Emotion in Life and Training
Focus your attention on the link between you and your death, without remorse or sadness or worrying. Focus your attention on the fact that you don’t have time and let your acts flow accordingly. Let each of your acts be your last battle on earth. Only under those conditions will your acts have their rightful power. Otherwise they will be, for as long as you live, the acts of a timid man.
Don Juan, Carlos Castaneda
I talk a lot about lifestyle fitness. This idea of fusing our health, habits, hobbies, and activities into a symbiotic relationship that becomes who you are in the physical element. A general enjoyment in your fitness regiment makes the likelihood of repeating it, no matter where you are in the world, more likely. Thus, you become what you do. You become a runner, an athlete, a cyclist, swimmer, exerciser, etc. Making an emotional connection with movement becomes your grounding element in life. This creates the passion that becomes your lifestyle. Common examples I’m sure you are well aware of are alpine skiing, surfing, mountain climbing, rock climbing, and trail running. Being a participant in these activities not only connects you with others, but it connects you with your environment. It connects you with nature. Your individual style is expressed by the passions your hold both on the surface and deep down at your core.
In training I seek to instill emotion in the exercises I assign. The rep count, or number of sets is arbitrary and inconsequential if there is no presence or bond to the exercises. Planning and programming are helpful in providing structure at the remedial or introductory level, but in the future, beyond the first 12 weeks of fitness training, your success is more closely tied to the enjoyment you associate with the activity. Creating that bond is crucial and it takes patience. Adopting an active, physical lifestyle will change who you are. If a client is of high stress, type-A personality, it is my job to work to change their approach, not to modify their exercise protocol to fit that personality. We work together to change the behaviors that have created chaos in their health and wellness. The act of exercising, and the emotional response to it, is a very therapeutic, healing process.
- Therefore, my prescription of movement may be very open-ended. General Example:
- Monday: run/jog for 30 minutes, focusing on posture, breath and awareness of your environment at a relaxed conversational pace.
- Tuesday: perform 100 deep bodyweight squats, 75 sit-ups, and 50 push-ups in any set/rep/circuit combination you’d like.
- Wednesday: AM: light stretching, deep breathing. PM: walk for 30-60 minutes before or after dinner.
- Thursday: perform 100 squat jumps and 50 pull-ups.
- Friday: run 30-60 minutes with a focus of being light on your feet. Every so often pick up your pace for 1 minute to a challenging effort level. Sit in Asian squat position for 5 minutes to open hips and groin.
- Saturday: 100 Squats, 100 Pushups, 100 Situps in any set/rep/circuit combination you’d like.
- Sunday: Rest. Or move…
Creating this emotional connection is a process. Where the mind goes the body will follow. We must be so consumed with our fitness and health that we forge an unbreakable bond between living and fitness. My hope is that you see this connection between happiness in life with happiness in health and exercise.
When you move, be mindful. Exercise is your practice. Repetition brings mastery. Perfect practice, makes perfect.
Take infinite pains to make something that looks effortless.