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The Perfect Time To Start

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Wildcard Weekend- Memorial Day edition

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It’s a holiday weekend! Make a point to stay active. 

This weekend try-

30-40 minutes of Yomping. This is British military style fast walking/marching. Get a backpack, fill it with several large books and head out the door. Walk, don’t run, focusing on keeping your posture erect, and walking at a fast pace. 

or

Head to the playground and do a circuit of all the equipment. Move from station to station, and see how many passes you can make in 15 minutes

or

Do 30 minutes of a sport you’ve never tried. Ultimate Frisbee, flag football, kickball, or even a game of tag. 

Have fun, be safe, and take a moment to honor our veterans. Happy Memorial Day weekend!


Selfish

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You want to get in shape and get healthy? Get selfish. 

One of the chief excuses I see on a daily basis when it comes to fitness is what I call the “me last” excuse. The premise is simple. You get so focused on putting everyone else in your life first, you forget that you need some attention as well. Kids forget they need cookies for class tomorrow? You drop your workout to take care of it. Best friend is in town unexpectedly, you throw your meal plan out so you can eat at her favorite spot. The boss needs something done yesterday, you stay late and miss workouts and meals. 

Over and over again, this pattern repeats. You argue that this is just you being responsible. You are doing your job, being a good parent, being a good friend, a good spouse. Sure. You are missing the point. You are being a horrible you. As you skip workouts and meals, you reinforce poor patterns which are keeping you stalled out. You make poor decisions, feel terrible, and look worse. The longer it goes the worse things get. 

You cannot make the changes you want in your life and be all things to all people. If you want this to work, you’ve got to be selfish. When it comes to your meals, your workouts, and the things moving you forward, they have got to be an absolute priority. If the situation doesn’t warrant a 911 call, it is not an emergency. The world will not end if there are no cookies tomorrow. It will not end if you tell your friend no. It will not end if you explain to the boss you’ve got an appointment you can’t miss. These situations may lead to some deeply uncomfortable moments to be sure. They will not kill you. 

The more you put yourself first, the better you get at balancing the demands in your life. You have energy to do things, and that energy helps you create time. You’ll have the energy to teach your kids how to bake, which means no more cookie emergency. You’ll have energy and feel better, meaning you have the patience to explain to your friend why this isn’t the best week to step off plan. You’ll have confidence to talk with your boss and get things done right. 

Be selfish. Fight for yourself the same way you fight for others. 


Where will you be

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Right now you are sitting at your desk, clicking your way through the news. You check Facebook, maybe switch over to doing some actual work. Your workday is a metaphor for your life in general. You coast along, letting the waves in your life dictate where you end up. It’s not very satisfying, but hey it’s the best you got. 

Is it?

Take out a piece of paper. Go ahead, you’ve got time to Facebook, you’ve got time to do this. Now write at the top:

Where will I be in 5 years

Start writing what comes to mind. Chances are good that you are drawing a total blank. That blank is why you are stalling out. How can you know where you are going if you don’t make any attempt to pick a direction? 

Now put the paper aside for a minute, and close your eyes. Allow your mind to wander. Ask yourself where you would like to be. You get bombarded by a variety of images. You may be with the people you know now. You may see others. Don’t be afraid of what your mind shows you. Open your eyes, and start writing. Just dump everything out of your head and onto the paper. 

Congratulations. You’ve just taken the first step towards getting yourself out of a rut. Each note that’s on the paper is a desire of your heart. Some will be easy to achieve, others are much harder. For now, don’t worry about easy or hard. For now just accept that you’ve got a map, a way to help you get from where you are now to where you will be. 


Monday

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It’s the start of a new week. You get up, get dressed, and then the little things all start to rain down on you. A fuse in the kitchen keeps blowing which means you can’t get a hot cup of coffee. You spend so much time messing with the fuse that you miss your designated time to leave the house. You go to look for your gym bag and discover the dog peed on it. There goes your workout. You throw up your hands and stomp out of the house.

It was something similar last week. You got off to a poor start and somehow you managed to miss most of your workouts. It’s not like it was your fault. The world was conspiring against you.

That’s right, all those inanimate objects in your house are obviously out to get you. The coffee maker surely realizes that you can’t function without your cuppa. Heaven forbid you just stop at Starbucks on the way to work this time. You have things to do. The car not starting, that’s obviously the fault of the car, not you for failing to take it in for an oil change. The door slamming in your face is a conspiracy, not simple physics at work. And that darned dog! This is all is fault. Ignore the fact that you were too tired to let him out before you went to sleep.

Too often a case of the Mondays is a function of letting small irritations turn into major events. More critically, those small irritations can be used by your back brain as a clever way to sabotage yourself. Having a tough start to the day? Best to put things off until you feel more comfortable, until you get back into a groove, until you are in your routine.

Newsflash sparky- skipping the things that are hard will not get you back into a groove. Skipping them just make it easier to keep skipping them. Change does not happen when you are comfortable. It happens when you are anything but. You’ve got to dig in and fight through those impulses to skip. Yes it sucks. It means ignoring family time for an hour while you get a workout in. It means staying up late to finish things you started. It means stopping off to buy a bone for your poor dog.

Stop trying to blame people for your bad day. Better, stop blaming inanimate objects for your bad day. Blame doesn’t move you forward. Take a deep breath, drop the excuses, and fix the problem.


Working around injury part 1

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I managed to get a nice cut on my hand at my part time gig. No stitches required, but due to location, it’s caused some issues with my scheduled workout progressions. Injury and illness are part of life. It’s critical to know when to ease up and when to push through.

In this case pushing results is reopening the cut and extending the healing time. Sure I can do 1 armed workouts, but why? It’s easier and safer to give the hand a few extra days to heal and make sure I stay active.I don’t need to pick up an odd infection at the gym. I shifted my resistance workouts to minimize lifting and ejected to do some additional cardio this week.

When you are faced with illness or injury how do you chose to deal with your workouts? Comment below.