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Life Lessons from exercise DVDs...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Things I've learned from doing exercise DVDs:

1. Concentrate on the present; worrying too much about the past or the future will mess you up.
I've fumbled more times than I can count because I was anticipating a move and did it too soon, or I was thinking so much of the move I just did that I missed a cue. When I concentrate on what the instructor's doing as it happens, I do so much better. Same thing in life; if I'm obsessing about something in the past or worrying about something yet to come, I'm more likely to miss out in the present.

2. Labels don't mean a thing. It's what someone's doing that counts.
What Kathy Smith calls "scissors" is a move that Cathe Friedrich calls "flying angels". What one of my favorite workouts calls a T step is called an L step in another workout. If I don't pay attention to the move and forget what it's called, I will mess up. And in real life, assuming a label will tell me anything about someone will mess me up as well. It's what they're doing that counts.

3. It's important to push the boundaries of what we can do, but it's also important to know our limits and honor them.
At the beginning of every workout DVD, there's a legal disclaimer. It means that the one responsible for the exerciser avoiding injury and other harm is, well, me. So I need to pay attention to what level's appropriate for me. Too easy and I won't have any progress. Too hard and I'll get discouraged or even hurt. Even when I'm pushing, I need to listen to my body and stop or slow down if necessary. Same thing with life; I'm the one primarily responsible for my safety and my progress. Which leads to:

4. Just because something's popular doesn't mean it's appropriate for me.
Which leads to:

5. "No" isn't an excuse. It's a decision.
Watch enough informercials, and you'll hear the same message over and over: if you don't buy this particular set of DVDs, you're making excuses and you want to be unhealthy. Bull. I'm responsible for my health and safety, and I have likes and dislikes. If I think that a certain program is too advanced for me or too hard on my body, I don't have to buy it. If a DVD series doesn't fit into my budget, then it isn't going to be bought. If a certain instructor is like nails on a chalkboard to me, I don't have to invite her image into my home. I don't have to feel guilty about exercising (no pun intended) my discretion. Same thing with life--I don't need to let anyone pressure me into something that I don't feel is right for me. I can say no. That's a decision, not an excuse.

And finally (because I need to get ready for church)
6. Just keep trying, you'll get it eventually.
Pretty much every workout I have kicked my butt in some way the first time I used it. But I kept going. Same way with everything else.

Have a great week, whoever's reading this!


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