Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cheat, Slow Down & Take Breaks

I've discovered over the years that one of the main reasons why people can't stay fit and healthy is because they put so much pressure on themselves to see constant improvement in their performance and appearance. They also become discouraged when things like strength, energy, range of motion and endurance waver from workout to workout. For some reason many of us think that with every workout we're supposed to get stronger, leaner and better. The truth is, no one can continuously maintain or sustain an ever improving level of energy and enthusiasm for every workout. It's impossible. There are dozens of factors that effect how we're able to accomplish things. Sleep, stress, diet, weather, illness, injuries, biorhythms and more, all play a part in your day to day successes, disappointments, accomplishments and setbacks.

My 5th Law of Health and Fitness is Reality. If reality dictates that you're wiped out after a long day, and at the end of that long day you have a PlyoX workout to do, then let reality play a roll in how you will do that workout. Some choose to skip the workout altogether because they feel (prior to starting) that their performance will be substandard based on past performances. Others might 'get through it" but beat themselves up afterward because they weren't as strong or capable as in past workouts. If this kind of mental gymnastics is happening with you, then understand that comparing your present situation with past ones will make you crazy. This kind of thinking is a leading cause for why people can't get or stay fit and healthy.

Life is filled with ups and downs, and these ups and downs will inevitably affect the quality of our workouts. When I ask you to do your best and forget the rest, I'm asking you to see if you can show up and be okay with how you're doing right now, not last time. The place and head space you're in right now is all you have. Why would you want to ruin it by comparing it to something else? If a particular workout seems daunting prior to starting it, then I say, it's okay to "get through it" anyway you can. This includes using that pause button on your remote often if necessary. It's also okay to skip parts of a workout. Run-in-place or stretch during Bow to Boat or Plyo Push-ups if your too tired or not in the mood. I'm here to tell you that it's perfectly okay to cheat like hell, take breaks and skip some moves if that's what you need to do to get through a workout. I do.

Any workout (no matter how altered it is) is always better than no workout at all. When you shift your mind set to doing something (even when you don't want to) you'll be less likely to completely fall off the fitness wagon. Don't let your ego fight what's happening to you right now. Gracefully accept the conditions that present themselves as opposed to fighting the reality of your situation. I've mentioned the fight or flow scenario before and it applies here as well. Go-with-the-flow based only on who you are right now, and stop fighting the truth of now because you so desperately need to keep up with your past. If you can do this and accept this, then you'll know how to stay fit and healthy for the rest of your life.

Monday, February 12, 2007


As the new year kicked in I was struggling with a New Year's Resolution. I thought that maybe this year I'd just blow it off and keep doing what I've been doing. Truth be told, 75% of the time things were great, while the rest of life was a struggle. As I began to look at it closely, I kept trying to create a statement that would reveal what I needed to do, to improve my percentages. It didn't feel right that most of the time I felt open, positive, creative, energetic and hopeful and a forth of the time I was feeling scared, anxious, sad, nervous and overwhelmed. A grand improvement from my days of youth, but I knew that there was still more room for improvement. I understand that certain situations in life can and will cause some discomfort, but I believe that I'm the main cause of my unhappy times, not some outside source. This revelation came just after the new year and in that moment I realized what my resolution for 2007 had to be.

I figured out that most of my angst came from two things that are directly connected. 1. Not knowing how to make my way through certain situations that involve solving complex life problems. And 2. Not having the confidence that I already have the answers, or the courage to ask questions of the right people who can help me understand/solve my problems. When I became aware of this, the statement I was looking for popped in my head clear as day. I knew in an instant that in 2007 I needed to find clarity with the people in my life and tie up unfinished business. I was very clear about my workouts and diet, but my finances, relationships and career were only getting part time attention. This was creating problems and I knew I was the only cause. This newfound clarity resulted in having difficult conversations with lawyers, accountants, investors, friends and family. I was pretending to know where everyone stood in my world, but the truth was I was clueless.

I stopped waiting for situations to resolve themselves, and for people to come around when they were ready. I had to take the initiative and ask as many questions as possible to make sure that the people around me knew exactly where I stood. This didn't require being a tough guy or a wise ass. I didn't have to raise my voice or point any fingers. I tried to stay upbeat, humorous and curious throughout the process. My job was to find ways to help me understand where I stood with all the people and situations in my life. The lack of clarity and unfinished business was eating away at me and it dawned on me that asking the right questions was the only way to make for a better life. I made lists (and still do) of the things that felt unfinished. I called and e-mailed the people connected to these unclear, unfinished situations and asked them how they intended to proceed. The end result was astonishing. My concerns were washed away once I began talking with people. When everyone involved is fully informed, clarity is achieved, unfinished business resolved, and life becomes joyous and a lot less complicated.