Brave is a word I have begun to use with clients, to motivate and to help them take that extra step; breaking new ground and living beyond perceived limits. I began using this word when I challenged a triathlete I have been working with to complete a set of 100 repetitions on the leg press – seemed like a good time and a good place for her to be brave.
To Teach Is To Learn
In subsequent days I contemplated heavily on this. I began to question just how brave I have been with my own training regimen. In truth, I have settled in; cruising on fitness autopilot for over year. I have grown complacent and comfortable with where I am. Complacency, even when one is considered to be fit as I am, is not the reasonable plateau one might suspect. I have become a participant in the slow and certain back-slide of complacency.
Not that I don’t workout frequently, intensely, and eat well to support it, I do. But I have not been going that extra mile recently – at my gym or at my dinner table. Until recently, that extra mile has been the primary characteristic of my entire adult life. I have gotten too comfortable with stopping at particular distance, a certain number of repetitions, and with allowing a few extra calories from salad dressings and alcohol – these places I thought I would never know.
Though not out of control, these have added up to too many calories I don’t need, which have added up to increased body fat I no longer accept. And though I am way ahead of the game for pushing 50, this is not who I have been, and not who I will be. But it seems, for the moment, it is who I have become.
Back To Brave
In just considering this term, brave, I find myself wanting to push for more these days, from my workouts and from my meals – seeking new ground to escape from the same-old same-old. I have been inspired by my friend Jody who at 52, is as brave as brave can get in the gyn. I am humbled by Bobbie, who has balls so large they actually have a have created gravity that I have been pulled closer to her new found fitness bravery — eating in particualr. Also, I have been inspired by Dr. J for years. He bravely and quietly paddles upstream, not against the current, but against all the fish swimming in the wrong direction, as he simply lives, and leads by example.
I should know and respect my limits; that I will only get so fast, so lean, or so strong. However, if I stay comfortable within those limits, then I should plan to stay in my current state of fitness – or backslide even more, and that’s not acceptable.
Your Bravery, Your Fire, Your Lesson From My Story
If you exercise regularly and try to eat mindfully but don’t like you’re current fitness level, there is a good chance you haven’t recently considered, or you have forgotten what motivates you – this is where I have been, living without a source of bravery. If you don’t feel like you are getting what you seek from your current fitness program, it may not be the program, it just might be the motivation to maximize the program – the bravery needed to succeed.
I suggest that you keep doing exactly what you have been doing with your fitness and eating program – even if you have not been getting the results you seek. Perhaps this might be a good week to embrace the same-old same-old, but to embrace it – more bravely. Take it a step further, a minute longer, or 200 calories less than before.
Being brave doesn’t necessarily mean doing 100 reps on the leg press. For many, it can mean turning 10 reps into 12. For others, being brave might be the act of walking into the gym – for the very first time, or for the first time in years. Others still might find bravery in saying “no” to that second helping of anything, glass of wine included.
For me, being brave means to bypass my evening cocktail, to push the pace on the run a bit more, and then a bit more still. Being brave is also to remember that greens taste best untouched by Paul Newman’s salad piss in a bottle. I will increase my repetitions, minimize my rest between sets, and live my fitness life as though I am running toward a T-Rex – knowing that I am better for the confrontation. Be well. rc
Question: Tell me, what have you done this week, in your fitness life, that is worthy of the term, brave…?