In the past couple of weeks I have stepped up my own fitness routine to take advantage of the exuberant energy of the season and to prepare for the Spring/Summer season of BodyFit Boot Camp at Branch Brook Park in Newark. Over the years, when exercising at a challenging intensity I’ve become well acquainted with my minds borderline panic reaction to physical stress.
When we exercise our bodies at a level it has not been accustomed to, when we push or get pushed beyond our comfort zone, our mind sounds a crisis scale alarm before we even enter our personal Red Zone. The alarm takes on various tones. Rationalizations- logical, reasonable arguments that support the idea of letting up – “Take it down now and go hard on the next set.” Suddenly remembering something Important and slowing down to “….gather your thoughts.” Or, after the sensation of your lungs and muscles burning, get outright ignorant with some “what da fuk am I doin, this sht is crazy.” (Pardon my french)
On the flip side, exercising at athletic intensity requires a very monitored field of attention. You don’t have the luxury of allowing your thoughts to drift in whichever direction the wind is blowing. The successful (safe, efficient and effective) application of strength, balance, agility, speed, energy transformation and will; to complete a movement or series of movements is tied directly to ones’ ability to stay in the moment.
So a polarity is set up in the psyche, with the thoughts running in one direction and the attention affixed to another. Some may see this as a less than ideal situation. It is most ideal. It is the ideal opportunity for the sedentary man and women to practice an ancient and simple method of gaining physical and psychological strength, simultaneously. Here is a technique I have found useful. Put it to good use.
- In safe surroundings. While performing a movement/exercise you have mastered and can execute with proper form.
- Allow your attention to remain fixed on the observation of :
- your movement in space and in your body
- the breath entering and leaving your body (don’t try to control it)
3. When your mind begins to make SUGGESTIONS to let up or stop:
- scan your body for pain
- if you find pain, observe it, along with your motion and breath
- do not comment on the suggestions from the mind keep returning your attention to your movement, breath and body
This is the practice of compassionate confrontation with comfort. It yields strength, body awareness and stress resilience. So don’t just read this post and go back to the couch. These holistic benefits will carry over into every aspect of your life. I dear you to take these 5 simple points and see what a difference they will make in your daily wealth, health and wisdom.
Leave me a comment about your experiences with entering your physical discomfort zone. I would love to hear it.
Rise and Shine Your Light Divine