It is not ‘what’ you do, it is ‘how’ you do it, that matters. I am currently reading Eckhart Tolles ‘The Power of Now’. This is true for any challenge or task you approach.
The first challenge I set myself when I began this blog back in October; was a Tactical Strength Challenge (max deadlift, max pulls, max KB snatch @16kg over 5mins). I edge closer to this coming into fruition, April 14th to be Exact. Shit is starting to get real!! In February I have been trying to focus in on keeping my approach simple for both my yoga and strength practices, mentally and physically.
I have not ever competed alone at anything other than athletics, everything else has been team based. With running, I have competed from such a young age, that when I go to race now, although I am nervous, I have an ingrained positive mindset of my abilities. I understand what my body is capable of, am able to make adjustments when things get tough, I know where my strengths lie. I am very present when I race.
I started lifting 3-4 years ago, never with a specific goal in mind, and working with Kettlebells more closely only since October. My mindset is less sure of the process. I find it hard to be present, clear my mind of negative chatter and keep it simple. I flute about at the gym a good bit, it’s a bit of a running joke, mainly it boils down to my battle with mindset. This new challenge is putting to test all the work I have been putting into my overall self-worth and view of myself, over these past few months.
Why challenge yourself?, you might ask. The thing about challenges are; it’s not really about what challenge you choose, it’s about what you learn about yourself along the way. Discovering things you did not know you were capable of, and celebrating that. I put it akin to riding a bike with no hands; the sheer exhilaration of all the wobbles before that moment, when; YOU ARE DOING IT!, makes the doing it part feel all the more sweet. To not focus on the end destination, but to relish in the journey toward it. To be present in each and every step of the way. That is life.
It is so easy to slip into a mindset that has you defeated before you even step up to the plate. If you ever played sport you will know what I mean. You’re playing well, then something goes wrong, you make a crappy tackle etc., everything starts going to shit. What’s happening there? Your mind starts replaying that one crappy move, holding you to a past moment and ultimately affecting you being present in the game. I am working hard at being present in both my practices. Its starting to pay off. My basic movements feel stronger, I am beginning to believe in my strength. All of my main lifts have gone up beyond what I ever expected this month. I need that solid base to enable me to be stable with that 16kg bell overhead, especially as I sit at a runty stats of 53kg. Its showing me how important it is to build that base, make the foundation a good one both mentally and physically.
So how am I staying motivated and positive? Well! This month there are 3 ladies in the industry that have been inspiring me, and have helped me maintain momentum and belief in myself.
First up Shannon Pollock. One of the coaches at the gym I go to; Impact Strength & Performance. She is a power lifter. In December she was in a car crash and had to deal with trauma to her back, shoulder and chest. Two weeks ago she was competing to retain her spot on the international team. She went in with an incredible mindset, kept it simple and respected what her body was capable of at that moment. She placed and maintained her spot, taking away a positive stance on her situation, reassessing her training to focus on rebuilding a solid foundation that will allow her body to recover and rehab. She didn’t allow the ego to take over and possibly injure herself taking her out of the game completely. She was entirely present. This is what I need to learn to do more of. Her approach to coaching and her own training is always unbreakably positive and realistic. She’s the real deal, go check her out.
Next up Annie Kirwan. Annie is one of the yoga instructors I go to at The Yoga Hub. She is this wonderful ball of sunny positive energy. Her classes always honor building up solid foundations with each movement, balanced with a challenging flow and the reward of a blissful rest at the end. She has started up 40 days of splits in line with lent. I LOVE this! It is such a smart way of stripping it back to basics and building on it daily, making you enjoy the process, and be present every step of the way. It’s helped me view my training more in that light, helped me be more present. She is so genuinely positive and passionate about what she does its hard not to be inspired. So go to one of her classes, she teaches pilates too, join her run club or just follow this lady on insta!
Then there is Brianna Battles. I don’t even know where to start! A leading advocate in coaching for pregnancy/postpartum athletes. This lady is all about that base, bout that base. Her passion for proper training strategies, safe, smart systems to rebuild, accept and appreciate where a body is at any point in that journey, her unwillingness to accept crappy, vague advice for women who want to train, is awe-inspiring. She focuses on building strong foundations from the basics and getting people to understand how the whole system works, so they can move forward in their training with the view of longevity. If you are a coach who trains women, or an athlete pre/current/post pregnancy you need to follow her. Her strategies can be carried over to any women starting their fitness journey, we need more coaches out there like her. Her approach and mindset with her own training, how she manages that, keeping things simple and always being mindful of where she is at, has inspired me to try the same tact and not let any ego come into play.
Finally, I can’t leave out my gym buddy Ailbhe. Her dedication to her training, her grit and filthy cackle inspire me daily to keep going and put the work in. Her 1st power lifting competition is coming up in March and she is absolutely killing it so far, she is blazing the trail!
Who inspires you?? Surround yourself in a positive community, communicate, connect, it truly does lift you closer to any thing you want to achieve in life. Good energy breeds good energy.
Be present. Be consistent. Believe.