TIME FOR EXERCISE!
TIME FOR SCHOOL!
TIME FOR WORK!
TIME TO RELAX!
TIME TO BREATHE!
TIME FOR HOLIDAYS…
I think that we can all relate to those phrases in some way. There are probably more than 10 books for each an every one of those phrases, be it preparing for each one, or how to create more of the TIME needed for each thing.
"It’s a funny thing time," that was the thought running through my head the other day in the car on the way to film a We Move Fitness workout. I allowed plenty of time to get there and set up and found it ironic in a way that I was making time to create a video that could potentially save people time by getting them fitter in a shorter space of time. As you can see my mind wanders randomly whilst I'm driving...
Time can be explained, by wikipedia no least, as the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.
There are two major philosophical view points on time:
Time is explained in physics, and what most people come to associate the word time with, as ‘what the clock reads,’ or calendar events such a meetings etc.
As a personal trainer I run a business based on time, and whilst I utilise the physics of time within sessions for specific exercises or time slots for each client I also try to get each client to think about realising that time is always on our side, especially when it comes to fitness.
The biggest and most important realisation for me when I changed my mindset about being healthy was realising that time was on my side and it was something that I could give myself. I didn’t read any books on how to create more time or how to manage my time. I just decided that instead of sitting on my bum eating a chocolate ice cream or a tin of pringles I could give myself that time to go for a walk. I changed the association of time in my mind, instead of sitting there feeling sorry for myself thinking that time was slipping away from me, I went out of my way to give myself the time for a walk. If you think about it, it is a win/win. I don't eat rubbish and feel rubbish, I get some exercise and form a positive association with time in my mind.
We live in a world where time is of the essence - a world where time seems to ‘run away with us’ and we forget about giving ourselves the time to look after ourselves.
I have written about time before, but not in this context, click here to read that post - make sure to come back to this one though...
I’d like you to think about this today... I’d like you to think about time as a gift that you give to yourself rather than something you create. The next time you think about ‘making time’ for exercise or for something that you know will help soothe your soul then I’d like you to flip that on it’s head and say that you are going to GIVE yourself the time to take care of yourself.
Why am writing this today? Well, partially because I am the most useless person when it comes to taking my own advice and I tend to overwork myself before taking a break… And partially because I tend to live and learn and want to share my thoughts and experiences with everyone.
Exercise and lifestyle changes don’t just happen, your thoughts have to align in the right way for life changing results, part of that process is being kinder to ourselves and realising that time is a gift and we can use it to be awesome!
On a final note, in her book “Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes,” Margaret Hefferman mentioned that 83% of American adults spend no time at all in their day relaxing or thinking, and when invited to do so they didn’t enjoy it. At the same time just light exercise and time for oneself can increase a person's output and energy by up to 60%. Those are quite alarming numbers, and are probably way out of date by now, but with that in mind it comes down to the simple choice of giving yourself the chance to do something different.
I'll often hear about the latest TV show, or spend an hour some nights watching TV, the truth is I know I could have spent at least 15 minutes settling my mind, or going for a walk, maybe meditating in the garden... We can always give ourselves more time.
The next time you think that you don’t have time to get to exercise or spend time with your thoughts, remember that it could be the small thing that changes your whole life.
Have a great day! A great week!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving
Hey guys a quick video and post today to ask you...
Who knows where your positive choices will take you?
4 years ago today I started a journey that changed my life in so many ways.
It started with breaking some habits, some really bad habits... It started with understanding that change takes time, in fact that was the biggest habit to break.
I suffered from feeling two things...
I gave those two feelings up in the first few weeks of eating better and living a more healthy life. I chose to focus on making my life better each and every day.
I chipped away at my goals, I stumbled, I fumbled but I remained focused each day on making better choices for my body, my health and my mindset.
I chose to nourish my body with great food and good exercise - the result was that I changed my life.
4 years and 64 kilograms later I am in a position to help others change their lives. Being an example of what can be achieved when the focus shifts to health and vitality.
I've always loved the saying, "be the change you want to see in the world." I want to see a world that thrives...
Who knows where your positive choices will take you? I had no idea that I would be training in front of a camera to help others change their lives.
I never thought I'd be standing in room of 40 people leading them to be stronger and better versions of themselves...
A wise friend once said, "you don't have to see the whole staircase to know where you're heading, you just have to take the first step."
You can make a change today, you CAN stop smoking, you CAN stop drinking, you CAN stop comfort eating, you CAN stop taking drugs…
I've been there on all of those counts, I know how hard each of those obstacles were to overcome.
My advice to anyone looking to make a change in their lives, start will mindset, workout why you want to change and what is holding you back, write all the reasons down.
Then take some time each day to remind yourself of why you want to change, and work on letting go of the shackles that are holding you back. One point, one step at a time and you’ll discover amazing things along the way.
Remember you CAN change!
You just have to stay strong and keep moving!
It has been 2 years and about 6 days since I first did my ZUU level one course in the UK. As a personal trainer it was an awesome experience to be in a room with people who were passionate about the industry and who wanted to see genuine change in the world.
ZUU is all about movement and standing in that room having lost 64 kilograms I knew that movement (and good nutrition) saved my life.
After all, movement is life.
I was introduced to ZUU training by a few trainers at Solihull Virgin Active in 2015 and I have mentioned ZUU in total about 16 times in this blog… Here’s the search result if you’d like to catch up with some reading on it. https://goo.gl/8Y79Yr
Over the last two years ZUU has given me the chance to change my approach and interaction with people. It has helped form some really strong habits in my life. It has provided me the chance to build a business (We Move Fitness) with a friend that encompasses everything I stand for when it comes to movement, lifestyle and exercise.
The most important part for me is about the community it has formed. If you watch my first ever YouTube video (CLICK HERE) then you’ll hear a very squeamish Brendan talk about building a community... Fast forward to today and I am lucky enough to be a part of a community of people who want to make themselves better each day, within Raw Motion Fitness, within Virgin Active Solihull, within We Move Fitness and within the global community of people who do ZUU from Australia to the USA.
With that said, there is a push to put ZUU in TWO, a simple exercise drill, into the minds and lives of an even bigger global community, my challenge to you today is to try this out. It is two short, simple and effective exercises to add to your day to make you feel better and move better.
When dealing with fitness and change in your life, remember three things.
There will be more on progression next week in a super duper special blog post, for now just remember that you can do what you want to do, you just have to give it a go!
Start your day with ZUU in TWO and remember to...
Stay strong and keep moving!
The other week I saw a man shout at a woman on a train…
He had gotten onto the train heading to London and he seemed like he was on a mission. The train was full and seats were hard to come by, yet he found one. The only problem was that a lady was asleep, she was listening to her music and had put her bag on the empty seat that he wanted. The bag prevented the man from sitting down, he was visibly annoyed and at first he said, “excuse me,” she didn’t budge. In the space of 40 seconds his voice escalated from conversation level to a shout, “EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME!” The lady still didn’t budge, the man continued to make a scene before being offered another seat further down the carriage.
It was a bizarre moment, one that sent my mind racing, she did wake up and move her bag for the next person. I couldn’t help think that all the man had to do was politely reach out and tap her on the shoulder to wake her up… Then I started to think that maybe he wanted to but wasn’t sure how she would react, maybe he had a day from hell and just wanted to take it out on someone. Maybe she could hear him the whole time and thought she’d just pretend to be asleep. Maybe she thought, “I don’t want to sit next to such an angry person.” Then that made me think of his ego, he seemed like a business professional. Maybe he felt like he was more deserving than anyone else, maybe he thought, “I paid for my ticket fair and square, I deserve a seat.” Maybe he’d had a long week, maybe he had a lot going on at home and at work... Maybe he was overworked and stressed and it all came out in one moment, one moment that influenced the minds of many people on the train into believing that he was a bit of a… Well, not a very nice person.
I guess what shocked me was how he went about things, that’s what made me think that his ego had gotten in his way. Instead of making a scene and trying to make the lady feel rubbish he could have accepted that she wasn’t responding and moved on or, again, used his hand to reach out and engage with her in a less aggressive way. I noticed at one point he did actually pause and look around for validation from everyone else on the train for his actions, the energy was tense as you could sense people had thought he was out of line.
"We can seek to rationalise our worst behaviour by pointing to outliers.” - Ryan Holiday.
After I got off the train in London I didn’t give the situation much more thought as I wanted to enjoy my evening watching Blink 182 at the O2 Arena. As we got to our seats at the show news broke of Chester Bennington killing himself, Chester was the lead singer of Linking Park, a band that I grew up listening to. It was a complete shock because you naturally assume that rock stars are always going to be there making albums and touring the world. That, in turn made me wonder about what it must be like being a rock star, getting on stage and performing to an audience, thousands of people screaming for you, thousands in love with your talent. It must be such an ego trip, imagine how hard the come down must be after a show when they get home and realise that the fans aren’t there. It must take ages to recover from a tour, it must be like the holiday blues only more intense. Maybe that is why so many pop stars lose themselves chasing a high through drugs and alcohol…?
In many respects the age of social media has created mini celebrities, communities of people following, commenting and liking someone for the content they provide. Social media and websites allowing people to purely post a highlight reel of awesomeness that contributes to a dopamine rush of love through digital likes and feedback. Behind the scenes there is often a very different story. What happens when the likes disappear? What happens when the power goes off? What happens to the generation of kids growing up who seek social validation through a screen rather than through 121 engagement. Do they become socially awkward? Stressed? Angry? Do they become the man on the train?
"Our culture fans the flames of ego.” - Ryan Holiday
Just over a month ago I wrote and said I would be taking a hiatus from writing, I’m quite clearly back now, but I wasn’t in a great place mentally and I didn’t want to force content out to the blog for the sake of a post. My blog has always been about sharing my experiences in life, the stories of the people that I meet and providing insight into the way that I have been able to change my life. The ultimate goal is to help people feel better about their lives, situations, fitness levels; even if it is just for 5 minutes on a Monday when they want to detach from things or get their minds ready for the week ahead.
In the weeks leading up to the last blog post I wrote there was a lot of excitement around things I was doing within my work, I was very positive that everything was on the right path, I was leaving Virgin Active to be a freelance trainer, it turned out things didn’t go the way I thought they would. Part of that was down to me and the other part being down to situations I can’t control or go into. I was also in a situation where I was over trained. I remember looking over my workouts one evening and realising that I had trained 12 days in a row without having a rest. One thing led to another and I ended up injured and pretty emotional. I actually lay in bed one night angry, sad and resentful all at the same time because, in part, I had let me ego get the better of me. ‘Just one more session and I’ll rest...'
"Ego is the enemy, we cannot improve the world if we don’t understand it, or ourselves. We can’t take or receive feedback if we are incapable of, or uninterested in hearing from outside sources. We can’t create opportunities, if instead of seeing what is in front of us, we live inside our own fantasy. How are we supposed to reach, motivate and inspire others if we cannot relate to their needs?” - Ryan Holiday
One thing led to another with work and at one point I thought that I could possibly return, emotionally, to the Brendan of old, chowing down 20 cheeseburgers in an attempt to quell the emotional struggle. Then I remembered something that someone had told me once, I had to ‘sweep the shed.’
It is a lesson in humility taken straight from the All Blacks rugby team where the players would, after a game, sweep the changing rooms and clean up after themselves as a sign of respect. A sign that it didn’t matter that they were the All Blacks, world champions, they could still be humble and respectful. With that in mind (and I thought about redaction of my blog post where I said I was leaving Virgin Active) I turned round and went back to work as a fitness coach and personal trainer at Virgin. There are a multitude of reasons for that decision, however the return meant putting my hand up and saying that sometimes, things just don’t work out. On my first full shift back I grabbed a mop and started to clean the stairs, each day since I have tried to help a fellow staff member in some way, not for anything other than the idea of ‘sweeping the shed.'
I’ve always tried to remain humble about things in my life, even with my weight loss, I like to put my story out there to help people understand that there is more fire inside us than we believe. There is a fight and resilience in each of us that can power the most amazing experiences in the world. It is very easy in today’s society and especially the fitness industry to become consumed by ego. I see it every day and at a certain point even having too much humility can become egotistical.
My time off has given me the reminder I needed that this blog is my way of sharing my philosophical approach to life. It has always been focused on self development and how fitness training is part of developing the strength in our character and in our minds.
A major influence in my life, my reading and my approach to writing has revolved around Stoicism and the idea that we can’t always control events in our lives, but we can control how we react to them. A positive approach to situations through wisdom, temperance, fairness and courage can result in a balanced and happier life. I unfortunately allowed myself to forget those virtues, but as I have said before, we are all fallible. Raw Motion Fitness is my life’s work; the blog and working with people 121 being the vehicle enabling people to change any self defeating attitudes they have formed about their circumstances. In a couple of weeks it will be 4 years since I started on a journey to change my life, 4 years since my willpower became the driving force that has given my life meaning again. I hope that you’ll stay tuned in the coming weeks for more writing and mumbling on my front, that can hopefully lead you to feel inspired and ready for the challenges of the world.
I don’t profess to know all the answers, I do know that changing my life through my mindset and then through my physique has given me the chance to share what worked for me in the hope that it works for you.
We all have moments in life that knock us down, make us feel rubbish or that we are embarrassed about. We can choose to let those moments define us, and define our behaviour going forwards or we can use them as fuel to help spin us into a direction that we are happy heading in. Ultimately I don’t think anyone wants to be like the man on the train, and he might be sitting at home right now trying to forget that he was even on the train that day. All we can do is take the good, with the bad, learn from both and use them to help us along our way, striving to be wiser, fairer, have more temperance and be courageous in the face of adversity.
I hope that you take from this blog what you need, most of all I hope that you STAY STRONG AND KEEP MOVING!
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.