Part of the process of re-imagining my life over the past two years has been leaving the safety of the left side of my brain and, from time to time, venturing over to the right side. I knew there had to be a spark of some kind over there because whenever I asked myself who I was on the deepest of deep levels, part of my response would be “a dancer and a writer” though there was little evidence of that in my current life. So I began taking forays into that part of myself – I drew back the curtain, opened the window, and let in some fresh air. I allowed myself the time and space to daydream and to get in touch with my feelings which were pretty much all over the place. I took risks and became receptive to new people and experiences. By far one of the most rewarding of these efforts has been the creation of this blog.
I say this as background because despite the richness that has been added to my life as a result of befriending my creativity, I remain a practical and analytical person. I got reminded of this when we began discussing in class the importance of setting goals. Prior to beginning my personal trainer program, I had been feeling stuck in regards to my fitness and weight loss progress. Then, in class, we were given the assignment to create two goals for ourselves – one fitness goal and one nutrition goal. Here’s the one I wrote for fitness:
- In six weeks (by August 12), I will improve the time it takes to run one mile on the treadmill from 13 to 12 minutes by gradually increasing the speed that I run.
Here’s what I discovered – I immediately felt energized upon figuring out what goal I wanted and committing it to paper. I couldn’t wait to go to the gym, to start manipulating the variables, and to start tracking my progress. And I say this as someone who ultimately couldn’t stick with Weight Watchers because I hated tracking! I’m proud to say that I’m down to 12 minutes and 20 seconds and feel confident that I will make my 12 minute goal.
Similarly, we started learning yesterday about the components of an integrated fitness assessment. In real life, I’ve resisted (translation: said “no”) whenever my trainer has wanted to take my measurements or calculate my BMI. Now I realize that in refusing I’ve been doing myself a disservice. To me the numbers represented how much further I still needed to go which I thought would leave me feeling embarrassed and discouraged. Now I realize the numbers could have shown me how far I’ve come. No wonder I felt stalled in my progress since I had no way to judge where I was on my journey. No feedback that it was time to celebrate small victories. Conversely, no feedback that I had indeed hit a plateau, and needed to make adjustments. Also, progress isn’t all or nothing. It’s possible for me to struggle with my weight but still make gains in building lean muscle. And those gains have the potential to rally me to confront the challenges that remain.