A happy Friday to you! I thought I would let you read a gym story today where I nearly died… Okay so that’s a bit dramatic, but kind of how I felt. First though, a quote! 'The mind is so powerful that we can set off the stress response by imagining ourselves in a threatening situation...' Bruce McEwen.
That quote really resonates with me, hopefully with you too. How many times have you sat and worried about something in the past or future? How many times has it kept you awake at night? I have found one of the best ways of keeping yourself from falling into this trap is by staying in the moment.
Staying in the moment is something I have always struggled with, I’ll give you an example: In January 2013 I invested in a gym membership because, well take a look at the picture... I took the day off work and booked an induction; I figured I would walk around the gym, see the equipment and then bam! I would have a six-pack! Nah not really, although I really didn’t realise how difficult it would be to get moving again. Sure I was working in hospitality and on my feet all day, but I had not actively tried to stretch or do any form of prolonged exercise in ages! After the induction I strapped my feet into a rowing machine, with great difficulty, then I realised that I couldn’t reach the handle without holding my breath. After crushing my lungs (big belly issues) I started to row, I passed the 5 minute mark and I was in serious trouble, my back was really painful, my arms were exhausted and I was so out of breath I you’d have thought I had just run after an ice-cream van.
I gave up on the rower and decided to head over to the bike. I figured it would be slightly easier than the lung crushing rowing machine plus I wouldn’t look like a wheezing heart attack waiting to happen. I got on and started to pedal, it was a wonderful bike, the screen was interactive and I was cycling down a lovely Californian Coastline. Again after 5 minutes the body and mind gave in, the saddle was killing my bum, my back was still killing me and my breathing resembled Darth Vader. I decided some stretching was in order. I had pretty much underwhelmed myself on the rower and the bike, stretching would be where gains could be made! Well, I can only imagine that the other people around me felt really sorry for the rather large man rolling around on the floor trying to reach his toes; either that or it was the best entertainment they have had in their lives! I had been in the gym less than 30 minutes and felt completely ashamed of myself.
I jumped on the tube, headed home and thought to myself, ‘I’ll never get fitter because I am so unfit.’ I thought about how long it would take me to get flexible again, to be fit enough to breathe. I thought about everything that I struggled with in great detail and then I gave up on myself. The membership fell away and I resigned myself to being unfit. I hadn’t stayed in the moment, I hadn’t realised that things take time. I sat thinking about how fit I used to be and how long it was going to take, past and future, I didn't congratulate myself for getting some work done and trying.
Months later, when I finally got back into training I kept it simple, I stayed in the moment, I didn't get ahead of myself, it was hard but I just kept saying to myself that showing up for a workout and getting stuck in was better than doing nothing at all. That was when the progress was made. We don’t become who we want to be overnight, we work each day towards who we want to become. We stay in the moment because that is where the progress is made. Staying in the moment is where we discover truth about ourselves, where we find our potential.
To wrap up this Friday’s food for thought I’d like to say that wherever you are in life, no matter how stressed you get, take a deep breath from the belly and focus on the moment you are in, embrace it. It is always good to learn from the past, but try not to dwell on it, bear in the mind the future but use the moment you are in right now to live and enjoy your life.
Have a great day and remember to Stay Strong and Keep Moving.
"STOP WAITING FOR SUMMER, FOR FRIDAY, FOR SOMEONE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU, FOR LIFE TO HAPPEN. HAPPINESS IS ACHIEVED WHEN YOU STOP WAITING FOR IT AND MAKE THE MOST OF EACH MOMENT."
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Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.