CAN’T (CANNOT): to be unable to do otherwise than
Out of all of my blogs in recent years, I can honestly say that this one will carry the most power, the most emotion, the most energy – all based on one word and it’s most widely used short form.
I’ve spoken of other words in our vocabulary that pack a lot of punch, but this one…this must be number one. Why would I say so? If you have not ever heard me speak so strongly about the term “can’t” and why you should do everything in your power to eliminate it from your everyday speech now, please take the time to read this and, of course, offer your opinions/comments/criticism if you feel the need to do so.
I used to be guilty of using this word on a regular basis until it was brought to my attention just how much it prevented me from advancing, achieving, accomplishing, and succeeding in my personal, spiritual, and fitness goals. This word that is used as a common response by many people to a challenge, a task, a project, or in this case related to exercise, is in my mind the equivalent of cursing me to my face. As a matter of fact, you’re better off just flipping me the bird, mooning me (okay, maybe not that…), or anything else that would be offensive. I can be certain that most teachers, coaches, and trainers feel the same way that I do, especially because our roles include motivating our clients and communities to move, make better nutrition choices for their health and wellness benefit, and encouraging them to push through each minute and second of their workout to get the best out of their time spent with us.
Because let’s face facts here: When a person says that they can’t do something, it’s not because they physically cannot do it; rather it’s because they do not have the desire to do it.
Now, please don’t get it twisted: there are people who are physically unable to do certain things as a result of an injury or doctor’s orders AT THAT PRESENT MOMENT…and I respect that 100%. As a fitness professional, I don’t wish to force any of my clients to perform movements that would be detrimental to them. But, once they have recovered, who says that they wouldn’t be able to work towards it or perform a regressed version of the movement?
Oh! I know! – the word “can’t” tells them so.
HOW MUCH DOES “CAN’T” AFFECT YOUR GOALS?
“Can’t” is powerful simply because it has the ability, along with the word “fear”, to disable a person’s potential, thus resulting in discouragement and reverting to what is comfortable to them. It often works against your goals instead of working with it. Allow me to break the scenario down with dialogue:
Trainer: “Ok! So your program is going to begin on the treadmill. This is how we’re going to get you ready for the 5k run in a couple of months – the one that you said was part of your goals for the year. You’re going to start with a 1 minute walk and then for 2 minutes your going to jog for….”
Client: “Ummmm I can’t do the treadmill. I just can’t do it. How about I do the elliptical? I REALLY love that…so much easier!”
Trainer: “When you say you “can’t do the treadmill”, what do you mean? I can show you how to operate it…”
Client: “No no, I just can’t do it. I physically can’t do it at all…can I just do the elliptical?”
Trainer: “Are you afraid of the belt? Is it the style of the treadmill? Did you have a bad experience with the treadmill before? I’m trying to get a better understanding as to why…”
Client: “No I just can’t do it. I just can’t…like I can’t”
See that face? That’s me every time a conversation like this has transpired. “Can’t” has the ability to cause some kind of paralysis with people that is mind-boggling…especially when you are asking them to do something that they have done before. What the client should have said was “I know you want me to use the treadmill but I don’t want to, even if it’s going to help me progress, even if it’s going to challenge me, even if it is not in my comfort zone.”
Look friends, if you’re totally okay with being where you are right now and you want to just maintain the progress you have made thus far, then do your thing! You will not be criticized, harassed, or pushed to do more. But if you know that you can, why limit yourself by telling yourself that you can’t?
Reality check: YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!
Want to save a million dollars in the bank? DO IT
Want to see the other side of the world? DO IT
Want to lose weight? DO IT
Want to eat better? DO IT
Want to perform a push up on your toes, run a 5k race, squat 100 lbs, reduce your sugar intake – DO IT!
It all comes down to choice – do you want to or not? If the answer is “yes, I want to” then be prepared to do what it takes to make it happen. Surround yourself with people who will help you get there. Feed your mind and your heart with POSITIVE influences that will give you the boost you need to continue. Give yourself a chance and TRY, even if you don’t succeed on the first effort. And get rid of that word “can’t” – chuck it out the window along with other negative vocab that when used can and will destroy instead of build.
You have the opportunity put before you to go where you want to go. Your potential is within – repeating the word “can’t” only buries it deeper and deeper, tucking it away so far that you forget where you put it. The only time “can’t” is acceptable is when it’s associated with the word “quit.” Period.
Change your vocabulary, change your outcome.
CALL TO ACTION – PENALIZE YOURSELF EVERYTIME YOU USE THE WORD
My client sent me a picture of this shirt to serve as motivation for her…I look forward to a) ordering one and b) implementing this rule with my clients and myself. Now your penalty doesn’t have to be the same but try docking yourself every time you use the word. Attach a consequence to the term which will train you not to use it again, or as often. Make your support team is aware of your penalty so that they can ensure it’s enforced.
What’s up FITTNation?
Seems like this weather is playing tricks with us again. First its wicked cold, then mild; sun comes out and its manageable, then it snows (we’re expecting some snow tonight so stay warm and get them shovels ready!)
What does weather change have to do with our fitness?
EVERYTHING! Allow me to explain.
I had a conversation with a mentor of mine a couple of years ago as I was lambasting him with my weight challenges. I kept asking, “Why is this not working? Why haven’t I seen much change happen? I’m eating well (common answer) and I’m training (the easiest part of the process)…what the heck? This doesn’t make any sense.”
That person turned to me, and with very few words, he hit me right in the head – “Kareem, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
One short sentence with a powerful effect. Damn – words can be really striking!
I thought about it for a moment and I realized something – he was right. As much as I was all for doing what I was assigned to do, I wasn’t giving it my best. I still had lingering habits that…well…hindered my progress, essentially lying to myself about my efforts.
Now he wasn’t accusing me or pointing the finger in an “it’s your fault” manner, but he was simply highlighting a point - a very VERY important point when it comes to change: in order for change to happen, it must start and end with you.
Take that in for a moment and let it marinate, penetrate, and BAM! Almost seems mind-blowing right? What if I told you it’s the honest truth? Would you be willing to accept that?
For those who are seeking the slice of honest pie like I received, this is what you would have to do. Because friends, let’s face fact: if you do not commit to change now, you will be in the same place when the next month rolls in…worst yet, when the new year comes knocking. Is that what you want? I would assume no, considering that you probably feel how I felt a couple of years ago – frustrated, fatigued, and confused.
So what actions do you need to take in order to get the process going? Remember that “why” I spoke about last time? Yeah, you know that 3-letter word that has so much force behind your efforts if it is as solid as you say it is? This is where your “why” is going to be tested. How much are you willing to give in order to get what you want and to be where you want?
Again, let’s be realistic here – good ol’ coach K is not telling you to go all in at once because that move, like in poker, is a gamble. And since I’m not into gambling, I’m not going to promote that idea. But, I will promote a couple of questions that I think will help you out:
ARE YOU REALLY READY?
Why do we sometimes find it difficult to change habits? Maybe it’s because we like our habits. Maybe it’s because it requires work and effort to change. Maybe it’s because you just don’t want to…or that you’re just not ready. But ask yourself this question: When will I be ready?
If your answer is “well (insert reason) has to be in place first and then (insert reason) has to be like this…then it will be easy! Then I’ll be ready,” I have breaking news for you: if you wait for the perfect scenario, you are just delaying the process of change even more.
No situation will be perfect because we are not perfect people; nor will your environment be perfect. But you have the power to change your environment in order to make change happen. You also have the power of choice – which at the end of the day puts the ball in your court and not anyone else.
FIND A NEW PATH – EMBRACE CHANGE OF ROUTINE
If your current M.O. has not been producing the results you hope to have, ask yourself this question: How has that been working for you?
Analyze where you are at and answer yourself honestly. Sure, doing what you are doing now is easy, but how will you get better? How will you experience change? Let’s use a training program for example. You have an established number of reps and sets that you work with every day. The first time you did the program, it was challenging, but now it has gotten easier. Great! What do you do next? Stay at the same number of reps and sets? Or do you increase the weight load, add more reps, or increase the number of sets you perform?
The same applies to change – you won’t experience change if you don’t take the opportunity to change. Evaluate your current path and consider where you can make adjustments. It doesn’t have to be all in one shot, but one step at a time. Focus on one habit and once you’ve tackled that successfully, add another.
CHANGE YOUR VOCABULARY – CHANGE YOUR MIND
I bet you didn’t know that your vocabulary plays a major role in changes to your health and wellness. The words we use can have such impact, even if used in a subtle manner. I am a huge advocate of positive thinking and positive vocab because words have the ability to affect us in a large way. This is one adjustment of course that comes with time, but if you make slight changes now, it will prove to be beneficial going forward. That’s right – ditch the “can’t” talk and ask yourself “how can you?” One word terminates the possibilities whereas the other allows for options.
See the difference?
SO WHAT'S NEXT?
Friends I had a lot to say today about this because it’s essential to your progress. The process is one that takes time which requires you to trust it. But if you are ready, you’ll learn a lot about yourself along the way. And if you’re not ready, no worries! I won’t judge you and neither would anyone else. You must be honest with yourself and accept that.
Just don’t wait for the worst to happen first before you make a move;-)
Summer 2016 is slowly drawing to a close and…what was the result of your efforts? Did you hit your targets, or get as close to them as possible? Did you commit to fitness and began exercising again on a consistent basis? What challenges did you experience and how did you overcome them? If you personally didn’t have any challenges, were you able to help others with theirs? What kept you motivated? Or…
Did you quit?
It’s common that during the summer months, most people take a break and pace their drive a little bit to accommodate their busy schedules with family, work, and vacations. It’s also common that some will completely abandon their goals and “wait until later” to start again which often times can lead to excess weight gain and overall demotivation.
Truth is: we hear you.
That being the case, please allow this story of perseverance to jump start your engines and give you some mojo to work with. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a couple of fitness professionals and friends whose examples are one to be recognized, acknowledged, and admired. They had personal trials to endure no different than yours, some more medically serious than others. Nonetheless, they all had a common denominator: quitting was not an option.
Enter Jernine Carter.
After re-connecting with her this past summer via Facebook (it had been almost 7+ years since our last interaction), we had a solid exchange of our own individual updates and by far, her accomplishments outweighed mine…not that we are competing, but, she won (just saying!). What’s so significant about her story? I’ll let her tell you herself via a letter she produced for a competition in her current hometown Alaska, USA. Get your jumper cables ready because you’re about to be recharged:
Hello, my name is Jernine Carter and I am a 30-year-old Physical Therapist living here in Alaska, and it is my desire to participate in Mount Marathon this summer. In February 2014, what started off as a 4-day vacation to Alaska, ended up being a moment that changed my life forever. While experiencing all that Alaska has to offer, I was in a snowmachining accident in the back country of Willow. I sustained a severe right Tibia/Fibula spiral fracture and another fracture through the mid line of my tibia. It was 3 days later where I met Dr. Schweiger and Jessica. I was told I would need intermedullary nailing, which involved a rod and 6 pins being placed in my leg for a period of 4-6 weeks; I would be NWB. After that I assumed I could return to my normal life. 2 months had passed and my leg looked exactly the same, no calcification, nothing at all. Mind you, I am a “young”, healthy, college level athlete in tennis, who loves to kickbox and workout on a daily basis. Being NWB for that amount of time killed me. A year had passed and I was still taking medication for my pain. With a continuous limp, I went through a bout of depression, feeling bad for myself because every time I went for hike or worked out, my leg would be in pain for the next day or two. I had many follow-ups and my doctor and friend stayed by me. Surgery #2 occurred a year to date after my accident, Dr. Schweiger stated the next step was dynamization. Literally right after surgery I felt the difference in my leg, I was able to go hiking and I finally got off of pain meds. However, the pain continued, and I still wasn’t able to jump, run, pivot, or anything of high intensity. After multiple appointments and follow-ups, Dr. Schweiger said the next step is complete removal of the hardware. In December, I put my trust in my doctor for the 3rd time. With a rocky 2 weeks post op, I questioned myself “why didn’t I listen to him before and get this done a year ago?”. I was able to run, jump, pivot, and do my high intensity exercise I used to do. It has been a very long 2 years, with many ups and downs, but throughout the whole time OPA stayed by me and supported me through every decision. My goal last summer was to compete in a half marathon, but my pain still limited me. This summer I would like to compete in Mount Marathon, to prove to myself that this injury did not take me or change me. I would rather think that the injury changed me and made me a stronger individual, able to take on anything. And as a result, I’ve been able to help my clients rehab and recover from their own injuries with the same attitude.
Did you notice what she had that kept her going despite the major injury, multiple surgeries, extensive recovery, and bouts of depression?
Two words: mindset and support
Her mindset helped her to persevere with patience and persistence; her support team helped her to keep moving confidence that if she was to fall, she would have a cushion to land on. She maintained her focus despite the slight blur; she remained determined, refusing to be defeated.
She did not quit.
Team, you can do the same. Challenges will always be present and sometimes to a greater degree than others. But if you maintain the right mindset, refuse to give up, and rely on your support team to pull you up when you need it, obstacles will no longer be viewed as the problem but part of the process of progress.
Accept the challenge
Persevere with persistence
Welcome support and support others
And do not quit
Until next time…
I must say it has been a while since I last gave you some “juice” to work with. I too have been slightly demotivated in the past couple of weeks. The truth is, as much as I would like to believe I could be Superman, I’m very much the Clark Kent type aka human.
We all experience bouts of being disengaged or demotivated, either because of external situations or within ourselves. Statistics get the better of us, the success of others gets to us, and time seems to be going so s-l-o-w-l-y that we feel like throwing in the towel and letting our gains diminish.
I can hear you sighing, and can see you nodding in agreement with that statement.
So…what do we do? How can we change the outcome tomorrow so that it doesn’t resemble today?
COMFORT ZONE – STEP OUT OF IT, STEP AWAY FROM IT, AND DISCONNECT FROM IT
A lot of times, our demotivation stems from doing the same things over and over and over again usually because we’re used it, we’re good at it, and, well, it’s easy.
This is where we become trapped. Stuck in a rut at the bottom of the hill, driving ourselves literally out of gas as we continue to accelerate thinking that we’re going forward when we’re not really going anywhere at all. Granted, as I always say “small progress is still progress” and this is true…but you cannot expect continuos progress to happen if you’re staying put in the same spot.
Make no mistake, this is not my way of saying “thanks for coming to class each week people but it’s time for you to go away and do something else.” Please please please do not take what I’m saying as such. But what I am saying is this: accept the challenge when presented to you.
If your trainer asks you to run three laps around the building and you’re “comfortable” with just one lap, add two more and give it a shot. Yes, you will be winded in the process and just might experience a slight out-of-body-asthma-attack experience but you have just taken your limits and pushed it one step further.
Now you have a new goal, a new objective! That is motivating:-)
It’s easy to say “I’m sooooo much better at doing half squats so even though he told me to sit 90 degrees deep, I’m just going to stay where I’m comfortable…”
Remember: accept the challenge when presented to you. Try, give it a shot, do the best you can, even if it’s uncomfortable. It will be at first, until you master it, and you’ll need a new challenge. GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!
In my experience with my clients over the past 7 years, I’ve watched people fight and fight and fight to stay in their comfort zone – from food to fitness – and I’ve had the privilege of watching them step out and experience amazing changes.
If you haven’t yet done so, ask yourself – why not you? Of course I’m not promoting the idea of going from 10 lbs to 100 lbs in one shot (because that’s just ridiculously OVER ambitious) but more like 10 to 20 lbs?
I watched a client who has been stepping out of her comfort zone since she started coming to my bootcamp class take her efforts to another level, pressing weight with proper form that, at first, was pretty challenging. She re-adjusted, lifted, and handled that bar like it was nothing (I spotted her of course).
She believed she could, and she did.
Everyone has the potential to do the same, not just because I believe you can, but because deep down inside, you believe you can.
So are you ready to accept your challenge? Are you ready for change? Well pack your bags, grab your stuff, and jump on the first flight out of your comfort zone…and let’s make it happen:-)
Until next time!
It’s rare that I have a few minutes on a usually busy afternoon to give you some energy for the weekend to come and beyond!
Yesterday I had a great training session with two of my hard-working clients and I had to correct their lingo. When I gave them one of the exercises to perform, I heard 3 words that rank on the same level as the F-word = I can’t do it.
Before I transformed into a drill sergeant, I kindly suggested that she did me two favours:
1 – PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING THAT TERM WHILE AT WORK
2 – Consider changing your words, incorporating a positive outlook instead of a negative one
Too often, we limit ourselves and our abilities by telling ourselves or worst yet letting someone tell us that we can’t do something. But how would you know unless you tried? Did you know that when we use the terms “can’t” and “won’t”, we actually limit the possibility of a positive outcome because our mind tells our body not to bother?
Yes, that’s right. When we want to do something, come hell or high water, we do it, no matter what obstacles befall us. But when that something is challenging beyond our comprehension (or we just believe that we don’t have the ability to do it), we tell ourselves to forget it and do something easier.
Mistake numero uno!
How else would you progress if you didn’t challenge yourself? How else would you get to stage 10 if you stayed in stage 1? How else would you get to your goal and accomplish your “why”? Remember that important element? The reason why you’re training?
Now, please fine people, I hope to not confuse you in what I’m saying. I do not suggest doing something that is TOTALLY out of your range thus injuring yourself and creating a detrimental consequence for yourself Nooooooooooooooo!
But what I am saying is that
a) rest assured I would never give you anything to do that is unsafe but will be out of your comfort zone and challenging, and
b) I wouldn’t give you something that I didn’t think you were quite ready for.
I’m a major advocate of safety and effectiveness so don’t get it twisted. At the same time, where you know you can challenge yourself, accept it and work at it.
Give your mind and body something to work with.
CALL TO ACTION: How can we change our mental and physical environment thus changing the outcome of our objectives in the process?
1) Review Your “Why” AGAIN! – I cannot express how important this is ladies and gentlemen. Your reason for being your best is the single most important factor that cannot be denied by anyone, including you. Heck, re-write your why if you have to! Keep it close by (on your phone, fridge, cookie jar, case of beer, wine bottle, wherever you will see it) so that you can be reminded of it regularly. And don’t just read it in your head, say it out loud! It will press on your conscience better:-)
2) Eliminate the “NOT” words from your vocabulary – if something is difficult to perform, refrain from saying “can’t” or “won’t” or any other word that will interrupt the process of your progress. Put a positive outlook on it and believe you can achieve.
3) Timeline your objectives – give yourself a reasonable start and end date to your goal. How much time will you give yourself to drop a dress size or two (or three)? How many weeks until summer is over? Be specific but be realistic
4) Be Balanced – even us fitness pros have to relax and reflect sometimes. Listen, it’s barbecue season! Enjoy your steak with friends; have that glass of wine; have fun! Just have to be disciplined to know when to say “no”. Remember: your goal is for you:-)
5) Ask for help – I may be a busy guy but I always have time for questions. Need a little boost? Hit me up! Come to a drop in (if you’re in the Montreal area) and sweat it out! Have questions regarding nutrition or training or mindset development? Ask away! My mission is to inform, not harass. I would LOVE to hear how many of you have made a positive change and what results have come from it – that’s what FITTNation is all about! That’s why I do this.
In conclusion peeps, it comes down to you – ask yourself those tough questions: how much do you want to make a difference?
Are you ready to make a lifestyle change or is this just a “summer” thing?
What are you willing to do with or without?
The choice is yours. Just know that I’ll be around whatever you decide
Until next time…
Good Morning FITTNation!
What does it mean to have the mindset of a winner? How much does having the right mindset matter?
Let me set the scene for you and see if you can relate.
You have a goal in mind…a number of goals to be specific. Goals that you put out there before your friends and family, letting them know what you are setting yourself up to achieve.
“Yes! You can do it! I’m rooting for you!”
Of course, in doing so, you have people who doubt and dismiss you right away because they don’t believe you have it in you to make them happen.
“Unrealistic! How do you plan to do that with all these events, and BBQ’s, and parties, and vacations! Just forget about it…you’re only going to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen so why bother?”
What do you do? Do you use the energy derived from the positive push you get from your support squad and go with it? Or do you accept the perceived “inevitable” and “impossible” that others state will be the outcome and throw in the towel before the fight starts?
Consider something that will help you decide. It may be small to you, depending on your experience, yet it can yield such a BIG change and literally catapult you in the right direction.
Reflect on how you have succeeded in the past and what you have accomplished before.
Now, as I mentioned, depending on your experience, maybe your accomplishments have been somewhat minor…but would it be right to look at them in that way? NOPE! Because no matter how you slice it, how big or small it is, it’s still an accomplishment or an achievement. You still encountered challenges, roadblocks, hindrances along the way and yet YOU STILL KEPT GOING!
Maybe what you accomplished is not related to your fitness or lifestyle goals but the process is still the same. The struggle is still the same. The fatigue, the battle, the push, the feeling of wanting to give up and let it go is still the same.
What’s the difference? One you have already completed and the other(s) are waiting on you to start (or to continue).
Having the right mindset will help you to stay focused and committed to your goals regardless of what you’re up against. Truth - Adversity, challenges, circumstances beyond your control will ALWAYS exist…the question is: do you allow those elements to affect your mindset and therefore affect the outcome of your efforts?
I’ll tell you who doesn’t allow that to happen: WINNERS
Winners push past those elements and strive for victory, thriving under the most pressured situations. Winners don’t look at what’s immediately in front of them that may be in the way of their vision – they look past it and do what they have to do to get through it. Winners struggle too…but they take that struggle, learn from it, head back to the drawing board, make an adjustment or two or ten, and go at it again.
Winners are underdogs – just like you. They have doubts, they are doubted, and sometimes they fall. But they get back up…because winners don’t lose even if the score says otherwise.
And it all starts with their mindset – their focus, their “why” being front and center in their thoughts, and their vocabulary – POSITIVE talk to get them through the struggle.
Ask yourself – what have I accomplished? What goals have I crushed in the past? In what ways have I won? Do I have the mindset of a winner now?
Remember team: success begins and ends with you. We (your support team and myself) are just here to see you through it and everything that comes along with it.
Until next time…enjoy the weather and get out there and get active!
Good Morning FITTNation!
Allow me to change your train of thought for a moment as I would like to address a growing concern in the fitness world – OVERTRAINING.
WHAT IS OVERTRAINING
According to a number of sources, Overtraining is defined as when one exercises to the extreme in intensity, frequency, and/or duration. It can cause a number of symptoms such as fatigue, elevated resting heart rate, and lowered performance. Some other common symptoms are lack of motivation, lack of results (no change appearance, strength, or endurance), increased soreness following a workout, injuries (sprains, muscle tears, etc.), and lack of focus and/or concentration.
Another major detriment of overtraining is the increase of cortisol (the hormone that causes catabolism of muscle and as result shrinks your lean tissue) as well as the exhaustion of your adrenal glands, overtaxing of your central nervous system, and fat weight gain.
In a nutshell: Overtraining is doing too much without allowing your body enough time to recover.
The sad truth is that many people are victims of overtraining, brought on by themselves. There are a good number of people that, as a result of how they may see themselves (or because of past experiences with weight issues for example), they push and push and push…to the point where their body says “I cannot continue, I’m sorry!” The problem is too many times we ignore what the body says and keep going.
Now, some of you may be saying “but YOU and these motivational posts on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter keep encouraging me to push hard and keep going even when I want to stop and ‘never say can’t’ and…and now you’re saying to calm down???”
Allow me to explain. I am all for supporting the efforts of people who work hard. But I DO NOT SUPPORT overtraining or excessive training. Even I know when enough is enough for me and I am a trainer and an instructor. I know where to draw the line. I know when to listen to my body. I know when to stop. I too, as some of you may know, used to battle with weight and image challenges back in the day, and I believed that training for hours and living at the gym and on the treadmill was the key to a better me…and I was wrong. It only resulted in taking supplements that affected my sleep (result: insomnia), fat gain, muscle loss, and fatigue on top of fatigue, not to mention injuries.
No doubt about it, I LOVE seeing people go HAM when they train. It’s empowering, motivating, and encouraging. But if you’re living in the gym…you can’t expect a high five from me. If you’re doing two or three classes a day (and even in a row), you can’t expect a smile from me. No gold star, no thumbs up, nuh-uhJ I encourage healthy active living in a BALANCED manner, not in an excessive manner. You should too.
SUGGESTIONS FOR A BALANCED TRAINING PROGRAM
The reality is this: the information I have just provided for you is what it is – information. I’ve never been one to single people out for what they do because I wouldn’t want to be treated that way either (i.e. the golden rule). So after reading this, you can file it away in your mind as being “cute” or “doesn’t apply to me” or you could just ignore it altogether. Will I be upset? Nope. Will I bring up the topic again at a later point? If someone has a question for me, I will happily answer them in private.
Keep this in mind: what I give you is not to make me look good. I don’t blog for praise. I do it out of genuine concern for people. This topic I just covered was out of genuine concern for people, even if it didn’t apply to you. We all know someone who could use some balance. We all know someone who pushes…a little too much for their own benefit. Overtraining and exercise addiction are known syndromes and are common challenges in today’s fitness world. If I do not take time to educate our young people, clients, friends, and family members about this, I feel like I’m not doing my part.
With that said, keep up the hustle and enjoy the process!
Until next time…
Have you heard the latest story in sports, namely European Football? Regardless if you are a soccer fan or not, you must be familiar with the team from Leicester City in England.
Never heard of them? That’s because they were virtually non-existent last season until they made a dramatic and historic turn-around this season.
I can sense the look on your faces now, curious to know who it is I’m speaking of; or you may be thinking “where is he going with this? Get to the point!” Follow my lead for a moment because there is a VERY important lesson to learn from this team.
The Leicester City Foxes are a Pro Football team that play in the Premier League – one of the most prestigious leagues in all sports. They went from being ranked in the bottom three of the entire league to being crowned league champions this week exactly one year later.
What were the odds of that happening? Try 5000 TO 1
YES I SAID IT – 5000 TO 1
They are the definition of a team that defied the odds to the nth degree and then some – can you imagine? Truth is, they could. And what they set out to do came to fruition. Regardless of what happened last season, they put it all out on the field, went to work every practice, every game, and every moment they could.
The result? A pretty major accomplishment!
They dealt with doubters, naysayers, scoffers, and much more – but it all didn’t matter once they learned that they were tops in the soccer world for the first time in a long time.
What was they’re secret? Superstar players? Forfeited games?
No. They utilized their true strength – the ability to overcome which lead to achievement, accomplishment, and accolades from around the world.
Now, what does the story of a team that literally “started from the bottom” mean for you?
Maybe you feel like you’re starting from the bottom all over again. Maybe you feel like the odds are stacked against you so much that you just cannot catch a break, nor will anyone give you one unless its in the form of a Kit Kat bar.
Maybe you feel like giving up, letting go, and putting your goal behind you for now because “there’s just too much going on” that you’ve allowed yourself to feel defeated and deflated.
Imagine how this team must have felt. But…look what they were able to do! These guys were counted out COMPLETELY, not even given a chance or even a third thought for a moment. They used that “fuel” to fire the up and execute, most notably against some of the regularly top-ranked teams.
What are you using as your “fuel”? Or…what “fire” are you allowing to burn you?
Ask yourself this question friends: WHAT IS DRIVING YOU RIGHT NOW?
What are your doubts? Your fears? And why do they affect you so much? Why are they allowed to occupy space in your mind and heart, landing there on perma-reserve? Why hasn’t it been replaced by positive and up-building and re-enforcing words and thoughts that are there to help you and not to tear you down?
This is where strength really comes in and plays its role. Strength is not just about how much you can lift, press, push, pull, or squat. Strength is how much you can bear. Strength how much your body can handle physically and your mind can handle mentally.
Strength is not measured alone by what you can do, but by being able to overcome what you thought you couldn’t.
We have the ability to defy odds, push limits, conquer challenges, and accomplish our goals…only, of course, if we want to. Strength will help us to do that every day.
So remember, we are all the underdog to somebody…even the most dominating squad or player can be considered against the odds. It’s up to us to find our “inner Leicester City” and prove our potential. Show the world that numbers do not matter and be LOUD about it!
Not while it’s still early in the season.
Until next time…
Good Morning FITTFamily!
Finally…Spring HAS COME BACK…home
For all of your wrestling fans (or if you’ve ever seen the Rock on television) you would know where that comes from…yes, I used to watch wrestling…
But back to the topic at hand – Spring Training Season has arrived! Oh yes, it’s here and you are ready to go! You got your training schedule, your gear, your goals and objectives set, your music, and BOOM! Time to make good use of that Vitamin D you’ve been lacking.
Yet, despite all of the excitement, you still…find…you’re a bit…just a bit…sluggish…slowed down…your mojo is teetering on non-existent…beastmode has been turned off for a bit to conserve energy…you mean well but you’re a little…stuck.
But the sun is coming out, the snow is clearing up, the weather is warming, and runners, walkers, and hikers are out of doors and up and about…what about you? Why are you not out there? What’s holding you back? You’ve waited for this to happen and now that it’s here, your drive is running out of gas already! Oh boy…
Ok, let’s not panic here! It’s just a short rut…you’ll get out of it right? Right?
What has changed? What’s happening now that wasn’t happening a couple of weeks ago that is bringing you almost to a halt? WHERE IS THAT PUSH?
Does this sound like you? Believe me when I say, you’re not alone.
Sometimes the transition between seasons can be tough to adapt to, especially when the previous season was winter. A lot of people take that time to rest, relax, recover, and recharge but those 4 R’s get a little too comfortable. It happens – it’s life! How do we prevent that feeling of “now I have to start all over again” from surfacing (or re-surfacing) every time?
Well, for starters, understand the importance of this one thing: in every season, no matter the weather or the storm that ensues, you have to keep moving!
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take a break because that wouldn’t be balanced advice; but coming to a complete pause/stop is also not the best option either, especially when your goals are all year round! It’s like driving in a Nascar race. When you’re on the straight, you’re high-tailing it, gunning that car like there’s no tomorrow because winning is the only option. But, because of an accident ahead, a caution flag comes up and you have to bring your car to a pace, only for a short time. You would lose the race if you stopped completely whereas you would still have an opportunity to win as long as you keep moving! That is one major key to your success that you need to remember.
Keep this in mind too friends – you have the power to sprint or to walk, it’s YOUR choice! You’ll get to your goal when you get there; in the end the same result has been generated. The time it takes, on the other hand, is not…but that all depends on how you view the race – a marathon or a sprint?
Embrace the new season! Challenge yourself to something different and then do it again! Make a goal for the season and progress week by week until the season is over. Then, compare where you were to where you’ve arrived to.
And then, before you know it – Summer Training Season will be here. Man, it can only go up from where you are now so stay positive, keep pushing, and hustle with your muscle
Until next time…
MOTIVATION: the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something; the act or process of motivating someone; the condition of being eager to act or work; he condition of being motivated; a force or influence that causes someone to do something
I begin this latest post with a word that has so much power. If you examine the definition I’ve posted above (thank you Myriam-Webster), this 10 letter mega-mot involves two things: a person (you) and a driving force or forces (variable(s)). It’s found in the title of my weekly blog, has been found in numerous articles, posts, messages, and memes to say the least, not to mention, it plays a major role in our success, yours and mine.
Lately though, for some, it has…well…not completely disappeared but is hiding somewhere…or has been put on the backburner, tucked away in a drawer, and hidden behind the busy state of our lives, leaving some to ask the question – WHERE HAS ALL THE MOJO GONE?
The driving force behind today’s post stems from a conversation I had via text with one of my clients. She stated that she’s “lost her mojo” and her drive was quite “low”. I understood COMPLETELY how she felt because, believe it or not, even motivators lose their motivation sometimes. But when you’re motivated, or have a source of motivation (also can be considered your “why”), shouldn’t you be driven and motivated ALL the time?
We would like to think that would be the case but that’s not always the scenario. What can cause that to happen and how can you bounce back? Let’s first begin with common factors that could lead to slow-mo-mojo
FACTOR A - THE WEATHER – NO SUN = NO FUN
Now before I begin with this factor, let me remind everyone that this winter was not like 2015 when it was unbearably cold, dark, and just yuck! It has been a pretty chill (no pun intended) winter with the occasional blasts of snowfall, ice rain, and cold (we all remember Saturday right?), so please do not take this as a rant about the weather – its inevitable! So what’s the challenge – lack of sunlight. When we are low on natural Vitamin D that we get from the sun, we natural tend to slow down and feel ultra “blah” as a result of the darker-than-normal atmosphere. Our main source of light becomes artificial (who wants fake when we can have real), which can lead to overeating (intake of too many calories), lack of activity (reduction of energy expenditure), reduction of energy, and loss of drive. Don’t you ever notice in bad weather, your first instinct is “Netflix and chill…with a box of ice cream and cookies”? It becomes a challenge, even to get out of bed! Lack of sunlight can be a hindrance to our performance. So how can we overcome that?
SOLUTION – CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS SUSTAINABLE IN EVERY SEASON
True, our best efforts may be performed when lots of light is available, but consider what else makes that environment energetic. If you love being around people, workout with a group of friends at home, the gym, or in a class! Keep the energy flowing with solid bumping tunes that will make you move even if you’re alone. Have water and fresh fruit available to you after you’ve finished your sweat session. Or, keep it simple and commit yourself to doing something light. Face the challenge, accept it, and conquer it. Remember, you’ll have plenty more challenges to come on your journey so let this one be your warm up
FACTOR B – YOUR ROUTINE IS KINDA WEAK AND SO IS YOUR GOAL
Why do I keep bringing up the importance of goal setting? Because think about it – who drives just for the sake of driving if you really don’t have anywhere to go? Or you do but your route has been taken day in and day out for months on end out of the sake of comfort. Having no idea as to where you would like to go can make that trip seem never ending. But at the same time, having a goal that is so far out there (ridiculously unrealistic) can also make you feel like you’re going nowhere and that you’re not getting any closer.
Talk about un-motivating!
You see other people making things happen, going places and having stories to tell about their trip and you don’t really have much to share even to yourself. This is a factor that can DEFINITELY allow your motivation to diminish and wither and fade away, slowly but surely.
SOLUTION – RE-EVALUTATE YOUR GOAL AND MODIFY YOUR ROUTINE
In my previous post, I explained the importance of breaking down your initial goal to make several smaller goals/milestones. A great way to re-rev your drive and get that mojo back in motion is to do that. Set a shorter goal, challenge yourself to accomplish that goal, high-five yourself, and do it again but this time with something else! For example, perform a circuit of 4 to 5 exercises for 10-12 reps each. Time yourself and see how long it takes to complete all 4 to 5 rounds (with proper form of course). That’s now your benchmark time until you do it again and you try to beat that time! A very simple way to change your regular routine and add some energy to it. You can also do the same for cardio! Or try a food goal (ex: Litres of water per week or glasses per day).
Remember FITTFriends, you are human. And as such, we go through ups and downs all the time. Yes, it can be frustrating and it can almost feel never ending; but here’s the scoop – you can end it. MINDSET IS KEY! Think about it: you’ve overcome a bad break-up in the past right? Bounced back on your feet, dusted the dirt off your shoulder and said “I got this!” and moved on. You took vital lessons from the experience which shaped and moulded your mindset. Well, the same applies for this. Take a deep breath or two…or several…and begin again. Make small adjustments to your environment, your goals, and to your routine, and slowly but surely feel the re-charge of your mojo as it hits your system.
R-E-L-A-X. Now, let’s get it again. We got work to do
Until next time…
Trainer Profile: Kareem Rawlins
Experience Personal Training – 5 years | Nutrition Counseling – 3 years | Group Fitness – 3 years