Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Maintaining Motivation through Corona-times


1. Step aside, surrender control - allow change. Feel frustration, let yourself have time to feel the loss of your original plan.  And then be willing to move along.  If we get stuck in the wallowing, it just drags on. Allow yourself to be flexible with races that may or may not happen, and think further.  Be aware that this is an opportunity to practice following the flow of life.

2. Alter your timeline of goals, giving you a BONUS!  You just bought yourself some time!  You can still have the big goal that you had, but it is now moved back (make sure to schedule another goal for late summer or fall?)  Sooo… that means--- what are the things you had in the back of your mind that you KNEW you were not doing FULLY?  Were you not rolling?  WRITE IT DOWN.  Rolling is your new DAILY THING that you WILL make a habit this month.  Was your nutrition off and you know you need to buckle down.  Make it happen.  If it truly is a goal, you will do it.  TAKE CONTROL of the things that you CAN control!!  YOU can control if you get in DAILY ABS.  You CAN CONTROL your daily nutrition (if you make the choice that it is important enough to you). Change 180 degrees from what you WERE doing.  Maybe change course/go backwards/ add additional base training if that is needed and a change for you.  OR if you were building up, take a few weeks of short and fun, speed training, working different energy systems.  Since you are looking at a timeline pushed way back- why not also come up with a rough 5 year plan for yourself!  Any big goals out there?  5 year race goals?  Bucket list races?  How can this current year actually help you get there?

3.  CONTINUE TO LOG/ KEEP TRACK of what you are doing!  (and send results/your log to your coach!!)  Just because your stage in training has changed, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter what you are doing.  The amount you are doing matters (not just for the now, but for the big picture- future plan, etc). 

4. What to do with any extra time you may have!  Ahhhhhh- WOW:  here is a list!

*research future possible races that you may like to do!

*listen to podcasts on fitness, motivation, nutrition, other interests while you are working from home, when appropriate of course!

*take an online zoom strength class (WITH ME!!)  or yoga!  Or take an online zoom class from somewhere that you cannot usually get to (long distance, etc!!!)

*find new routes that are socially distant!

*read books that motivate you:   *”Lure of Long Distances” was a really good read and left me craving epic runs and the personal transformation that comes with change.  “Practicing the Power of Now” is a simplified book of the full Power of Now book and has take home messages that are understandable to remind us of the importance of being present in our lives (very timely).

5.  STRENGTH:  you can literally do some strength every day, in various forms (yoga included).  I can guarantee you 10000% results will transfer if you keep yourself doing focused strength workouts.  It does not take long.  HUGE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.  I could go on and on here.  Or if you are already really cranking along with your strength workouts- what is the SMALL OVERLOOKED stuff.  There are always things that we just simply don’t have time for.  Are your shoulders tight? Leaving you to not get a good full extension in the pool, but you typically just can’t fit in a 10 min shoulder/lat/chest stretch series?  Do it now.

6.  Do NEW!  Do things you would never usually consider.  Do a “virtual race.”  Find out about strava even if you are not interested in the least in comparing/competing virtually with others!  Research a ride you have never done, a century, a trail.   If you are not on social media, maybe get an Instagram account and search some races, be inspired by some awesome training scenery, etc.

7.  REST.   This is a definite chance to look critically at what our bodies need, and most of us do need some REPAIRING!  Normalize our nervous system with some low impact hikes, yin yoga classes to restore ourselves before diving back in to our revised goals!  Allow this PAUSE.

8.  Take care of EQUIPMENT.  This includes researching options so when your bike shoes need replacing, you have some ideas.  Clean your bike well!  Check out the tires.  Look at your run shoes, research if you need to make a change, make sure you have fast laces for races this summer; make sure you have a fuel belt that you really love.  If not, research it.  Are you using your Garmin or sports watch/GPS and all of it’s features?  If not, learn something new today! 

9.  Do your workouts for the INTRINSIC VALUE of what the workout gives to you- the internal value of checking off a day’s goal, hitting a 2 mile run time trial on the treadmill that you have been aiming for, challenging yourself to do the new thing, the home workout that you had NO IDEA would kick your butt!  Enjoy the scenery on your runs, walks, bike rides, etc.  Enjoy the FEELING of being strong, working core, doing new things.  Every workout should be full of JOY and appreciation!

10. Keep a routine, despite chaos.  If you like to take a day off of exercise every week, continue to do that.  Even if your days look completely different, keep a commitment to daily exercise.  If you used to have to get up at 4:30AM to get your workout in and now you don’t need to, make sure that you don’t end up skipping it altogether.  Sometimes it ends up being harder to commit to your workout when you have more flexibility!  Keep a routine, even if the workouts themselves are different than what they used to look like!  If you were using weekends to get some long workouts in, maybe change your routine so that you can now enjoy a weekend day off, but make it an intentional knowing change, a routine to count on, not just a missed workout!


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Our collective PAUSE.....


Coronavirus 2020.

It’s been obviously out of this world.

I hate part of it.  But I also love part of it and am so thankful.

I am embarrassed that I sometimes think God sent it to us not to harm our health, but to get us to pause.  I am trying to pause.  I am pausing.

Pausing freaks the SHIT out of me, but I’m actually doing it.

Growing up….

*I don’t know what was wrong with me.  I was born this way.  I only knew hard work.  I don’t know what circulated in my blood differently, but I was different and I knew it.  I didn’t want other things.  I wanted work.  Even when I was young, I was focused on waking up early and getting a “head start.”

*The only thing that ever mattered to me from age 6-16 was gymnastics.  I probably had an inkling I would be limited in my success, but with this, I had an inner vow to myself.  I would never waste a day. I would frankly never waste an hour.  It was great.  It was also disastrous and just fed the monster.  My monster was perfection, obsession and self-criticism.  It was unending.  It was also exhilarating. I was so addicted to it, and it fed my heart and soul.  I had some success, but I also created my own success channels by imprinting on my heart that I would always be the hardest worker.  I may never get to the Olympics, but there would be no one that could work harder.  There would be no one who could accept more intensity, who would be willing to be so laser focused. 

In college, particularly because I had to transfer to the school I wanted to go to, UVA, I was terrified that I didn’t belong and again, hyper vigilant on my work.  I don’t mean I studied hard.  I mean, it was really compulsive and obsessive.  There was always more for me to do, I would switch from subject to subject, underlining, memorizing.  My internal motto was that I would learn it well enough to be able to “teach it.”  I would know it like the back of my hand.  It was awesome.  Awesomely dangerous and bad.  I didn’t know how to stop.  My life was a whirling cycle of reaching further…  And I LOVED IT.  I was exhilarated by it, I loved learning everything so fully and it fueled my hard work.  Halfway through undergrad, I got my first A- and cried myself silly.  I had ruined my perfect A college streak.  So I worked harder so it would never happen again.

I could go on and on, to grad school, beginning my full time career, starting my own business, and then the final whirling of our families adoption journey, that maybe was the epitome of my lifetime of work.  I worked and worked and could never really stop.  Until everything came crashing and our adoption ended, and I worried so intensely that my kids would never heal.  I didn’t know if I would either.  I remember taking breaths and wondering if somehow that would be my last one.  It sounds obviously strange, but I didn’t know if my devastation and fear would physically allow me to take the next breath. 

This was my first pause.  It has been 5 years.  I committed then to slowing down.  And I did.  I sat on my porch.  I sat in my house and just let myself feel SAFE.  And breathed.  I found dead silence in my house and I Honestly just listened to it, aware of how odd I was to be literally listening to my house silent and my body breathing.  And I literally listened to my breath and reminded myself that I didn’t have to doubt that the next one would come.  I sat on the porch again.  I let myself sit at the swimming pool.  I let myself say no to work.  I let myself stop obsessing over being the one who never stopped working.  I let myself read books.  Actual books with stories (not just how to parent better, training studies, anatomy and yoga books, but actual fiction stories!).  I let myself struggle with the guilt of being still, and tried to work through that guilt. 

I’m renewing that pause now. But now, I’m focusing on the pause and stillness WITHOUT GUILT.  I am not feeling bad about just “being” because there are others out there now also that are “just being.”  It is easier to feel less guilt, that I’m not getting behind, since this is affecting us all.  I am focusing on the silver lining of being able to sleep in a few days now each week.  My body was so over fatigued, I knew I was so far down in a sleep hole, but there wasn’t any way to get out of it, basically except this “opportunity” of having my life upended, and here it is.  Of course, none of this is good for anyone’s financial “fitness”, but at this point, I am choosing to see the opportunities that are arising from the situation.  Letting my health be taken care of and getting more sleep has been a huge blessing.

I am always keeping aligned with my goals and what makes me feel good.  Fitness makes me feel happy, and with this coronavirus shutdown, I do truly believe that anyone out there that has a goal of fitness has literally no excuse to not make that happen.  Easy for me to say though, because I enjoy fitness.  So I also have told myself that if I want to do things that aren’t as easy for me, now is the time to open myself up to those priorities.  Keeping my house clean is not super high on my list, but now is a time that I am actually committing to daily doing “family 15” where we all contribute 15 minutes, and maybe little by little, we will notice a difference.

There are silver linings everywhere.  What are yours?