Somewhere in the midst of getting the ten million things done in a day that you need to do, you need to sneak a workout out. You might be thinking I need to go to the store. I need to pick up dry cleaning. I need to take my kids to their ten different extracurricular activities and sports practices. I need to do the dishes. I need to do the laundry.
But then you get to the gym and you think about how you need to get home and cook dinner for your family. You need to get home and get that load of laundry from the washer to the dryer. Waite a minute, what move are you supposed to be doing? What is the instructor telling me to squeeze and focus on? Your mind is already racing and you are thinking I can leave early, skip out on cooling down and stretching and get home just in time to get dinner in the oven before the kids get home.
As moms, there are things in our lives that we must do: feed our children, support our family, and keep our house up, things that are a part of our everyday life. But how much of life are we going through on autopilot not even thinking about what we are doing? Where is the happiness and joy in living like this?
Does going to the gym to “get a workout in because you have to” sound familiar? Even during my collegiate years in competitive track everything was a race! I am talking about my mind set during practice. My goal was to get everything I needed to do at practice done as quickly as possible.
When I initially became a fitness instructor I really had no idea what I was doing. I knew how to lead a class, teach the moves correctly, make sure that everyone was doing the exact same thing I was, but I had no deeper thought process about the impact I was having on my class. What were they thinking? Why were they coming? Were they having a good time or dreading the moment class started?
I have now been teaching and coaching for 8 years and my teaching philosophy has greatly changed. When I teach, my sole focus is not that everyone is completely synced for the entire workout. My teaching is all about individually enhanced modifications. My why. Their why. I am there because I enjoy teaching, exercising and inspiring others. Those who come to class are there because exercising helps them feel good mentally and physically after a thoughtful purposeful workout. We enjoy thinking about each movement and how our muscles feel during different exercises. We set our mind to focus on each individual move; how does this make our arms feel? Legs feel? Core? Mind? Last but not least, its about finding the joy in the movement, moving and sweating right along with others as we push each other to our individual limits.
My final advice is this: Don’t work out because you “have too.” Find a fitness program that you truly enjoy, that brings an inner calm and peace at the end because you have taken the time to focus on your body and what’s occurring mentally and physically with your body as you move. I promise you will leave the gym feeling so much more fulfilled and ready to take on the world.