I've often joked that when they were handing out virtues in heaven, the line for patience was too long and I just couldn't be bothered to wait! Hey, I had to hurry up and be born already! I had an amazing life to get to living! (I was born a month early and have been going ever since!)
In life at times, being impatient has served me both well and, well, not so well.
I'm quick to make a decision. Sure I'll research all avenues to make sure its well thought out, but when the time comes, decision made. That has served me well in both life and business. When I decide to run a race, I submit the paperwork while charting out my training plan at the same time. I waste little time getting to "work".
The downside, is I hate waitting for things to happen. I like making them happen! But we don't always have that luxury. Sometimes we have to wait for others to make a decision. We have to wait for our training plans, our physical therapy, our healthy eating plans, to kick in to see results. But we're so conditioned to want things to come our way FAST. To have success, money, weight loss, six pack abs...yesterday!
The truth is, patience is something we can learn and practice, just like exercise and healthy eating. Some days are better than others. But working hard toward a goal, be it success, weightloss or six pack abs, is a process. Each step gets us closer to that goal. Each step teaches us something about ourselves and what we're willing to do to succeed. Each step begs the question: Continue along the new path, no matter how difficult and reap the rewards? Or continue doing the same thing you've been doing and get the same result?
Its a great question to ask when faced with a piece of chocolate cake, when you're frustrated with the number on the scale or spare tire around your middle. But will the cake "change" those things? Or will you feel worse after eating it? Would it be better to exercise the virtue of patience?
You see, great success, be it in business or in weightloss, is not about one step. Its about the culmination of many steps and the patience to see them through. To know that even though its taking more time, more effort, than you thought, you're on the right track. You're making progress. Change is happening. We just need to be more patient. The results will come!
I will never like waitting. I hate waitting in traffic. I hate waitting for an answer. I hate waitting for results. But that's life....and as the saying goes, "The best things are worth waitting for." So I'll do my best to practice patience. I may still get frustrated. I may still be impatient. But I'm working on it....and next time....I'll wait in line for that virtue the first time out!
Life has been busy lately. I'm working more hours, carting the children around to different activities and playing the single parent role as my husband travels for work. Its tough and at times, emotionally exhausting. I love that I'm able to lose myself in a workout. I don't work out with any music playing in my ears. I really use the time to explore my surrounding on a run, zone out on a swim or focus on not getting hit by cars on a bike ride! (I do live in Japan after all, where the roads can be tiny at times and the drivers, not so careful!)
I also use my workouts as a time for reflection of the day before, of the day to come, of something I'm struggling with professionally or personally. I do some of my best thinking and get some of my best ideas while working out. Its my own personal inspiration finder! Must be all that extra oxygen!
Lately its been finding ways to balance motherhood, marriage and work. Something I think all of us women, who get married and become mothers, struggle with at some point. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day or enough arms to juggle all three of those roles with finesse. So lately I've been watching and reading about other women I can aspire to. Women who acknowledge their failures, but have a plan in place to deal with them. Women who support other women. Women who are happy with who they are and what they're doing. Women who are healthy, confident, strong, empowered. And I've come to realiz e that those same qualities are the same ones I try to empower in my clients, in my Mommy Recess classes and in my business partnership with Usana Health Sciences.
Mommy Recess did not take off as I had hoped it would when I first started the classes in January. And I had thought about cancelling the classes, going back to the drawing board and creating something different. But I really believed in the classes. I really believed in giving moms an opportunity to workout with their children and other mothers. I really believe that when women help and support other women, everyone wins! And that when mothers workout and adopt healthy exercise and nutrition habits, the whole family wins! They feel better about themselves. They cook better meals for their family. They participate more in family activities and outings with their children. They sleep better, stress less, have more nutritious food options in their home. Society as a whole gets better, when women, when mothers are healthier, stronger, happier because they pass those same traits to their children, who then do the same and the tradition continues.
So Mommy Recess continues. And each week new moms come out to play. They find support, fellowship, new friendships, laughter and even get in a heart pumping, muscle strengthening workout along the way. The smiles on their faces and the faces of their children makes it worth it. The high fives from 2, 3 and 4 year olds who are just as thrilled to be running around and exercising with their mom, makes it worth it. The words of thanks from the moms who attend, makes it worth it.
As women, we tend to beat each other up a lot. We're very critical of each other. How someone dresses, talks, walks, what they do, what they don't do, who they hang out with, who they don't hang out with, etc. We judge each other for those things. I wish we could spend less time judging and more time supporting each other. Lifting each others spirit so we can be the best women we can be and therefore, the best mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends....
I've really enjoyed the soul searching I've done lately. The research into amazing women who are examples of what it means to be a strong, confident, successful, healthy, happy, peaceful woman. I know I'm on the right path. One that I firmly believe in....Helping women, especially moms, be the best women and mothers they can be through healthy living, exercise and nutrition. That they can be the strong, successful, powerful, confident, happy woman God intended them to be. That's my passion. That's my goal. That's a message I hope I pass on to my girls, to all my clients, to all my associates with Usana and to all the women and moms who come out to Mommy Recess each week.
My husband has been traveling a lot lately. When he's gone I'm a single (married), working mother of 3 small, active little girls. Time is in short supply (which is why I haven't posted a blog in awhile!). There never seems to be enough hours in the day to get done what needs to get done.
Over the years, I have found that breaking up my tasks into parts of the day helps me to get more done and to stay on top of the things I need to get done. And for any parent of little ones, you know its wishful thinking to think you'll get more than 20minutes into something before being interrupted because someone wants a snack, someone needs to go potty, someone is bored, someone is fighting with someone else, and the list goes on! I can see the nodding heads from here!
During the last few weeks this strategy has worked not just for household and work items, but for my workouts as well. Not only have I been able to get in my entire daily workout (foam rolling, cardio, strength, stretching), but I've seen improvements in endurance, strength and explosiveness. I've maintain my weight and improved my workouts. And as an added benefit, I'm less stressed over HOW I'm going to get my workout in because I'm not looking for a full hour or two hours, its just a matter of WHEN I'll get in my workout(s)!
To give you an example, the other day I had to be out of the house earlier than normal. Hubby was traveling and the sitter was showing up early and would have the additional task that day of getting our eldest off to school. There was no way I could get in my whole workout in the morning hours before my kiddos are up like I normally do (and I'm already up at 5am for a workout as it is!). So I got up, like normal, and completed my foam rolling and strength workouts. Then it was time to prep for the sitter and get the girls up and started on the morning routine. I left for work and started my "work" day. I had a half hour to 45minute break between clients, so I went for a quick 3 mile run. Knowing I had to get my run in, get back and get changed, then get our middle child to school and then off to see another client, made me pick up my running pace. My run had to be more efficient! At the end of the day, after dinner, before the start of the bedtime routine, I put on a favorite show for the girls and got in some stretching. Sure it would have been better to have stretched right after my run, but I didn't have the time then. The way I figure it, stretching after a workout is best, but stretching at all is better than not doing it at all!
It may not have been the way my workout was planned out. But I completed it all and have seen benefits to boot! Some of that is by way of just changing things up. Some is as a result of needing to be more efficient as I don't have all kinds of time. Some of it is the ability to focus on one thing because its only for a short period of time, rather than a long workout where after an hour+, not only is your body fatiqued, but so is your mind, concentration and focus.
And that's just one example, the other day I couldn't get out for a ride, so I put the bike on the trainer. Couldn't get in a swim, so I did pilates. Couldn't get out for run, so I ran circles in the house or completed high intensity intervals. In the past I've done stair workouts, on-line workouts, dvds, you name it I've tried it all in the name of not missing a workout!
The key is working with the time that you have and not using it as an excuse. We all know them. We've all used them in the past. And we've all paid the result of not putting in a full effort: bonking before the finishline, not finishing the race, not losing the weight, still having flabby (insert body part here) when summer comes, etc We can choose to believe that our "excuse" is valid and true. And it may be (I don't have the time? I don't have the money? I'm not strong enough? etc), but so is the fact that if you want to make it happen, you'll find the time, the money, the belief that you are worth and capable of so much more than you could ever imagine. Whatever YOUR excuse, someone, somewhere is dealing with the same obstacles and they're making it happen.....and SO CAN YOU!
So here's your challenge.....How will you change your habits to rid yourself of your excuses and make your goals, your dreams a reality? Post to me below or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/beyourbestpersonaltraining), email me (email@example.com) and let me know! Its the first step to overcoming your excuses and getting your closer to your goals and dreams!
Just one more rep! Feel the burn! Give it all you've got! Don't quit till you've crossed the line! You've got this! Just 5, 10, 15 more seconds!
You've heard them all before. It may have been a coach, personal trainer, friend, team mate, spouse who uttered those words. At the time, you may have been ready to quit. You were tired, sore, fatiqued. You had had enough and you just wanted to stop. But you didn't. You found the strength for that one last rep, the pep in your legs to go that extra 100 yards, the mental toughness to hold that pose for 10 more seconds. You thought you couldn't, but you did it! And you were stronger, faster, more confident for having done it!
There's a reason you hear so many coaches, personal trainers, physical therapists utter those words. Its not that we want to torture you (it may seem that way at the time as we smile at you and ask you for just one more!). We're not trying to punish you (though the screaming of your arms and legs may beg you to differ). We're challenging you to challenge yourself.
You see most people give up, just when they're about to see results. Its that place in your workout where things get tough. When holding that pose seems impossible. When just one more rep seems like asking you to lift a 1000 ton elephant. When going all out for just 5 more seconds will make your lungs burst. When you think you have nothing left to give, that's when results, be it strength, speed, agility, balance, stability, endurance, etc, are made.
Its that place where you're uncomfortable. When you have the choice to give in or to give it just one more. Be it exercise, nutrition, work, family, life. Its the things that make us the most uncomfortable. The things that challenge what we think we know (I can only do 12 reps. I can only run a 5K. I could never compete in a triathlon. I could never be..... I could never have.....). Those are the times, where if we're willing to be a little uncomfortable, to challenge the truth we think we know to be absolute, those are the times we change and grow the most. Those are the times we see the biggest rewards. Those are the times we get results.
I ran my first 5K the other day. My first 5K since coming back from a knee injury. My first real run without stopping in 10 months. I knew it was coming. I had planned for it. I had completed all my rehab and was keeping up with my training plan. But I was still nervous. Would the knee hold? Would the pain return? Could I do it? As I started my watch, my nervousness grew. By the end of the run, the results were clear. I was good! I felt great! Sure, I'll always have to take care of that knee. Make sure I'm doing all my exercises. But it was my physical therapists, massage therapists and myself who kept going with the exercises even when they hurt. Even when the pain made tears come down my face (I don't recommend that to anyone! Remember, I was under a physician's care!). It was those extra reps that got me here. Challenging myself, even though it was difficult and uncomfortable at times that got me here. I am, once again, a runner!
So the next time, your coach, your personal trainer, your team mate, your therapist says "Just one more rep!", "Just 5 more seconds!", "All the way to the line!", choose a moment of discomfort for bigger results and rewards later. Not only will you not regret it, but you'll grow as a person. Becoming more confident and reaching all your goals and dreams in the process.
As a mom I hold various roles in my children's lives: chaffeur, disciplinarian, chef, teacher, personal shopper, errand runner, cheerleader, supporter, bank.... The one I hold most precious is that of teacher. I'm the one who has the first opportunity to instill in my children the values, morales, behaviours, experiences I want them to have to help shape them into young adults and to help them later navigate the often harsh, world we live in.
One of the behaviours I hope they will always remember is that of an active and healthy mom. I've often said that I think my children come out running, with how active I was during all my pregnancies. Being pregnant never stopped me from exercising. Sure I may have modified some exercises, but I was out there each day, running, swimming, lifting weights, riding the stationary bike. Not only did it make me feel better about myself, especially as my waistline disappeared, but also relieved stress, kept those pregnancy hormones in check, and kept me in shape for my role as mom once the baby came. Those bucket car seats are no joke once you add in a 10lb baby!
As soon as I was able, I started walking with my girls. I'd load them in a stroller, sling or baby bjorn and away we would stroll. It wasn't about the pace. It was about moving. Being up late, or early, with an infant can make for a long day and a very tired mom! Getting some fresh air and exercising, even at a light intensity, renewed my energy and helped me get through the day. Plus it was a great way to bond with my child. I could explain to them all about what we were seeing or hearing. Or just feeling the rise and fall of their chest as they slept to the rhythm of my heart beat and step, well, there's just no better feeling than a baby falling asleep on your chest!
Now that my girls are older, they still accompany me on workouts. My oldest joins me for a swim at the pool each Sunday. She may not swim laps next to me the whole time, but I try to be sure that we have time at the end of each workout to play a game or two. We both get a workout in, create memories and get a chance to chat, just her and I, without a sibling interupting us. My middle child is an early riser. She often joins me in push-ups, crunches and strength training as I finish up my workout. She's learned that pull ups aren't just something boys can do and that building muscle and staying strong is important to a healthy body. My youngest, only 2, is not able to join in on many workouts yet, but she watches. I take opportunities while the oldest two are participating in their sports to run around with her. We chase each other, a ball, bubbles or just play hide and seek. Those games may not seem like exercise, but they are! And we share lots of giggles at the same time.
And that's what I want all my children to learn from me. That exercise can be fun, no matter your age. That being healthy is more than a number on a scale. Its running, jumping, building muscle, stretching, trying new activities, eating a rainbow, eating a healthy snack after a not so healthy one (they can all repeat this!). Exercise can be found anywhere, easily incorporated into any lifestyle and FUN.
As my girls grow and the pressures society places on young girls starts to reach them (you're too fat, too skinny, not pretty enough, smart enough, don't have the nicest clothes, etc). As peer pressure and societies expectations of what a young woman should look like, dress like, act like, etc, starts to influence them, I hope they'll remember some of these early teachable moments. To be healthy, over being thin. To eat real food, over chemicals and sugar. To laugh when things get hard. And to always make it fun and enjoy what you're doing.
On New Year's Day, while waiting for 2013 to arrive, I watched the movie "We Bought A Zoo" with my daughter and husband. The movie is an inspiring story about Benjamin Mee. Benjamin has lost his wife. In a bid to start his life over, he purchases a large house that has a zoo. This is welcome news for his daughter, but his son is not happy about it. The zoo is need of renovation and Benjamin sets about the work with the head keeper, Kelly, and the rest of the zoo staff. But, the zoo soon runs into financial trouble. The staff must get the zoo back to its former glory, pass a zoo inspection, and get it back open to the public. In a scene with Benjamin and his son, where his son is having trouble talking to a girl, Benjamin says "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."
That quote hit home. I loved it the first time I heard it. The first time I watched the movie, but this time...well this time it was just what I needed to hear.
I had been thinking of starting a group fitness class for moms and their children for a couple of years. I wanted it to be different. I wanted it to be inclusive. I wanted it to be challenging and fun. I had tried out a few different programs over the years and had finally found one that fit me and what I wanted the moms I trained to gain from such a class. But I was dragging my feet on putting the class into motion.
I knew there was a need for such a class, but, well, its scary putting yourself out there. Would anyone come? Would they like the class? Would it be successful? Am I capable of this?
My current clients, who knew of my desire to get this off the ground, were incredibly supportive. They lifted my spirits and encouraged me that if I put it out there, they would come. My husband was equally supportive and reassuring. But I was still unsure.
That night, New Year's Eve, I had everything put together to launch my first Mommy Recess class. I just needed to take that first step and put the announcement out there. As soon as I heard that quote, "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." I turned to my husband and said, "That's it! That's my mantra for 2013! 20 seconds of courage...and something great will come of it!"
I launched my Mommy Recess class announcement the next day. Repeating "20 seconds of courage." over and over again as I put it out there.
Tomorrow is my first class. I've received a lot of positive feedback already and excitement over the availability of the class. (Thank you Jennifer and Katie for signing up in advance! I can't wait to see you there!) I'm still nervous and wonder if I'll be standing there, alone, waitting for participants who don't show. But I'm putting it out there. I'm trusting in my skill, feedback and trial runs, that this will be successful. But in the end, I need to take a leap of faith.
The quotes are endless...."With much risk, comes much reward." "If you don't try, you won't succeed." "20 seconds of courage...and something great will happen." So that's what I'm doing. Putting it out there. Taking that 20 seconds of courage and hoping that it will indeed lead to great things. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.
Till then, I challenge you....What 20 seconds of courage will you take this year to make great things happen?
Yesterday I went on my first run in over 6 months! I felt like a school girl waitting to go on a first date. A little scared. A little nervous. A little excited.
As I laced up my sneakers, I worried if the pain would return. Was I really healed? Had the all the months of physical therapy worked?
I started with a brisk walk to warm-up. Something I know I should always do, but am usually too eager to entertain and just get right to the run. (Do as the trainer says, not as I always do!!!) I felt good. As I got ready to break into a run, my mind screamed no! At that moment, all was fine. I felt good, strong, healthy. My injury was healed. I was good to run. If I started running and the pain returned, meaning the injury was still there, I'd have to stop running again. A new training plan would have to be started. I may miss another triathlon and racing season.
I ignored that little voice. If I didn't try, I wouldn't know. I looked at my watch and started to run.
One minute in.....All feels well. A couple of twinges. Tight quads. Legs feel heavy, tight. Ok, I can go on....
Two minutes in....Still feeling good. Oh, is that my knee? No. Everythings ok. Calm down Jocelyn. Just keep going.
Three minutes in....Starting to loosen up. Feeling better, lighter.
Four minutes in....I can do this! I'm running! The smile returned to my face.
Five minutes in....What I'm done? No! Time to stop now. We don't want a new injury!
Sure its just 5 minutes. But its more than I've done in 6 months. I'm a bit sore today. Quads aren't used to all the jostling from running, but they'll strengthen up. The foam roller has found a few new sore areas, but I'm working them out. Stretching and yoga are my friend and I have better flexibility than I ever have before.
A few more weeks and I'll be running 5ks and not thinking twice about them. I'm trying to learn from my mistakes of the past. Warm-up more. Make time for massage, relaxation, intensive stretching, yoga and foam roller work. Don't ignore the little things. Focus on building more strength.
I'll be keeping the runs shorter this year. Building my strength and flexibility up so they can support longer runs. I'm just happy to be back out there! And enjoying it!!!!
Why? Such a simple question that can uncover so much.
In sales, we're taught to ask why 5 times to uncover the real reason behind something. As a trainer, I find why to also be an important question to ask when my clients state a goal they'd like to achieve. Why that goal? Why is that number/event important? Why that exercise program? Why that number of calories? Why? Why? Why?
Why ask Why 5 times? Often times we first give the answer we think we're expected to give. Then we give the answer we want to give. After a few more whys we give the real answer. The unvarnished answer. The truth of what that goal, that number, that event, etc, really means to us.
Its not that we mean to lie, but sometimes we just haven't examined ourselves enough to really know why we chose a specific goal or number. We often feel ashamed to vocalize our goals. Vocalizing them makes them real. Makes them open to scrutiny. Makes them open to ridicule. Someone else would know if we were failing or succeeding. It ups the risk of that goal. There's now more to gain and more to lose by someone else being involved. Will they be supportive? Will they still "like" me once they know the "truth"? Will they think my real reason for wanting to achieve my goal foolish, silly, unachievable?
Asking the 5 whys breaks down those defenses. You get at the real reason you're doing something. Reasons you may not even be aware of at the start of stating a goal.
Try it! You don't need another person (although having other people know of your goals and assisting you in the process has been shown to help people achieve their goals faster and in the case of weight loss, to keep that weight off longer). Write down your goal. Then ask why? Why again? And so on till you've asked why 5 times. Don't sensor yourself. Just answer or write down your response as soon as you think it. You may be surprised by what you really want to achieve and why you want to achieve it.
Why do this exercise? Because having a goal won't keep you motivated. When you're dragging and don't want to do a workout, your goal won't keep you going. When you need to say no to that extra cookie or serving of dinner, your goal won't give you the willpower to "just say no". But your whys will! Your whys are your emotional reason for wanting to achieve something. That's why we don't state them right away. We don't want to get hurt. But your whys are more important to you than the overall goal. They are what give you the smile and overwhelming joy that takes over when you achieve them. Because you've achieved so much more than just a goal! You've changed a bit of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally to bring yourself that much closer to the "ideal" you that is pictured in your mind.
The new year is quickly approaching. So as you set your goal(s) for 2013, or your new year's resolutions, ask yourself WHY that goal is important. Why do you want to achieve it? Why this goal versus another one? You'll be much more likely to stick to the resolution, goal, longer and be much more likely to achieve it if you know why its so important to you...and therefore, what's at stake if you don't!
Thanksgiving! Memories of fires in the chimney, smells of turkey wafting from the oven and my mom's voice coming from the kitchen, quickly come to mind. I remember playing games with my family, chatting and laughing around the table as we all enjoyed mom and grandma's cooking and begging my dad to change the channel from all the boring football games (eventually he would fall asleep and we'd get to watch something else). I don't ever remember worrying about how many calories I was consuming or whether or not the turkey was free-range organic.
Thanksgiving is still about family, friends, playing games and good food made with love for me. But for many, its a stressful landmine of worrying about what and how much they should eat.
Why don't I subscribe to such behavior? Honestly, its one day! One day is not going to undo all the healthy eating, exercise and treating myself right that I've done for the last 363 days of the year. Thanksgiving is about family, friends, giving thanks for everything we have and FOOD! I'm going to enjoy those family favorites that are saved for this one holiday. I'm going to get in a good workout that morning to lessen my guilt (I normally workout on Thursday, so why not this Thursday?!) for my food splurges later in the day. And I'm going to be thankful that I'm injury free and able to exercise.
What I'm not going to do is stress about the ice cream and real whipped cream that will accompany the slice of pie as they pass my lips. My hips, thighs, butt, abs, will still be there the next day. Maybe I'll do a few more squats on Friday to ensure those extra calories don't find a home there, but I won't stress over what I'm eating on Thanksgiving. I may stress over ALL the cooking, but not the eating!
If you're exercising regularly, eating right 80% of the time, taking care of yourself (rest, relax, getting together with friends, getting regular doctor physicals, etc), one holiday meal is not going to wash all that hard work away. Stressing over it will be harder on your body, than the food itself!
So choose now, to enjoy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the time with family. Enjoy the laughs. Enjoy the games. Enjoy giving thanks for all the many blessings in your life. And most of all Enjoy the food! You have the rest of the year to count calories, watch your waistline and you have tomorrow to work off those extra calories in a killer workout!!!!