Sometimes we react well, we train our jumps in our HIIT training and our stabilizers in barre, and when we slip on ice or trip on a curb, we react and catch ourselves. In my line of work, when a fellow coach is sick, or a major storm hits, coaches respond and step in to cover. In your job or at home, something unexpected may happen and you have to react accordingly to handle the situation.
When we are not yet skilled in the challenge we’re facing, we might not react so gracefully. I start my class ‘Firestarter’ in a way so everyone is aware of their step equipment and space around them. It gets very fast and chaotic and inevitably steps get knocked over. So I start by preparing you for that so you can ‘save’ the mishap when it happens.
In the gym we can be more conscious of choosing the variation of a movement that we know we can handle our bodies’ reactions to. In other areas of life we may not be so lucky, someone can ‘push our buttons’ and spark a fight, or we can feel overwhelmed and react with quiet hesitance, perpetuating our frustration and overwhelm. It takes awareness and practice at responding as our best selves in order for that to become a consistant positive reaction, thus part of our character.
So this week, we are thinking about how the best version of ourselves would respond to this challenge.
I got a great opportunity to practice this Sunday morning. Monday, I had a Gala to attend. I ordered a designer dress rental. The dress was supposed to be delivered on Saturday so I would have ample time to make sure the sizing and style worked for the event. They said it was delivered, but it was NOT. Enter panic mode! They said it would be delivered Monday by 10pm…. AFTER THE EVENT WOULD BE OVER! A part of me wanted to breathe fire at the rep over the phone, thinking ‘what is the purpose of this service if the rental isn’t delivered in time?’ Long story short,what’s this week’s theme?How would my best possible self-respond to this?I remained calm and patient with the representative. They gave me a 50% refund, offered for me to come to their location and pick something else out no cost, (which while it would be awesome to get a $1000 dress for free, I didn’t have time) …. so they arranged a Sunday delivery. It worked beautifully.
In class, I applied the same view to work through my physical challenges. I decided to ride further in cycling and experienced more heavy breathing and continual discomfort while riding. How does my best possible self/ best inner athlete respond? I decided that I could experience a prolonged time of heavy breathing & physical discomfort from hard work and it was ok. There were a few times where the burning in my legs was unbearable, thus I needed to back off for a bit. After all that discomfort, at the end I didn’t reach my goal, so I continued to ride at a heavy resistance a few extra minutes until I did. My best inner athlete stayed extra focused for just a little longer. If you’ve been following recent blogs, you know we’re working on split stance lunges, increasing our range of motion. In other words, getting your knee close to the floor during the sequence. Sunday was the first day I tapped the floor in almost each lunge. I also knew my time to train the following few days would be limited to I focused on getting more out of my time then.
Look at your current biggest challenge, in the gym and out. Pick 1 for each. For 10 days, how does the best version of yourself respond to each challenge? This doesn’t mean it’s going to fix your discomfort in burpees, or lunges; or that your partners teasing or bosses nagging will magically stop bothering you overnight. What this practice is doing is cultivating awareness of a better way to respond to these challenges in the moment and moving forward. As you practice this, a more efficient response will become an automatic reaction.
Optional worksheet below. I’m including some questions for your own journaling below to apply these skills. Please feel free to discuss them with me on Instagram this week
My physical challenge is:
(pick a movement you know you will do in class this week or in the gym by yourself, there might be a different way you approach it each day depending on what your body needs that day)
How would my best possible inner athlete approach be getting better at this movement?
(write down several thoughts you can remind and motivate yourself with)
My personal challenge is:
(Is there a co-worker or family member that pushes your button? Or a pet peeve you face?)
How does my best possible self-respond?
(Think of a time when you felt on top of the world, nothing could get you down. How would you respond. Or think of someone you know who gracefully could navigate that challenge, how would they respond? Write down several thoughts, go to’s, even positive scripts to prepare for a better response.)