Coach's Thoughts - Check-In With Yourself

In order to grow or get stronger in the gym, we need to push limits, deal with pain, struggle through adversity and find the points of highest tension. We lift heavier or lighter, faster or slower, harder or easier, all depending on the goal we’re pursuing. We have intent. We are striving for more. We are present within each rep, set, session and training block. If we aren’t, we don’t reap the benefits and risk injury. We have a clear vision of the ideal we are pushing towards and this guides our process. A process that is perpetual, because the ideal keeps increasing with every step forward. We also strategically take breaks, back off and focus intensively on recovering from the training. We do this to sustain our output, perform at our best and to review and evaluate the strategies we’re using.

Anyone who has ever dedicated themselves to any craft, whether physical or otherwise will see these same principles applied broadly. Why then, in the most important undertaking of them all - life - do we lack this consciousness? Perhaps it is a function of external pressures. Perhaps it is a function of conditioning throughout our lifetime. Perhaps it is simply that we don’t know how. The truth is, living consciously takes a lot of work and a great deal of resolve. Compared to life, training is EASY! You control almost all the variables, whereas in life, you only control yourself. A barbell isn’t going to act irrationally towards you, it’s only going to follow gravity. It’s predictable - literally the opposite of life. Even still, we can approach life in a very similar way.

We can check in with ourselves each day and define our ideal. What is it that we are striving towards? The steps we take today should be shaping the tomorrow we want to live, pushing further towards the ideals we have defined. Personal growth, like physical growth, comes from finding points of tension and pushing through them. Approach the challenges of your day with this intent - what can I learn from this? What is this challenge teaching me? Push your boundaries and practice resiliency in the face of friction. Live each day with an intent towards growth and development. Be present to acknowledge your feelings and take the time question what they mean. This is perhaps the most important piece - hold space for yourself to pause and check in. Do you need time to recover, or recharge? If you’re doing this right, chances are that you do! It’s during this time that you determine if your trajectory is in line with the ideal you’re pushing towards.

In training and in life, we must take the time to step back and hold space for ourselves. Ask the hard questions and be honest with the answers. In training, we fight against a single force - gravity. In life, WE ARE THE SINGLE FORCE! You have the power to shape your life in the manner of your choosing. That is the key - you must choose to do that each and every day.

Have a dope Monday!

Paul Oneid