What Your Practice Says About You
Jan 13, 2020
And now, a guest post from Original Strength Coach, Raymond van Leeuwen:
I believe that everything in life is connected. I also believe that how you exercise says a lot about you as a person. And it doesn’t matter what you do; whether it is weightlifting, yoga, running, Original Strength, or whatever system or modality you choose. In my observation, how you do your exercise says a lot about how you function as a person.
Let me explain. I think exercise is about honesty with yourself and becoming aware of your thoughts and tendencies. I often see people doing too much before they are actually ready for it. Whether it is loading too much weight on the bar, going too deep into a yoga pose, or picking a version of crawling they are not yet ready for. We all know someone who has done this and we might even recognize this in ourselves (I have been there). However, what does it say about us? I think it says that we don’t really recognize where we actually are.
In the gym environment, this is pretty obvious, but not recognizing where we truly are also happens at work, or in our personal lives. For example, you might think you are the best at doing your job, yet promotions or opportunities keep passing you by. Or, you might feel you are a great communicator yet you have trouble making connections with others. The question is, are you really where you think you are?
Inside the weight room, trying to lift what you’re truly not ready for might make it difficult to progress and it can even lead to injury. Outside of the weight room, not knowing where you really are might also make it difficult to take life a step forward.
And then there is actual awareness. Maybe you work out 7 days a week, full throttle, without much thought as to whether or not you are getting results. Do you also do this in real life? Maybe you coast by in every workout. You show up and that’s about it; never understanding why you haven’t seen any noticeable changes. Is this also how you approach your life as well? You show up and expect success to be lavished on you?
I don’t think there is a right or wrong approach, being full throttle or just showing up, I think the miss here is not being conscious of what you are really doing or really expecting. Really, the gauge is does your approach serve you? Or is what you are doing working for you? Only you can answer this question. But you have to ask it first. So really, the question is are you present when you train? Do you simply do but not ponder? The same question goes for how you live and work as well. Are you present?
You can only change what you are aware of. Every time you train, exercise, or move there is an opportunity to learn about yourself. Every time you interact with others or perform a task out in the world, you also have that same opportunity to learn and grow. Are you doing too much, or too little? Are you going about it too aggressively, or too passively? Are you aware of what you are doing? Are you aware of the results you are creating? Are you serving yourself or thwarting yourself? Have you ever stopped to examine where you are or who you are? These can be deep questions, but they can also rouse awareness.
Again, I look at exercise as being a metaphor for life. How you approach training often mirrors how you approach life. Are you honest with yourself about your abilities and are you aware of what you are doing? Or, are you only dreaming of life while you sleep in unconscious doing?