Manic Monday ~ PERFECT Pressure

Novem It's PERFECT exercising weather these days. The weather is not too cold and not too hot....it's "just right!" I love to knock out my exercise time first thing in the morning before my kiddies rise for the day. Those morning sessions are my harder workouts. But, it's those supplemental exercise sessions that I absolutely enjoy. I say "supplemental" because it is extra bonus time ....beyond my weekly session goals. So what are my supplemental exercise sessions? Well, these days it has been a long walk after dinner. Half of my kids are on bikes and the younger ones ride in the double stroller. With the weather so mild, we are able to track around our rural subdivision and put a creative spin on it as if we are out on an adventure or a field trip. The kids know several spots on our little trip that they are able to see sheep, goats, cows, and even participate like a "Ninja Warrior" when we reach a certain public driveway that is lined with railroad ties. It's refreshing and it feels good to be able to exercise with no pressure. I absolutely enjoy it! Pressure. Pressure. Pressure! Is that how you feel when you know you should exercise? Pressure is a hindrance when trying to reach a goal. Some people work best under pressure. Many do not! It seems that many of us can't stand the pressure to exercise and we find out all too soon that any attempts to make lifestyle change is not really worth the pressure. Again, I must remind you that lifestyle changes are very successful if you have the right mental perspective and preparedness. I will share an encouraging story of a past client, who is now one of my dearest friends, that is a PERFECT example of changing the mental perspective which wiped out all of the pressure she was experiencing. My friend was training for a half marathon. I had prescribed a certain schedule of various paces, distances and durations for her to follow in order to be prepared for this running event. As she was well on her way to achieving this goal ( several months in ), she had begun to not like running. She felt like it was pulling teeth to just get motivated to get out there and accomplish her daily prescription. After she shared her true thoughts of yearning to accomplish this bucket list event, but not motivated to follow through on the prescribed runs to be conditioned, I took a little time to think about it and think of any way to change her motivation levels. I mean she "loathed" the thought of going out and trying to reach this certain pace on her progressive plan. She was beginning to feel like it she was going to fail. Isn't that how we feel sometimes? The pressure becomes too much and then your goal begins to look unattainable. In some cases we cave....give up. I'm hear to say, " not too fast!" Don't give in yet! My friend felt that way. We worked through it by establishing a new approach, a new mental focus. I told her to forget about trying to run her 5/6 miles at that very fast pace that was on her plan. Instead just go out for a nice leisure jog....no pressure to achieve a certain pace. And see what that brings you. Well, it worked! She laid off the pressure to perform at a high effort pace. She took a chance with a different mindset and she absolutely enjoyed the run. She still was doing her part in conditioning for the race, but with this new approach she didn't give up and she persevered. Previously she felt bound to the plan, as if she only had two choices: to keep going according to the prescription or throw the towel in. I'm glad she was honest with me and I'm glad that we removed the pressure. Now it's your turn! How can you eliminate or lessen the pressure? Think about it! Don't give up! Take away the heavy expectations or the "all or nothing" train of thought. A little compromise can go a looooooooong way! Have a GREAT week! Rachel Zimmerman, Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach ACE/NSCA Wife, Mother, and Friend

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