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Realistic AND Positive Thinking



No this is a not a "Light and Fluffy" or "Flowers and Rainbows" type post. Rather this is a REAL, POSITIVE and COMMON mindset that sets up a barrier between us and our health goals.


I have many of these conversations over the years with clients. This example comes from a conversation late 2023 with a client who was getting down on herself and her abilities, but at the same time was being unrealistic. Let me explain...


This client has a wonderfully open mindset when it comes to her health. She asks questions, takes action, has great discussions about health and health practices and has seen change (in particular in mindset) when it comes to her health over the past year of working together.


Her activities (among other activities such as journaling etc) each week include:


-Walking

-Yoga

-Strength work (in studio) or some workout videos at home

-Breathing exercises


Late last year she came in for a coaching session one day a bit frustrated and down on herself. She was outside playing basketball and some road hockey with her teenage son and was really at herself for her "lack of cardio". She found it tough to "keep up".


Reality Moment


We discussed that her "lack of cardio" is NOT at play here, in particular with all her walking she does. During that time she was training for a walking event and her weeks included some solid distances / durations. The REALITY here is that THIS (sports with her son) is DIFFERENT than what she DOES. Her walks, though long, are rhythmic movements and work the aerobic system over long periods of time and moving forward (often in a straight line for a long time). Road hockey and basketball are the opposite - They work the anerobic system, speeds vary, movement varies (side to side, forward and back, lunging/reaching, twisting), the mind is at play differently using hand eye coordination and a different kind of awareness than walking does...


If you're an artist who loves to draw, that doesn't make you a good painter.

If you're a musician who plays the saxophone, that doesn't make you good at guitar.

If you fly a glider plane, that doesn't mean you can fly a fighter jet.


It's different. When it comes to the human body, as amazing it is in adaptation that also means specificity is important to the adaptation. Make sense? In my client's case, as we discussed, her walking improves her cardio, energy, walking ability, health ... among other things. But it won't improve her power, agility or anaerobic ability in playing sports for fun or competitively. Granted without the walking, she most likely would have felt differently still!


And now the positive...


It's not YOU. It's not your cardio or "lack of". It's what you DO and specifically what you do most. This also doesn't take into account the other factor we discussed together which was that she is more than twice her son's age! That's a factor too. LOL


In these scenarios we have to look back to what we choose to PRACTICE. In my client's case, if she played road hockey or basketball with her son regularly and felt this way, then we may have to sort out some new approaches to improve her cardio. Since she chooses to practice walking and other activities other than sports most, the pressure of "having good cardio" does not need to be on her shoulders. Instead, she can enjoy the time with her son and the idea of getting exercise in fun ways.


*************


We set up mental barriers in our health practices when we think this way. My goal here is to help remind you to remind yourself to learn to catch yourself in this mindset. If/when you do catch yourself in this mindset, simply ask yourself;


"Do I practice this often?"

"Are the things I practice similar to this particular activity?"


If the answer is no, then ask yourself:


"Am I doing good things for my health right now?"


If the answer is yes - take a deep breath and remind yourself you're doing good for your health.


If the answer is no - Begin to think of ways to take small, simple actions that will help.


But no matter what - Don't beat yourself up! Don't let your inner bully get the advantage.


Smile. Breathe. Enjoy.




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