tried harder.
These days, when times get tough in my workouts, when I can’t breathe; even when I feel like I don’t want to exercise I cast my mind back to moments like those and let them be the driving force behind my next session. Kevin Costner’s quote in Tin Cup (one of the best movies ever made) resonates with me sometimes, “When a defining moment comes along you define the moment, or the moment defines you.”
Use your past to influence your mindset in the present and create a better, stronger future for yourself. It can be within fitness, lifestyle or within your diet. Fuel your mind by striving to be better than you were yesterday and the day before.
Go out and take the week by storm! (That's not a Doris or Dineo joke for those in the UK and Southern Africa.)
Have a great week!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I feel like last week I had a lot of conversations. I normally talk quite a lot anyway but last week was particularly busy on the mouth and talking front.
Most of my conversations have been about personal development and sharing some of the things that I have learned in the last few years.
I’m not expert at life coaching, I feel I have a lot of a life experience; I have also read a lot of personal development books. The reason I have read a lot of personal development books is quite interesting actually…
In 2014 I was on google looking into one of the personal trainers that had inspired me, one the people I respect a lot in the industry is a guy called Tony Horton. He created the world famous P90X home workout plans and I discovered that he had written a book called, “The Big Picture."
I thought I would give it a read because it would be interesting to use for client development once I became a personal trainer, I was instantly hooked, each night I would come home from work and get stuck in to reading a couple of chapters. Initially I thought, "I’ve already lost weight and changed my life, I don’t need any personal development.” Little did I know that I would become a sponge and absorb most of the book, applying certain points and philosophies to my life.
I feel like the reason I absorbed so much was because I wasn’t in a mindset where I was searching for a magical cure. I simply started reading a book that ended up teaching me to think a little differently.
Most self help or personal development books run along similar themes, each author will try and tell you their secrets to success and the reason that there isn’t just one book, miracle cure, out there is because no road to success is ever going to be the same.
There are 3 main things that I have learned from reading a lot over the last few years. I thought I'd share them with you this fine Monday to get you week going strong!
Simply put, all the conversations that I have had this week, in my head and with other people, have had the same theme. YOU ARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTH. If you believe in yourself, just that tiny bit each day, then you will start to expand your horizons and your future will look brighter and brighter.
Never underestimate yourself because you are capable of extraordinary things.
Have a great week ahead, Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘being true to yourself’ and wondered what the hell it means? I have. In fact if someone had said that to me a few years ago when I was going through a tough time I would have just laughed it off as a silly passing comment.
In fact being true to oneself is a simple process of aligning the different centres of our body; our thoughts, our emotions and our instincts.
Our life is shaped by our thoughts, our thoughts are influenced by our surroundings; the internet says that we have about 68000 thoughts per day, that seems like a lot right? Possibly quite accurate though. If that is the case then how does that affect what we do each day? More importantly, how does this shape us as human beings?
Imagine that this picture below is you. Each of the circles influence each other.
Our thoughts will influence our emotion, our emotion is also influenced by our instinct. With the amount of exposure to social media, advertising and the new quick sharing video formats as well as all the other pressures of our modern world, we are exposing our minds to a lot of distraction. In fact research shows that a large percentage of our thoughts each day can be quite negative.
If you have followed this blog for a while you’ll know that I am a strong believer in empowering ourselves to make healthy choices. Choosing means that we are in control of out thoughts, we are less distracted and focused on positive influence.
Using the same image from above I’d like to simulate two thought scenarios and their possible outcome.
On the right you have a positive thought process regarding exercise, inside the red circle is the thought; the amber circle is the emotion attached, an excitable change! Our instinct says the thought is a good one and because it compliments the emotion the thought process is verified as positive.
On the left you have a negative thought process regarding exercise, a negative thought about becoming fitter creates a negative emotion, the instinct realises the challenge but because the emotion is negative and the thought is negative you create another negative, bad nervous, or being scared. Instinct can be overpowered if we are not careful.
It is safe to say that some of us will go through each of those processes every day, we will be confident about certain things and negative about certain things. The trick is to understand when we have a negative thought process and challenge that process in terms of your dream or goal.
For someone new to exercise (or someone getting back into it) failing at becoming fitter is not possible because being fitter is being able to do more than you have previously done.
What I do each day in my job is turn people’s thoughts into the right hand column of the picture. I get them to disengage with the left hand column. In other words I get people to learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think. If you know HOW to challenge your negative thoughts and manoeuvre your way to a positive result then you’ll ultimately be on the path to your goal or your dream.
For example: THOUGHT - “I haven’t trained in a while, I feel fat.” EMOTION = Unhappy. INSTINCT will recognise the challenge and you should rise to it by doing exercise. Where a lot of people fail is when they let the immediate negative thought spiral into more negative thoughts, (I know I certainly did when I was big) the negative thoughts take hold of the EMOTIONS, those emotions then overpower the INSTINCT and you are left fighting a battle in your own mind.
This can lead to anxiety, stress and sadness. What is the number one best thing to fix being sad? Target the pleasure centres of the brain! How do most people do that? They get their hands on some 'feel good' foods, drinks or even alcohol and other drugs. (I know first hand what negative thoughts can do.)
What is my point for this fine Monday morning? Well, my point is that you really need to challenge yourself each day to think more positive thoughts! I can’t think for you and just because I write this blog each week doesn’t mean that I am the most awesome, positive thinker in the world. I had to teach myself to be positive and the only way I could do that was to take some time and ask myself a question within my thought process...
Does this situation, thought or action align with my goal in life or the things I am striving for? If yes then that is positive, if no then chances are I am allowing a poor choice into my life.
I.E. I want to eat a cheeseburger! Does it fall into line with my ultimate goal of being fitter? Probably not, therefore what can I do about it? Is there a healthier option? Could I eat a watermelon?
This week do yourself a favour, be focused on being true to YOURSELF! Choose to ask yourself honest questions and give yourself honest answers...
"Is this thought, action or situation contributing positively or negatively to my life?” If positive then GREAT! If negative then what can you do to change your direction towards your goal?
If you are unsure about goal setting and would like some help then I encourage you to contact me below and I can guide you through a few steps.
I hope that this post has been helpful and I trust that you will draw from it what you need for your life at the moment. Results and positive thinking don't just happen over night, it is a process, a habit and one that we are all more than capable of forming.
Have a great week ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I’d like to ask you a question today….
What do you see here?
If your answer is a Watermelon then you’d be correct! However, if you tuned into the blog post I wrote last Friday (click here) you’d know that perception is always down to the individual.
You may see a fruit, but I see my salvation. Not salivation, salvation…
You might also think that salvation is a strong word, but let me explain. Watermelon has contributed to saving my life; it made my relationship with food much more positive and continues to do so to this very day.
Have you ever thought about the reach that you have through your footprint on earth? Not the footprints on the ground but the footprint and influence you have in other people’s lives. I post a lot of pictures on Instagram and Facebook often there is a handstand or a watermelon or both. It has gotten to the point that people who don’t know me very well only really know that I love watermelons.
I have been sent countless links on Facebook and Instagram of watermelon videos, watermelon gadgets and anything to do with watermelons, simply because I eat a lot of watermelon and I am not scared to talk about it.
I am trying to show people that a relationship with good food can be fun; it can be positive…
Let’s put it this way, if the name of blog post today was, “10 reasons to eat watermelon everyday” followed by a picture of a watermelon, you’d probably be asleep before finishing the title. Also, who really wants to sit and think of 10 reasons to eat watermelon? Especially when you only need 1 - TO BE AS COOL AS ME!
On a more serious note, I have said that my mission in life is to make the world a happier and healthier place; that is the reason behind Raw Motion Fitness, I want to inspire people. The one way I know how to inspire people is to be enthusiastic about the things I love and share it with the people around me.
In truth I taught myself that if I fancied a ‘treat' or something to snack on then a healthy bit of fruit would nourish my body a lot more than a handful of crisps or a slab of chocolate. I fell in love with watermelon and my love for watermelon has reached many different people who have now engrained healthy habits into their lives as a result.
That is why I love watermelon; it reminds me of why I do what I do. It reminds me to be my own person and fight to spread positive vibes to people around the world.
Here’s a little challenge for you; whether you work in an office, a bar, or a health club the next time you have the chance to bring food in and share it around make the effort to share something healthy. I’d be interested to hear what happens!
A slightly different start to your Monday I’m sure, but possibly as refreshing as a nice watermelon! If this post wasn't enough to prove my love for watermelon you can watch the video below!
Have a great week ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Eating Healthy!
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.