Confessionals of a kettlebell instructor: The Olympics, you and setting your bar a rung higher

higher bar-1
Love or hate the Games, the same phrase still remains the same when I’m watching athletes achieve greatness and world applause. “Damn. They must have worked hard for that.”

We need to remind ourselves – These athletes have chosen this path as their career. They spend their every breathing moment dedicated to the potential success of a gold medal let alone just being able to compete in the Olympics. They are masters of what they do regardless of their final placement in the ranks. On a Friday night when you and I are enjoying a cider at the pub after a week of 9-11 hour days sitting at a desk, these savants are not sitting in the booth next to us. They are at home, sleeping or preparing for tomorrow’s practice. Again.

I’m not discounting your hard work at the office. Goodness knows you have to work hard and smart to move forward in your life & career goals. The question is “Where is your bar? Not the drinking one silly. How high is your bar of standards for yourself these days?’’

What got us to our current success be it in career, family or fitness goals, we need to change our methods, habits, mindset & madness to enable us to achieve new success.

I have a couple of clients who are happy at their new found strength. After 6 months, twice a week practicing kettlebell their weights have become heavier, flexibility is increased, movement is much more fluid and a new confidence is shining through when they smile at me from the door when they leave…. Or maybe that’s them just happy to be running out the door…

So you can imagine my surprise when I heard “Nope. This is it. I just want to stay here. I never want a heavier bell.”

Eh? I says pardon?

I’ve learned from personal experience that the word NEVER, will eventually make a liar out of us somewhere down the line.

Time to check in with ourselves.

We all originally walked into Vancouver Mind-Body Centre because we weren’t happy with something or we had goals in mind to achieve. We sought out help from professionals because believe it or not – We had a standard that we were trying to realize and the avenues currently being taken were either not working or something needed to supplement the game plan. We didn’t lower our bar to make it easier on ourselves and accept that ridiculous phrase ”It is what it is”. We all made a huge first step of acknowledging something needed to change. So we did just that, stuck to our guns when it got tough and worked hard towards that gold medal.

Well congratulations buddy, you got this gold medal. We reached to top of THAT bar.

Now we need to maintain it and set the rung higher again. Maybe not heavier weight right away, maybe something different. Let’s try hold a hanging L-Sit from the bar with straight, locked knees or deadlifts with a 32kg. I know it sucks, we finally got to a place that is comfortable with less sweat than usual. You’ve been quiet since you turned that 8kg bell into a 12kg last month. Sounds like we need to work at your hamstring flexibility, work on your grip strength and cuss at the instructor all over again, because you and I are setting your bar higher. A new gold medal to produce for yourself with your classmates & I as your world audience cheering you on.

Sounds like it is time to start yelling and giving me dirty looks again.

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Confessionals of a kettlebell instructor: The Olympics, you and setting your bar a rung higher

The Confessionals of a Kettlebell Instructor. Part 1 – Food.

 

confessionals_01Challenge: Willpower vs Food

(Or: That certain food vice that always beats your brain)

Everyone has a food vice.  For example – If I were to shout “ICE CREAM!”,  some of you would immediately start walking to the freezer.  But that’s okay.  Instead of feeling guilt, let’s deal with this head on.  When it comes to food, we just need a few rules to help our willpower control our food cravings.

When I decided to become a kettlebell instructor, I knew there were (and still l are) some tough habits/challenges I had to face.  One of them is my love for chips. I can smell those salty, crispy morsels from a room away when a bag has been opened.  If I could, I’d duct tape that beautiful foil bag of fried potato salt to my face like a horse’s feed bag.

Marcia ! What the heck?  Aren’t you an adult with responsibilities and a mortgage?  Where is your willpower?  

When it comes to salty, crunchy savoury food, my willpower has as much effect on me as a red light does on a late 99 B-Line Bus: as in, none at all.

Depending on willpower alone is like tackling Mount Everest without a sherpa.  It might happen, but it takes a heck of a lot more effort.  When it comes to our vices, be it ice cream, chips, cigarettes, liquor or cotton candy, we need a plan and perhaps some sherpas to help us along.

Here are some rules that I try to stick to.

Rule 1 – Groceries:
No chip buying.  Chip bags aren’t allowed into my house.  EVER.

Rule 2 – Parties:
No unnecessary grazing (and really, is grazing ever necessary?) I make sure to stay out of the kitchen area and other food stations to avoid eating for sport.  It helps to make sure I have a glass of water (or wine depending on the occasion) in my hands. Occupied hands can’t get into chip bowls.

Rule 3 – Mindset:
I struggle every day to get more vegetables in my meals. Yet, I have zero struggle with chips.  But what if I tried switching my mentality?  Veggies = good and yummy.  Chip = overcooked potatoes that fell into the salt jar on the counter…

This one is still underway, so I’ll have to get back to you!

Bonus Rule: Tell your people (or, get help climbing your mountain)

There are many reasons people communicate their dietary limitations; they may be celiac or diabetic, vegan by choice, have food allergies, or just struggle like me.  Your friends and family can be a huge support system when you’re out at restaurants and parties, if they know about your goals, maybe they can help you too.  

You may find implementing one of the above steps into your day may be a huge help in the small steps leading to great rewards.  

I’ll check in a couple of weeks to tell you how it is going. In the meantime, how do you handle willpower and a chip bowl?

The Confessionals of a Kettlebell Instructor. Part 1 – Food.