Big life changes will often lead one to do some really deep work. At least that’s been my experience these past several years. Homeschooling the kids, moving to a new city, job changes, opening a new business, divorce...life’s certainly an adventure!
Through it all there’s been one constant: my daily exercise experiences. They’re sacred!
Exercise gives me the opportunity to work out and work through feelings that can’t be expressed any other way. It’s also a time to be fully present in my body and delight in the physical pleasure that ensues. Exercise also causes me to reflect. It’s in this reflection that I’ve found the one element that connects and determines the quality and success of everything else: relationships!
I would argue that everything we experience in life (good and bad) boils down to the relationships we have with the people in our lives, the food we eat, our exercise, our work, and most importantly, the relationship we have with ourselves.
There’s one thing in particular that has the power to make or break those relationships and therefore impact our success and that is communication.
Just for the sake of simplicity let’s explore communication as it relates to exercise.
Communication between the brain and body is essential to making movement happen. Our brain has to have ability to send and receive signals to different parts of the body. Likewise, our muscles must be capable of sending and receiving signals from the brain. There’s this beautiful feedback loop that, when running efficiently, makes amazing movements possible.
Our physical capabilities are directly related to the quality of this internal communication system.
So if being successful in movement is all about effective communication, how do we improve?
Here are some simple steps:
Explore More - Ask yourself questions. Why do you want to exercise? What have some of your favorite activities in the past been? What makes you feel really alive? What was the last new thing you tried?
Listen - I mean REALLY listen and pay attention to what you are feeling. When you move in and out of certain positions is there a nagging pain in your hip? When you are still what does it feel like? When you are stressed how does your body respond? When you learn the language of your body you can communicate with it and understand it better.
Be curious - How well do you really know your body? Can you feel the second toe of your right foot? Are your mind and body speaking the same language? If you tell it to do a deep squat, can it do that?
Think better - What are your inputs? Meaning, what are you reading, listening to, watching on a daily basis? What we take in through our senses influences the brain and in turn shapes our body. Are you in control of your impulses or do they control you? What decisions are you making about how, when and where to exercise? Do you just go through the motions or are you learning how to create experiences that will allow you to get more out of your life? Do you know how to manage your energy in relation to time? When you bump up against challenges or problems do you know how to come up with solutions?
Do the work - Life is one long exercise session! There is no end to the physical, mental and emotional demands that our bodies have to learn to withstand. What better way to teach our bodies to continuously build strength, flexibility, control and resilience than to exercise daily?
Following these five principles creates the foundation for a whole bunch of fun! Possibilities expand, you get to choose what matters most to you, how and what you invest your time in, and as a result success comes much easier.
Are you ready to play? I’d love to help you create an exercise experience that allows you to explore, learn and discover more!