I’ve always believed in the power of the mind. It’s power to get you through tough times, to unlock potential, to be strong when the body is weak. Anyone who knows me knows this. One of my favorite quotes is even “change your mind and your body will follow”. However, this is something I’ve always had a bit of a hard time seeing for myself, within myself. You know, one of those age old can’t take my own advice kinda things–I can tell people how important the mind is to achieving your goals, but casually seem to forget that when it comes to my own life. Whoops!!
Until this morning. Saturday mornings have become my sanctuary since the semester started. With my interning and class schedules, I’m lucky if I make it in for a class during the week, so I’ve started doing doubles on Saturdays. Drums Alive for the fun cardio and then Full Body Blast/Core Fit for the strength, cardio, and ass-kicking. The format of FBB changes week to week, but we almost always start out with some variation of interval training: 3 rounds of 7 different exercises performed for one minute each with a one minute breaks between rounds. The idea is to ramp up your intensity each round, giving all you have left for that last round.
Take a journey with me: it’s the last exercise of the last round. Jumping jacks. Side note: I do regular jacks in terms of the lower bosy, just holding on to my walker for balance. We’re 21 minutes in at this point and everyone is just ready for it to be over. Timer goes and we’re all moving through our final for 60 seconds. I have a tendency (in everything I do) to come out of the gate insanely strong, too strong for my own good, and then end up having to take a break or two within the minute. Today started out no differently. I was beasting through those first few seconds in both speed and accuracy. Janice, our amazing instructor, was going around the room keeping everyone on track and all the sudden she stopped right in front of me, mirror image. Janice has been an amazing asset to my life in the past few months since joining the gym and going for certification and has truly supported my goals from the get-go. She started talking to me telling me things like “I know you want to go faster than me so do it” and that if I stopped and took a break at all in the next minute we’d all be starting over. It wasn’t the fact that I was slightly terrified of her in the moment that sparked my motivation, but what she was actually saying. It was like she tapped into my own mind and knew what I was thinking. I did want to go faster than her. I am a competitor at heart. But my mind was stopping me from getting there. And then something crazy happened. Janice looked at me and said “I know it’s hard, but do it anyway.” Those words not only unlocked my emotions and almost made me start crying, but unlocked my mind and body together to give me what I needed to push through until the end and do those jumping jacks for a minute without stopping. I have acknowledged that things are hard before, but hearing that acknowledgement from someone else is not something that happens often. In that moment it was as if our minds synced.
It’s hard. Do it anyway. Do it because you want to better yourself. Do it because your dreams don’t take breaks or days off. Do it because your body does not define you. Do it because you can.