How many people do you know who made grand New Year’s resolutions to get back in shape – but just never seemed to be able to make it happen? If you have to fight intense internal resistance all the time, or if your body feels dense, heavy and hard when you set out on the journey to achieving your goal, ask yourself why you’re feeling this way! If you joined the local running club to improve your cardiovascular fitness and shed a few pounds, did you do it because health pundits say that’s what you should do, or because you like the support of a group and you enjoy running? And that brings us to definition #3. This one provides the foundation for all of the ones above.
Is your plan for physical activity in harmony with who you are, and how you like to live your life? In an industry where the sands shift quickly from one fitness trend to the next, it has been interesting to watch the rise and fall of various fitness methodologies, and in particular the trajectory of the Pilates method. You may not know this, but your local gym makes a lot of money from memberships sold to people who start out great guns, but just can’t seem to keep up the personal momentum to get results. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers a three distinct definitions which might help us understand it. Let’s think of it as the texture of your commitment to your goal, whatever that goal is.
Does it support the activities you want most to achieve in the rest of your life – playing with kids, staying healthy & preventing injury, climbing Mount Everest, running a Fortune 500 company, building schools in Africa? Are you an athlete who doesn’t make time for the fundamental work that supports your intense physical activity? It’s a fact that your overall level of fitness is not determined by what you do sometimes, or by your sporadic good intentions. If someone told you to do Pilates for your posture, and you can’t stand the pace of it – why do you stay?
Because if your movement is not in alignment with the rest of your life, you are likely to experience, at the very least, a difficulty being consistent with it.
Give yourself permission to go as hard, or as gently, as the circumstances in your life require. If you are constantly feeling dense, heavy, stiff and resistant in your body, it may be time to try something new. Here is what you must include: Susannah Steers is an Integrated Movement Specialist, speaker, workshop facilitator and founder of Moving Spirit, where she helps active people find their BEST moving bodies.
Is your goal a heavy thing, a weight on your shoulders, an onerous task to be completed despite whatever hardships may be heaped upon you?
I can’t stand having someone bark out orders and demand repetitions that I may or may not be able to do well. Is the light at the end of the tunnel worth whatever sacrifices, changes or pains you’ll have to go through to get there?
If pain (either physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) prevents you from going as hard or as far as you’d like, take a breath. Or does the thought of achieving your goal get you excited, help you find motivation and give you energy to proceed? Make sure you choose the popsicles you enjoy most, and that get you the best results for every part of your life and every phase of your life.
These are people who’ve worked through disappointments, pain, dysfunction, injury, set-backs, surgeries, illnesses, grief and any number of challenges by just showing up day after day, and giving it whatever they had to give in the moment. You just might find something that creates ease, lightness and flow – and that’s like adding rocket fuel in terms of improving performance! I can have fun and ground myself in a sense of purpose that will help me through even the toughest days.
It opens up a whole new reservoir of constancy that evolves with your life, not in spite of it.
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