Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mr. Miyagi Had It Right

"Wax on, wax off".  The secret to not only a shiny, "like new" polish on your car... but also to success in fitness and training.  How?  Because of focused repetition and practice.

"Give me a second.  I'm sure there's another chore I don't want to do."

I realized this a couple of weeks ago - I love to read about, evaluate and try new ways to train, new exercises and methodologies - anything that can help develop performance.  But the base, the foundation, is not so much about "how" you're training, but "how often" and "how well".  I thought back to when I was training in Tae Kwon Do, and the fact that our warm up was exactly the same every single training session.  3-5 days a week, I followed the exact same warm-up and cool down.  I started doing the same warm-up (as much as I could remember) every single day, and found that I was moving better, more balanced and more fluently every day.  I felt better during my training sessions, and during regular, every day life.

You see, consistency is the key.  Daily practice and diligence.  Obviously, if you set specific aesthetic or performance based goals, then you have specific daily tasks that you need to practice - but if general health and wellness is your goal, then find a routine that involves a little mobility, a little movement, some balance and some coordination and practice that.  Every day.  From now on.  Then find a way of eating that is natural and unprocessed - I don't care if you go Vegan, or Paleo, or Zone or Atkins - whatever you choose, make sure it's real food.  Then do that every day.  From now on.

Consider it an investment in your future.  For the (relatively small) sacrifice it might require today, the pay-off when you're 70yrs old and still climbing trees and playing frisbee on the beach in your retirement will make it all worthwhile.

Now show me "Paint the Fence".

P.S.  If you've never seen the original Karate Kid, then a) thanks for helping date my pop culture references and b) get out there and see it.  You're missing out.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pain Is Not Your Friend and Don't Play Limbo With A Lightsaber!

Come close, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Are you leaning in?  I want to make sure you can hear what I’m about to say (especially if you train with me).  Pain is not your friend and you should never (excluding extreme circumstances) live with pain.  Unless you happen to be dating or married to one of the members of the American hip hop group, House of Pain.  I digress.

Too often a client will show up to train and let me know that they’ve ‘buggered their shoulder’, ‘tweaked their knee’ or ‘strained their lower back’ doing something that they probably shouldn’t have been doing - like taking limbo to a new low at a house party on the weekend – which is a problem, but not the problem.  Life happens, and unless you’re living in a full body cast things are going to come up.

If you're going to limbo, don't limbo with a lightsaber.
So, if the problem isn’t your new low at limbo on the weekend, than what is it?  It’s when pain persists and you don’t do anything about it.  It’s when you take pain into your house (read:  your body).  When pain becomes a friend, albeit an annoying one, but one that you just don’t have the heart to get rid of.   

That’s the problem.  If your body speaks, listen.  I have a 10-day rule; if your body has something to say, and you’re not going to lose a limb unless treated, I say give it about 10-days to go away.  Please use common sense when applying this rule.  If you break a leg don’t expect it to magically heal in 10-days, this is a “do not pass go” straight to the emergency room.
When dealing with pain and applying the 10-day rule, honesty is always the best policy.  If you have to alter your movement to accommodate your life due to what’s happened, than pain is still present.  When pain plays hide-and-seek, it always wins.  If you’re using phrases such as, “It doesn’t hurt when I turn it like this,” or “I stopped doing that because it hurts,” pain is still hiding your house.  Find it, get help and get rid of it. 

Newsflash, your body is connected and if something isn’t pulling its’ weight (literally) something else will have to pick up the slack.  Your body is amazing but not superhuman, so eventually whatever is working overtime is going to go on strike.  Pay attention to your pain to avoid injury.  And, if you want to train for limbo let me know.

~ Sasha