Healthy Body:Hearthside Style (Part 1: Failing Forward)
If you’re anything like most people, at some point in your life you’ve committed to and failed a fitness challenge.
And if you’re anything like me, you’ve done it more than once…. (insert self-deprecating eyeroll now).
But, instead of focusing on the past failed attempts as a reflection of who I am as a person, I'm choosing to learn from my experiences and while some people might call me stubborn, or "glutton for punishment," I prefer to think of myself as determined, and persistent. So here's the thing, I recently committed to doing a 6-week program called “commit to fit,” which is offered at our local Burn Boot Camp. They offer a free 14-day introductory period, and because I don’t like to go easy on myself, I began the intro period this past Monday which will end up being a full 8 weeks of training.
I’m a basket full of emotions about the next 8 weeks (will share more about that in a later post) and if you find yourself identifying with me, knowing that you need to commit to yourself and your health, but don't know how this time will be any different than the past… don’t fear… I have a plan, and it’s called “Healthy Body: Hearthside Style.” (don’t judge me, I’m a nurse practitioner not a poet)
Over the next few days, Ill give you some tips on how to plan for and achieve your fitness goals. But for now, let’s start off easy with my top three.
#1: Find a good trainer.
I can recall at least 3 times that I allowed myself to be bullied into “more reps,” “faster sprints,” “deeper squats”…. by a trainer that did NOT understand my physical limitations. I have asthma, I also have hypermobile joints, and psoriatic arthritis. Training me is not for the faint of heart. But then I found a good physical therapy team that spent countless hours putting me through modified exercises until we found a plan that worked... and suddenly I understood why I had failed so many “challenges” in the past. By trying to fit into a "cookie cutter" mold, I had been hurting myself and causing more damage every time I listened to those trainers. Now that I know what my body needs…. I have no qualms about telling a trainer “NO! I can’t do that!”… Take it from me, you will KNOW that you've found a good one, because they will say things like, “okay, lets figure out how to work around this.” And please, for the love of God.... If they tell you that you are a wimp.... then run, wobble or crawl away as fast as you can.... cause they're dangerous.... and dumb. And you can tell them I said so.
#2: Be accountable.
After a lifetime of telling yourself that you will wake up at 05:00 and then hitting the snooze button until 06:30… you begin to lose faith in yourself. So, when you say you’re going to hit the gym 3 times a week for the next 8 weeks (ahem, Luisa)… do you really believe you will do it? That’s where accountability steps in. Tell a trusted friend, family member, or tell your bosses and all of Social Media (again, ahem, Luisa) of your plans, and ask them to hold you accountable. Give them permission to lovingly remind you of how that cup of ice cream in the afternoon tears your stomach apart and makes it hard to work out; give your partner a Super Soaker and tell them to squirt you right in your sleepy face if you hit the snooze button. (note to self: purchase Super Soaker)
#3: Fill your Toolbox
Remember the first day of school when you had your new backpack, sharpened pencils, and new shoes? You walked into school feeling ready for anything. DO that AGAIN!! You deserve to have a good pair of well fitting shoes. You don’t want to sprain an ankle on the first day of boot camp because you tried to save a little money (Ask me how I know). I’m fortunate, I work in an amazing place that has so many tools for me to use. One of these is our Whole Body Cryotherapy chamber. And even though it has helped me manage my chronic pain before… this is the first time I’ve been able to hobble into work with legs full of lactic acid from my first work out, and then get into the Cryotherapy Chamber.
GAME CHANGER my Friends. GAME. CHANGER.
I was literally running around Hearthside like a 5 year old with “fast shoes” yelling “look what I can do now guys!!” The Hearthside staff members were cracking up (and apparently recording me too).
Which brings me to my final suggestion....
Gather your friends around you and challenge each other. Support each other. Ask each other questions. Share your tips and tricks. Having someone there to give you a high-five when you just did 20 burpees without barfing is a big deal.
The right tools make a hard job easy. (Just don't call your friend a tool).... (unless they call you a wimp).
So to wrap it all up, I want to leave you with an incredibly important message. With the right plan, I know I can be successful, and I KNOW that YOU can be successful too. Wherever we are at the beginning, and whatever our end goal shall be... we only need to find the correct path. One step at a time. And I will get there. And YOU will get there. I promise.
When you feel afraid to start again...I want you to repeat after me..... "Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” (John Maxwell)
So here I am.... failing forward. And you're more than welcome to come join me, I've got room in my tool box.
Until next time, you can catch me hanging out by the Hearth,
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