How's it going Well.Fitters?? Are ya stayin' cool?!?
Welcome the first installment of our four part series : Dog Days of Summer.
This weeks topic: Surrender. Get comfy - this is a long one. Read on to hear about how I am surrendering (trying at least) to my current situation and then keep going to hear from our Cardio Dance instructor Marissa Hilley about her awesome story on surrendering and returning to what she loves and what helped her establish a solid fitness routine!
NOTE: the baby arrived between the writing and publishing of this post. Stay tuned for more photos - he's a real heartthrob.
I have had a couple of false labor starts and that my friends, sucks. Being 9 months pregnant in the heat of July is it’s own special torture, especially if you are a person who is used to feeling super fit, super strong and super capable. Pregnancy is such a major sacrifice of your body and there is no way around the inevitable discomforts that come especially toward the end. Maintaining a good fitness routine certainly helps ease a lot of the associated discomforts but here at the end there is no escape, the only way out is through and the only way through is to surrender and wait. Then-when labor finally kicks in...you have to surrender to that process too, there’s no controlling it and that shit is HARD! So, this week’s training focus is surrender! Are ya with me?!
My story is this: my background in fitness is that I HATED exercise. I did not enjoy sweating or being hot, I couldn’t stand to be uncomfortable, I hated the reminder that I was where I was and it wouldn’t change overnight, I kinda hated everything about it on every level - physical, mental and emotional. I was not well versed in letting go, enduring, persevering or surrendering to the process. And because of that I never reached any milestones which would help me motivate to the next level of progress. I usually gave up before I even really started anything. At some point, and I can’t really even pinpoint when it was after all this time, I began to play around with surrendering to all the things I didn’t like about exercise. I started using breathe and mindset to work my way through the icky tough spots and push my limits a little more each time. Turns out that works. Resisting a thing makes it worse, resist is long enough and it becomes a monster. Surrendering to a thing (we mean a good healthy thing like yoga or exercise) does in fact make the experience more pleasant.
Here is one more little anecdote from me to you before we move on from surrendering. I grew up in a hippy household that abided by a few simple beliefs. “The purpose of life is the expansion of happiness” was one that I heard very often. I often heard it coming from my mother’s mouth while I was doing menial tasks like the dishes. That really pissed me off when I was a teenager and my preference would have been to not be home at all let alone doing chores. But nonetheless it stuck with me. My point here is to say that we can choose happiness and it can coexist with the moments that from the outside might look like mundane or really shitty moments. Like a 15 year old doing the dishes or when we are sweating it out on the bike, pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones in order to grow change and improve. The key factor is surrendering to the process and the sensations. So here is my challenge for you - next time you are on the cycle and you find yourself in a spot where you are resisting - try letting go and surrendering - preferably BEFORE you crank your resistance down or slow your cadence.
Push through it guys!! See what’s on the other side! Now let's here from Marissa, our Cardio Dance instructor and all around bad ass lady:
I found myself in the wake of the most difficult time in my life. To then rebuild all that I thought I had lost, I made the decision to fill the voids with positive and lasting choices. I went to a cardio dance class for the first time, about 5 years ago, at a place called Kadi Fit in Cornelius (after I had decided to quit dancing and even vowed to never dance again, but my body just needed to move). Sooo, naturally, I felt a bit rusty and totally uncoordinated. Of course this in turn made all those negative thoughts flood in but about halfway through class I realized that the only person criticizing me...was me. In fact, everyone around me had their own reasons for being there and were not paying attention to me at all. I stopped the negative thoughts, relaxed my mind (which then relaxed my body), and I actually began to enjoy myself. Something changed inside of me that first day; I remembered it's always up to me, what I want to achieve in each moment.
Fitness for the first time became consistent. I kept coming back, tried different classes; even the classes that seemed daunting now became a necessity. I just focused in on the music, became accountable to those around me, the instructors became my coaches, and I became stronger. Yet it's more than just dancing and it's more than just fitness. I brought it to a new level by learning what it felt like to truly let go. I surrendered. To surrender, for me, means to exert myself completely; to lose myself only to find myself, to achieve this incredibly dynamic energy, the ultimate high, the push after you think you've had enough. It's infectious and it inspires. The best part is the burst of freedom I feel as I finally break away from all my inhibitions and just revel in every single movement. That's surrendering.
So how are you going to surrender moving forward? If this inspires you at all and you are ready to surrender and make a change in your life - let's talk about it and together we can get you started.