I think it is great that so many of us are driven to always strive more more, to be better then we were, to be goal oriented, so set high standards of achieve me and to grow.... But as I've briefly written about before, this can sometimes back fire - when we focus so much on what we don't have, what we are not, and what we haven't accomplished, that we fail to see EVERYTHING we have....
Unfortunately in the world of fitness, especially as a coach, I see this all too often. Time goes by, and I see all of the many successes and reasons to celebrate that a client gets to goes through, but they often seem to forget. I hear how they still "feel" fat, or aren't strong "enough" yet, or sometimes still have things that hurt or a dysfunction or imbalance that isn't better (more on this later- but first let me address "celebrating the wins).
I have had clients walk into me who physically had no ability to air squat, let alone even grasp a hip hinge.... Who couldn't even touch toes, who had zero motor... I watch these same people progress- fast forward 1.5 years and I watch them move w ease and grace ... I watch them gain strength, increase their stamina, improve their motor and do it all way more efficiently... I see so many wins - and while as a coach it is my job to remind them of these successes and these wins- they have to be willing to see it for themselves as well... And it breaks my heart when I have people who have blinders on that I can't break through- they get lost in the shuffle - they get overwhelmed by how far they still want to go or think they "have " to go, loosing motivation, and this can lead to them loosing the value in the discipline of what we do, and ultimately quit.... But if only they could recognize the value that has been building up in their commitments.
It reminds me of the compound effect.... I think this is the very reason sometimes people end up quitting ... They don't see the true positive impact something has on their life. Let's take exercise, aka movement, for an example - since it is the root of the conversation here.... Someone, depending on their lifestyle, comes into gym for a group class or personal training session 3x/week.... (Side note: while that seems like a descent amount, and it is, this still only accounts for less then 2% of their total time in a given week... more on this later) So 3 hours per week of moving their body around, which there is no denying is good for us... How many hours is that in a year? 156!! That's right - that client got to move his or her body for 156 hours more that year then she may otherwise have done.... And tack on learning proper movement and body mechanics to stay safe, while mitigating the risk of injury, it's undeniable better then the alternative.... What about year two? 312 hours of moving? Year 3? 468 hours? The whole concept of the compound effect is that when we initially do something, be it a discipline, a healthy habit, a positive thought, movement, or saving $$ the short term results are nominal ... But the long term results yield a huge rate of return on investment...
But in our society we look for the quick fix or instant gratification. And, with many things, but particularly in this case, movement, since this is what we are talking about, often there can be a very long learning curve, which means that the results of these exponentially high expectations we place on ourselves can often come even later, as depending on your movement experience, we might spend a year just rebuilding a foundation, a safe platform to work from and teach the fundamentals... It takes time for your body to unveil hidden dysfunction or deficiency- it takes time to rebalance imbalances while strengthening weakness...oh and need I mention that with movement there is ALWAYS inherent risk of injury... The goal is to learn proper and safe mechanics to reduce that risk as much as possible... And, this is the even more important factor - which is to not only learn it for safe moving in the gym or in the exercise program- but in life - because as mentioned above, isn't the 3 hours a week client only truly in the gym for less then 2% of her life??
So this poses an even bigger question then, which is: what are they doing the other 98% ??? Because while those 3 hours /week amount to significant time spent over the long haul, the 98% or other 165 hours MATTER! Therefore, the 3 hours in and of themselves will not provide miracles. A coach can only provide the recipe, the tools & the encouragement - what the client does in their other 165 hours with that knowledge - is ultimately up to them. And this is where lifestyle factors come into play. Therefor making the clients commitment to exercise not fool proof. Tight hips? You spend 5 minutes stretching them in class then sit for 8 hours that day? Add slouching over or leaning into computer to type? Rounding back to pick up that light bag? Not conscious of posture and trunk stability? Think about breathing into diaphragm as a ritual or practice? All of these and so many other factors play a role in the outcome of someone's success...
Begin your exercise program excessively tight ? Do you do the recommended mobility for 10 minutes per day every day that the coach recommends? If you do have to sit for work do you remember to get up and move around for 5 minutes every hour to get your blood flowing?
All this little stuff helps... And it also adds up, and often to get the true results we are all looking for its crucial... However, with that said, even if someone is not going to do ALL the extra stuff, it's not reason to stop moving all together - because those 3 hours a week - in and of themselves will still yield greater results then not working out at all.
Hope this makes sense and resonates with some of us!
And because we are all works in progress, in these thoughts, I've realized how I could use a little more intentional movement in my life, and have made a personal commitment to set aside 30 extra minutes per day, 3 additional days per week for movement, play, and mobility in my own life - to yield greater returns on my investments to my wellness :) Who is on the journey with me?