Do Whatever You Want

My first competition is drawing closer and closer. Each day requires getting up early going to the gym and training, eating according to my plan, and returning to the gym for more training. I must also remember to practice posing and maintain energy to maintain a home, a husband, a full-time job, a dissertation, and various social commitments. Needless to say energy and motivation is lacking at times. It is hard. I will be honest and say I have wanted to quit, on more than one occasion. I tell myself I can skip this cardio or I can lift less during this training session. I tell myself a bite of cheese or dessert will not mess up my plan. I want to sleep in, skip a workout, and cheat!

However I don’t. Every single day I get up early. I wake up with energy after the first alarm. I sometimes dread my workout as I get ready to head to the gym. As I start my cardio I think I may not make it. Yet every single time I do!  I go faster. I recover quicker. I have increased energy. As I approach my lifts for the day I worry about how heavy the lifts will be and how it will challenge my body. Yet every time I train I am shocked at how much stronger I feel. I have read other competitors lose strength during prep.  I have been prepared to use that as my excuse to not lift as heavy and as strong.  However I continue to progress in my strength and training.  I continue to get stronger. 

This is not because I have super powers, special genes, or unique talents. I am human and I am an average adult woman.   I keep growing simply because I can. 

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. 

Lou Holtz

 

Anyone can do anything. I have said this before and I will say it again. So many people sell short, do not reach their potential, and doubt their ability. I want to see people know they can do whatever they want. It is possible to set our mind on something and to be successful and achieve that something. All you need is ability, motivation, and attitude.

Abilities will vary from individual to individual. Some people have mental ability. Remember high school and how your class had a class valedictorian?  That person (if it was you – Way to go), probably worked hard. They may have also had more brain capability. Research has found that some brain development is related to IQ (Lange, Froimowitz, Bigler, & Lainhart, 2010). However not every valedictorian is a genius with a high IQ and a pre-wired brain. I read an article recently that discussed a study that indicated certain genes were related to athletic ability and performance (Eynon, Ruiz, Oliveria, Duarte, Birk, & Lucia, 2011).  This same article explained these findings are small and there is not enough collective research to claim that athletes perform well because they are genetically wired a certain way. 

What this means is that everyone is born to be able to do something. Ability is what you can do physically. I cannot physically learn to snow ski in North Texas. I can travel or move but I am unable to find a slope to ski down where I am currently living. I am not able to create beautiful paintings because I have not engaged and grown my creativity. I lack patience and therefore I am not very good at customer service jobs. I understand that sometimes we are limited due to our physical, emotional, and situational experiences. Someone disabled and unable to walk will have physical difficulty running a marathon. However ability is not the only thing required for success. People that are disabled physically, emotionally, and cognitively accomplish dreams and overcome obstacles every single day. Our limitations are used as an excuse and cage us, but understand, you are able to do something. Those who are able, can! 

Add motivation to ability and the chance of success increases. If you really want something you will do it. You have heard that saying, “when there is a will, there is a way”. Motivation is that will. If you want something what is stopping you? We have clarified you are likely able. Now your success depends on your desire and willingness to overcome. How hard will you work?  How bad do you want it?  How far can you go?  For me, I keep going because I want to stand on stage knowing I gave  my all. The package I bring, no matter the outcome, is because I kept going. I am motivated by my ability to succeed and be the best possible me. What is your motivation? 

We have determined you are able. Now if you are highly motivated then how you think about the situation will influence your success moving forward. I hate cardio. I just hate it. I dread it every time and minutes leading up to my cardio session I am anxious and question how I will get through it. My attitude about cardio sucks. This attitude is quickly followed by a desire to quit, take it easy, or cheat. Then I remember the only one being cheated is me!  I literally have to chant to myself, “you can do this!” or “you got this, almost there!” to improve my attitude about the interval approaching. I can do it because I am able. I can do it because I am motivated to do it. When I think I can, I get through each training session feeling proud, strong, and one step closer to my goal. 

I encourage you to make a list and answer the following questions: 

  • What are you able to do? Write down everything you can do!
  • How motivated are you?
  • What obstacles are in your way? If you identify obstacles, which ones can be removed or avoided. For obstacles that cannot be removed or avoided, consider what resources (skills, tools, people, etc) you have to help you overcome the obstacle?
  • List your feelings about the task you are about to start. Keep the positive thoughts and feelings to continue to motivate and encourage you. Take the negative feelings and get rid of them. Simply change the negative thoughts to positive ones and you will find your attitude will improve. 
  • Focus on the positive thoughts and feelings you have and you will find you are succeeding. 
It gets hard when working toward any task. We all need little tricks and tools to keep us pushing forward. My hope for you is that you will stop letting excuses, fear, and doubt keep you from your dreams. Use what you have to get you going and use what will learn to push you forward.  If you are able, and you want to, then you can!

 

Reference:

Eynon, N., Ruiz, J., Oliveria, J., Duarte, J., Birk, R., & Lucia, A. (2011). Genes and elite athletes: A roadmap for future research. The Journal of Physiology, 589(13), 3063-3070. 

Lange, N., Froimowitz, M., Bigler, E., & Lainhart, J. (2010). Associations between IQ, total and regional brain volumes, and demography in a large normative sample of healthy children and adolescents. Developmental Neuropsychology, 35(3), 296-317. 

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Drop it Like A Squat

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a blessed, safe, and FUN New Year.

So what are your fitness goals this year? What is that one thing you want to do differently this year? If you were already working out and active you may want to improve in some area. I want to MASTER wide grip pull-ups. Those SUCK! They are my kryptonite. I was attempting some pathetic looking pull ups the other day and felt so defeated. Rather then let it get me down I decided to challenge myself with pull-ups this year.

Moral to that story: don’t feel overwhelmed and frustrated when you are in the gym. Everyone has something they are working on. Your progress is different then their progress.

So ready to get started with those workout goals this year?!?

1. Make a plan for how many days you will work out this week. Then GO!
2. Try a lil cardio and a lil strength. My routine consists of about 30 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes of strength training.
3. Switch it up! The treadmill is DULL to me. You may love it. If so stick with it. But just because the treadmill is dull I need that bad boy in my life.
Try tabata sprints. Run as hard and as fast as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 4 minutes. Then walk or jog for 2-3 and start the tabatas again.
Would you rather watch paint dry then treadmill sprints? Yeah me too! So try hills. Jack that treadmill up high and walk quickly for about 2 minutes. Increase it again. And again after 2 more minutes. You will get your heart rate up, promise, cross my heart and hope to die.
4. When strength training focus on a muscle group as your target for the day. There are LOTS of different ways to do this. You can do back and biceps, chest and triceps, and legs. NEVER SKIP LEG DAY! Or you can do arms and shoulders, chest and back, and legs. Check out bodybuilder.com for more exercise tips.
5. Take group fitness classes. I am a group fitness instructor so this is my LOVE! There are so many fun, exciting, and friendly classes to take. I like to recommend cycle (not just because it is like my most favorite in the world) but it is low impact, high intensity, and it is just you and your bike. I think that makes it seem less intimidating. Or try and AMAZING class called R.I.P.P.E.D. It has strength, cardio, resistance, kickboxing, and core and the music will blow your mind. If dance is your thing you would probably like Zumba. My other Love is TRX. This will build your strength and improve your core using your body weight. Try all the classes! I challenge you this year to try 1 new class a month.
6. I will make getting started easy for you! Try this squat challenge this month. This can be done in your home or the gym. It does not have to be completed all at once. But you will see the number of squats and lunges to complete through the day.

Last tip: Have Fun! If it is not fun! Find me we will party together while we drop it like a squat.

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