“3-2-1…. Finish strong! You got this! Remember why you showed up today! You’re going to feel so good when we’re done today—you’re stronger than you think you are!”
That’s a common shout out I give while leading a cycling class, especially towards the end when it’s tough. I say these things to my class because I know it’s true, and I know if they push through to the end they will feel good accomplished and proud of themselves.
Now, let’s fast forward to later in their day. They are working on a project at work but just can’t focus. The deadline is coming, but the eyes are glazed over from looking at the same document and they’ve lost all their initial excitement they had when starting the project. Or they’re a mom at home and the kids are screaming. They just feel like completing any sort of task is impossible. Then, they remember their morning workout… that was seemingly impossible too. But, they made it!
When you exercise you feel good about yourself. Accomplished, sweaty, proud. You have crossed something off your to-do list for the day. When you feel good, you do good. When you do good, others notice and you become an example. You think about what else you can accomplish that day. You know that since you made it through that you can make it through many other things.
This weekend I was pushed to my limits. I kept thinking to myself, “Why now? Why THIS weekend?” I completed a Les Mills certification training. If you’ve ever been to one, you know what it’s like, and you know how physically and mentally exhausting it can be. The program I’m working towards certification in is called RPM, a form of cycling class. So, as you can imagine there was a lot of cardio and muscle building that occurred.
This weekend I was also confronted with a cold. It was like a cold I’ve never had before though. My nose wasn’t runny, my body wasn’t achy or had the chills, but my throat was screaming at me. It felt like there were razor blades in it, and my regular breathing would sometimes sound like a snore. Attractive, right?!
Heavy breathing in a throat, chest and ears that felt like there were shards of glass in it was about the worst feeling ever. That paired with being unsure of exactly what to expect from the training, other than knowing we would need to keep our energy up as we were going to be pushed to our max both mentally and physically created a bit of nervousness and fear.
I kept thinking to myself, “just get through this. Just power through.” As the weekend went on, I began to answer the initial questions I asked myself when I woke up Saturday morning, voiceless and painful to swallow. Why now? Why THIS weekend? Why to me?
I realized that if I can survive this weekend, I can not only survive but EXCEL once I start feeling healthy. Fitness and pushing ourselves to our limits has this weird way of empowering us in every aspect of life. It creates a ripple effect.
Now, take it one step further. If you go through your fitness with a buddy, or in this case a group of women going through the training, then imagine the bonds that are made. They’ve been where you’ve been, they’ve seen you struggle, work through that point where you think you can’t keep going, and come out the other side stronger than ever. The poor ladies that were in the training with me saw me at my most vulnerable—I was wheezing (seriously!),coughing and just a big mess all while taking a stab at something new, and learning the new program with them. Because of this weekend of us being together and pushing past our limits, not only do we have a special bond, but we know we can call on each other when times might get a little difficult. They’ve got my back, and I’ve got theirs.
Physical fitness certainly is not the end all, be all for your health, or the quality of person you are. How you look on the outside, whether you have 6 pack abs or toned triceps doesn’t determine that you’re a good friend, a good employee, kind, caring, someone who puts out good in the world and are someone other people want to be around. Physical fitness, exercise, working out… whatever you prefer to call it… is the launching pad of becoming the best version of yourself.
Don’t believe me? I dare you to try it right now. Get up out of your seat, give your arms a shake and do 30 seconds of movement--- anything—lunges, squats, jumping jacks. Feel better? Has that mental block been disrupted? Did your energy go from zero to hero (or maybe somewhere in between)?
Are you ready to launch into your best self? 2017 can be the year, and I can help get you there. Visit Live Well With Kell to learn more about how ’ll give you all the tools you need to be successful. Ultimately, it’s up to you to stay tough, stay strong, be compassionate and honest with yourself, and push those excuses aside… I won’t give up on you, and you don’t give up on yourself!