Dealing with Setbacks

This article speaks directly to what I’ve been dealing with lately, namely how do I deal with what I want to achieve, versus what I have actually been doing to achieve those goals?  I find I have been pushing the daily experience of life away.  I haven’t been able to be with how my body is, or the way my old habits reasserted themselves.  This has spilled over into not being able to be with the people around me … how they are, and how they aren’t.

I have decided to tackle this with baby steps.  I am focusing on one habit at a time, and being patient to watch the changes grow.

The Athletic Mind, Part 1: The Role of Perception in Athletics | Breaking Muscle



It’s all an adventure, by John Aske

It’s all an adventure, by John Aske.

I have been resisting where I am at in my life, and wishing I was somewhere else, with a different body, and different habits.  I need to start out with where I am and allow that in, first.

Invite the Punch

Typically, when we defend we tense up to protect our self. In the Ring, in Everyday Life, If an attack is perceived a first Reaction is usually one of tension. This tension is more of a resistance to what is going to occur than a response to the degree of severity of what we are dealing with.

Learning to Invite the Punch begins with becoming familiar with the Tension Pattern we use in a moment of crisis.

One common Tension Pattern used to protect the self is a Shoulder Slump, when both ends of the Shoulder Girdle collapse forward. This brings the head and neck forward, making us more vulnerable to being hit.

Another common reaction to a punch is to shove the arms forward in a rigid flinching manner. This typically is accompanied by holding the breath and sometimes closing the eyes.

Trying to resist or get away from a punch only compounds the potential danger of the situation. Our fear of what is happening or going to happen overwhelms us and creates freezing sensations. The key to unlocking this Reactive Behavior is to actually feel what is happening. Tension is tension. Defensiveness is Defensiveness. Once a person becomes more familiar with what, exactly, these moments feel like in the body, the Options for other choices become more apparent.

Inviting the Punch provides us with the opportunity to Practice feeling what is actually happening. Boxing is perfect for providing many, many opportunities to get inside of our Tension Patterns. The Shoulder Slump gradually is redirected into a confident Lat Flare, and Flinching becomes an opportunity to load the Sling Shot and return to the present.

7 Steps to Prevent Getting Stuck in an Emotion | Tiny Buddha

7 Steps to Prevent Getting Stuck in an Emotion | Tiny Buddha.

This article is quite helpful in getting back on track.  We want what we perceive as a positive experience to last forever, and when it doesn’t we get disappointed and depressed.  We start out towards our goals on a high of inspiration, but what happens after we’ve been on the path for a while?  How can we keep going?  Some of the tips in this article might help you.

Let me know if you have other tips besides what is in the article.  I’d love to hear how you stay motivated.

What Does Getting in Shape Mean?

Getting in Shape is a phrase many of us are familiar with.  What does the phrase mean?

First, select the word Getting. Getting generally implies a future process.  We want to get something or we are in the process of getting something.

Second, take a few moments to see what the in shape part of the phrase means to you.  All of us see a picture of what we will look like, therefore have, when we do Get in Shape.  Some of the common pictures are:  six pack, slim waist and thighs, stronger pecs, – these pictures quickly lead us to visions of a better life.  A better life could entail better jobs, relationships, increase in financial security, less stress, on and on.

Cappy’s Boxing Gym understands these desires, visions, and also understands the kind of work it takes to get where we want to go.  Getting in Shape starts with the four Fitness Principals of Strength, Flexibility, Endurance and Mental Focus. Repetition and Practice is key.  We all are strong, but learning what kinds of strength to use in any given moment takes flexibility.  When you stretch the body you stretch the mind.  Endurance is tremendously important – change means we will experience the discomfort of allowing the suppressed Self to Express – thus “changing” our Shape.

Mental Focus is everything.  Getting in Shape does not necessarily mean we will become our picture of the perfect person.  We will only become more of who we are.  Therefore, Getting in Shape is a far more future reaching decision than we might at first think.

I encourage everyone to start with some form of Getting in Shape.  It is the beginning of your journey to the core of who you are.

Play Has a Place in Any Fitness Plan

Horse LaughIt’s easy to get waaay too serious about fitness and exercise.  I need to have goals!  I need to know if I’m making progress!  After all, workout has the word “work” in it, right?  I won’t triumph without the “umph”!

Hold it!  I put this picture in because it’s silly, AND because I ride horses as a way to add variety to my fitness plan, and as a way to unwind.  When I ride, I have gotten accomplished enough with my skills that I work on specific training goals with my horse during each session.  If I don’t pay attention to these training issues, and honor their importance, I can face some serious consequences.  If I’m lucky, the effect of blowing off my training goals will be a slight loss of sharpness or refinement in how my horse is able to do her job.  If I really decide to ignore the training goals for each ride, I can create extreme soreness, pain, and even lamenss in my horse, and make it so she cannot do her job for weeks or months at a time!  How can this possibly be relaxing and fun?

The answer: I bring an attitude of play to each ride.  Every time I ride my horse, it is with an attitude that we will play with the skills we need to work on.  We can play with stretching.  We can play with seeing how many ways we can change directions, and change up the sizes of turns we make to keep my horse’s body and mind supple.  We can play with turning the incorrect response from the horse into an exercise that makes her work and think differently, and make the desired response easier.  We can play with standing still while other horses run around and learn that standing and chilling out is also an option … we don’t have to be going ALL the time during the ride.

What this opens up is an amazing opportunity for my horse to relax and enjoy her job.  When I turn her loose in an arena, she runs up to me and is ready to play.  To catch her again, I don’t have to chase her around until she pouts in a corner and lets me put a halter on … she wants to work with me because it is fun!  During the ride, her muscles are loose, relaxed, and better able to function and carry both of us with greater ease.  She can use her body with the greatest efficiency because she’s not stressed out, stiff, and fighting herself or me through the whole session.

I am realizing that I can take this attitude of play to my exercise.  I am taking time to add some play to my workouts this week.  The DVD routine has its place, but I am also seizing the opportunity to have workouts with scenery other than a painted wall and monitor.  Is my workout as intense as the DVD routine?  Maybe not, but my overall wellbeing is doing great.  My jaw muscles have relaxed, the chronic pain in my neck is lessening, and I’m seeing how my body responds to power walking and jogging … exercises I haven’t done during our cold and damp Seattle winter.

How do you incorporate a spirit of play into your exercise?  Some people reserve one workout per week as a “play day”, but what would happen if you brought the spirit of play even to your “serious” workouts?  What could open up for your body’s ability to perform if you entered into your workout with an attitude of play and fun?  I’d love to hear what opens up for you.