We can all agree that sitting is the enemy, right?
Some studies have shown that sitting for prolonged periods of time throughout your life (like if you work in a cubicle and don’t bother to get up) can increase your chance of death by up to 40%.
In fact, the average sedentary person sits for 9.3 hours per day!
This past weekend I took a professional development course scheduled to be 3 days long, 11 hours per day.
So you can bet your kettlebells that I wasn’t pleased or impressed when the course administrator “politely demanded” that I get back to my seat when she found me both standing and lying in extension because sitting – for me – has become both physically and mentally uncomfortable.
I took this course because it came with high compliments from friends and people that I trust so I attended the course being fully open to any possibility that may come from it.
I participated. I shared. I took the open mic and shared even more.
I didn’t make it to Day 3.
By the end of Saturday, I realized that it wasn’t for me.
The sitting thing was part of it, but here’s where I got lost…
One of the goals that I came in to accomplish was to improve the relationship that I had with my immediate family – Rozanne and the kids. But it was difficult for me to reconcile that I was there to help improve a relationship with my loved ones when all I did was sit in an artifically lit room listening to a cynical lecturer (no joke, he was cynical – drole & entertaining – but cynical) on the most beautiful weekend of the year, and was missing my family like crazy.
Improving the relationship with my wife and kids requires me to spend uninterrupted quality time with them in a present, conscious and aware state of mind.
Time – on the most beautiful weekend of the year – I was spending indoors trying to pay attention not about HOW I should be spending time with my family, but how to dig up things from my past which will show me why I’m not spending time with my family.
Truth (and my wife can vouch for this)… I have great relationship with my wife and kids. So instead of me listening about HOW to do that, I reconciled that I would just do it.
I was just going to take conscious, deliberate and on-going action on actively spending time with – and thus improving – the relationship with my wife and kids.
Regardless, in every investment I make in myself as an individual, entrepreneur or fitness professional – whether I agree with what’s being taught or not – there are always valuable lessons to be learned.
“Absorb what is useful,
Discard what is not,
Add what is uniquely your own.”
Despite my general discontent for the experience, the content of some of the material was actually quite useful.
This weekend I learned some important things that you can apply to your everyday life – and directly to your training and the achievement of your goals.
1. Be present. The past is gone. The future is unknown. All we have is right now.
After re-reading that sentence to myself I feel like I sound like some green-juice-in-mason-jar-drinking-hippie (I might be, afterall, we do homeschool :-). But after further inspection it all makes sense.
In today’s world, we’re constantly dwelling on the past in such a way that we cause it to mould our future. We are always so concentrated on the next thing in order to avoid things not happening to us again that we miss the beauty of what’s happening now.
Apply this thinking to your training…
Sometimes we get so caught up in achieving our goals that we don’t stop to appreciate what it took to get us there.
Sometimes we just want to get through our workouts because it’s something that we feel we HAVE to do.
When in fact, we can enjoy our training – each and every rep – if we just pay attention and stay in the moment and listen to our body in the process.
This is also a great way to avoid injury…
If you’re present and paying attention, you’re also aware of your body and your technique and form of the exercise. You’re not doing mindless reps for the sake of doing reps. You’re present in your workout.
2. Things in our lives just happen. It’s in our perception of those events where we get in trouble.
Everything happens for a reason. It’s when we label events in our lives as being good or bad that we start to off set responsibility and look for blame.
In your training…
Training programs are training programs. They’re neither hard nor easy. It’s all dependent on WHO is doing the program. What’s difficult for me, may not be for you.
After a few weeks on a program, it no longer holds the same perception in your mind…
- What was once difficult is now easy.
- What was once new and exciting is now boring.
It’s in our perception of programs that gets us in trouble. We’re impatient. We want results yesterday.
“I’ve been doing this program for 10 days now and I still look the same. It’s too easy. It must not work for me.”
But what if you did your research, found a program that was proven to work, and worked it all the way through to the end?
Let go of your perceptions as you experience the program. Follow it to the letter. And then make your judgement?
The constant problem is that people let their perceptions of training get the best of them and they become impatient.
3. Value your time.
This was the biggest lesson to me. I was sitting in a room for the better part of 11 hours for 2 days straight under artificial light on what was the 2 most beautiful days of September while my beautiful wife and 5 kids were outside enjoying the weather and the company of each other.
To me, there was a disconnect.
I love my life. I love my family. But there I was sitting in a room with 141 other people trying to improve something that I’m already happy with?
Logically, it didn’t make sense to me.
My time with Rozanne and the kids is my golden time. It’s what fills my tank. As much as I was trying to convince myself that sitting in that conference room was an investment in making me a better person – and in turn, a better father – it just didn’t add up.
Any time that I spend doing something is time taken away from my family.
So for your training…
Ask yourself if you’re using the Minimal Effective Dose or if you’re at a point of diminishing returns.
Last week’s series on training everyday allowed you to see how to maximize your schedule to get the most bang for your buck out of your training by limiting your training time to 20 minutes per day (at the most).
Are you still spending 2 hours in the gym and then coming home wondering why your not as connected to your loved ones as you could be?
Think about how you’re spending your time.
You don’t need to be doing…
- static stretching
- 30 minute dynamic warm ups
- foam rolling
- working every bodypart separately
Despite all of this, I am happy that I attended 2/3 of the course.
Without it, I wouldn’t have fully been aware of what I have in front of me – a loving relationship with my wife and kids that is only nurtured by being ‘there.’ Living my life in full stride, taking risks, succeeding and failing but being fully alive in each moment instead of standing still (or sitting) waiting for the right answer to solve everything.
Keep moving forward.
Keep moving period.