Update…

It’s been awhile since posting here and I have to apologize to those readers who follow along regularly.  There have been several posts over at www.satisfactionandbeyond.com for those who are interested in the nutrition and fitness side of my writing.  Some of the later ones include posts about food cravings (what they mean and what to do about them) as well as one on genes and their affects on our health.

The nutrition and fitness book has been released in e-format (www.satisfactiontransformation.com) and I should be sending it off to the printer next week to get the print version rolling.

There is a lot of other stuff going on that is just longing for me to post about, but other things have been taking my time.  Among them, I’m working to finish the fiction book.  The characters are kind of grabbing me and refusing to let go until I tell their stories.  When I can write no more, I’ve been learning HTML (I know!  Me who struggles with learning a new language might have found one that makes some sense!) which will ultimately result in better websites for your viewing pleasure.

So that’s the update for now.  I’ll get back to “real posts” eventually, and hopefully even soon, but for now I need to get back to the book.

🙂
Kathryn

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Free at last

Until finding and practicing Intu-Flow® in 2006, I dealt with a large amount of back pain that often included searing pain down my leg.  It took about 5 months of daily practice, but that pain went away and has stayed gone.  Given all I’d tried to escape the pain and how many years it had been present, it still seems amazing and wonderful.

It didn’t stop there, though.  I’ve continued that daily practice, rarely missing a day since then.  Even on those rare occasions of not getting in a full session, I still do some piece of Intu-Flow®.  My leg was very weak initially, and there were some altered movement patterns, but slowly things improved.  It never fully recovered, but occasionally I would notice some new range of motion or gain in strength.

The back was a similar story.  It regained almost all of its strength, but regardless of what I did, I couldn’t seem to get deeper extension.  I’d lean back, reach a certain point, and my whole body would start shaking.

After years of trying to get beyond that point, yesterday it happened.  Did I find the problem while practicing Intu-Flow® or yoga?  Nope.  I found it while swinging Clubbell®s.  Technically I wasn’t swinging the Clubbell®s (I was doing the exercise unloaded), but it was still Clubbell® technique.

I watched the Encyclopedia of Clubbell® Training the night before to review all of the basics.  (After all, I’m “rebuilding” my knee after surgery earlier this year and want to do it right.)  By carefully going through each of the 7 key components and watching myself closely, it became obvious that hip snap was different from left to right.  Right was the side with the surgery, but the left was the one that lacked adequate snap.

Once upon a time I would have just put it off to the old back problems and went on, but I try to no longer limit myself by making excuses for anything that is less than optimal.  So I went a little slower without finding the problem; watched the DVD as slow as I could play it and imitated each motion; and there it was.  Coach Sonnon’s left leg muscles fired when mine didn’t.  I tried again and felt it “lock” my knee in a stable position, prevent the thigh from rotating out as much as it had been, and fully snap my hip.  I continued to work the motion with the unloaded Clubbell® technique and after a few minutes, something in my low back released.

You hear people talk about losing power through poor technique.  Until you experience how significant it can be, it is easy to wonder just how much power could be lost.  But yesterday, that small correction in technique once again drove home the change that is possible.  I’ve not swung a Clubbell® since December of last year.  I’ve used them with a floor routine for core stability and done some seated casts and presses, but the 20# Clubbell® 2-handed was the top of my skill.  Yesterday, after correcting the hip snap issue, the 20 felt different.

I worked my way up the weights until I did a 2-handed cleaned to torch with the bruiser (a 45# Clubbell® for those not familiar with RMAX®).  There is no way my strength increased that much in a single week.  What that really means is that there was a ton of strength I wasn’t accessing purely because of poor technique.

Oh, and the back extension I’ve been working on since 2006?  If I don’t engage the leg it is the same stopping point and the shakes, but if I engage it, I can keep going for another 20 degrees. Intu-Flow® was different this morning, and I can go deeper into a one-legged squat without any knee discomfort (on either knee) than I ever remember doing.

There is irony in yesterday’s improvement.  On Saturday I was whining about how much it sucks that, until sometime between August and October, I can’t do anything that causes the knee to experience impact…no tennis, no basketball, no baseball, no jumping, no running, etc.  Everything is a slow rebuild of strength while the new cartilage hardens until it can handle impact.  But without that limitation, I would have powered through instead of working to find the issue and discovering something that has been holding me back for years.

What shackles in your life are really opportunities for self-improvement and growth?

Until next time, may the choices you make and the actions you take today, created a healthier “you” tomorrow.



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The Hypocrisy of Hope

Yep, you read the title right.  It will be easy for many of you to dismiss this entire post as me just going through a tough time.  After all, one of my brothers has cancer and another family member is ill.  Some of you might tell yourself that I could just be pissed at the whole world right now.

But the thing is, I’m not.  In fact, there is a deep peace in my life that has only increased over the last few months.  The reason that very hard-earned peace is increasing instead of decreasing is because, when he learned of my brother’s diagnosis, a good friend had the courage to tell me not to buy into hoping that everything would turn out OK in the end.

And as my friend suspected, it was one of the things the doctors said.  “We’ll do all we can and hope for the best.”

There will be those arguing that hope is vital and important, but it really isn’t.  I can hope that after losing 79 pounds these last 40 are just going to take care of themselves, but they aren’t.  I can hope that my brother will live another 40 years, but there is no guarantee he will.

Here’s why I don’t like hope.  If you rely on hope, you’re less likely to think about the worst case scenario.  You’ll focus on how great things will eventually be.  But if you don’t think about the worst case, you’ll never think about why it is the worst— why would it bother you if things got that bad?

In that way, hope protects you from dealing with unpleasantness.  It sucks that someone you love is suffering and may die earlier than expected.   It sucks that it is hard work to change and improve yourself, etc., etc.  No one wants to deal with those things so we hope we don’t have to.

But it sucks way more when you miss opportunities to take care of the really important things because you didn’t even realize they were important until it was too late for you to do anything about it.  You were too busy hoping it would all work out, there’d be some new treatment, or some product would make it all much easier.

It isn’t hope we all need.  Instead it is a personal reason to fully live life— a reason that runs deep enough to cause us to act even when fear is present and motivation is gone.  We need a reason that runs so deep that we will continue to take action even when, well, even when we can’t find a shred of hope.

And the peace that is part of my life?  It came when it became more uncomfortable to deny my weaknesses and problems than it was to face them and start working through them one at a time.

Once I realized that the temporary discomfort was nothing compared to the positive gains of knowing what really matters to me, it was easier to apply that to all aspects of life.  Hope no longer matters to me, but what does matter is enough to keep me coming back to the things I know make a difference.

Have you found your reasons and faced your demons?

🙂
Kathryn

(*Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy is thus a kind of lie. Hypocrisy may come from a desire to hide from others actual motives or feelings.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrisy)

The Hypocrisy of Hope

Yep, you read the title right. It will be easy for many of you to dismiss this entire post as me just going through a tough time. After all, one of my brothers has cancer and another family member is ill. Some of you might tell yourself that I could just be pissed at the whole world right now.

But the thing is, I’m not. In fact, there is a deep peace in my life that has only increased over the last few months. The reason that very hard-earned peace is increasing instead of decreasing is because, when he learned of my brother’s diagnosis, a good friend had the courage to tell me not to buy into hoping that everything would turn out OK in the end.

And as my friend suspected, it was one of the things the doctors said. “We’ll do all we can and hope for the best.”

There will be those arguing that hope is vital and important, but it really isn’t. I can hope that after losing 79 pounds these last 40 are just going to take care of themselves, but they aren’t. I can hope that my brother will live another 40 years, but there is no guarantee he will.

Here’s why I don’t like hope. If you rely on hope, you’re less likely to think about the worst case scenario. You’ll focus on how great things will eventually be. But if you don’t think about the worst case, you’ll never think about why it is the worst— why would it bother you if things got that bad.

In that way, hope protects you from dealing with unpleasantness. It sucks that someone you love is suffering and may die earlier than expected. It sucks that it is hard work to change and improve yourself, etc., etc. No one wants to deal with those things so we hope we don’t have to.

But it sucks way more when you miss opportunities to take care of the really important things because you didn’t even realize they were important until it was too late for you to do anything about it. You were too busy hoping it would all work out, there’d be some new treatment, or some product would make it all much easier.

It isn’t hope we all need. Instead it is a personal reason to fully live life— a reason that runs deep enough to cause us to act even when fear is present and motivation is gone. We need a reason that runs so deep that we will continue to take action even when, well, even when we can’t find a shred of hope.

And the peace that is part of my life? It came when it became more uncomfortable to deny my weaknesses and problems than it was to face them and start working through them one at a time.

Once I realized that the temporary discomfort was nothing compared to the positive gains of knowing what really matters to me, it was easier to apply that to all aspects of life. Hope no longer matters to me, but what does matter is enough to keep me coming back to the things I know make a difference.

(Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy is thus a kind of lie. Hypocrisy may come from a desire to hide from others actual motives or feelings.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrisy)

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A Sneak Peak…

I unexpectedly spent the better part of this last week at the hospital with my brother, so the interviews I promised have been delayed. They’re still in the works and hopefully at least one of them will make it to posted status by the end of next week.

Meanwhile, I’ve a bit of a sneak peak to share with you…

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a nutrition book with Coach Scott Sonnon. It’s a very exciting project and I think there will be something in it for just about anyone wanting to improve overall health and fitness.

As the book has taken shape and I’ve gained knowledge about what people want, I have come to realize that the content of this blog is too diverse for the primary audience visiting it. Therefore, I have started a new blog that contains only health-first fitness and nutrition information.

While it isn’t officially “live” yet, those of you who have been following me can get a sneak peak  HERE.

I’ll continue to blog at A Comfortable Soul, but the topics will have a broader range.  For instance, I have a fictional book that is most of the way finished and is likely to be for sale by next year.  I’ll talk about it here.  I’ll continue to post articles on success, observations about life, and points of interest.  I’ll even finish the “choose your own adventure”-style series I started a while back.  But for all things health-first fitness and nutrition, the new blog will be the place to go.

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Knee Surgery Prehab

Before I continue writing about the excitement of my recent trip and encounters with some very cool people, it is time to come back to the knee article I promised a few months ago.

In November my cat ran into my leg and my knee popped.  By the middle of December I was using crutches most days and looking forward to the doctor appointment after the first of the year.  In January an MRI was ran and the back of my patella (knee cap) looked like confetti while there was also cartilage torn from the femur with a bit of bone ripped away from it…definitely time for surgery.

For those who know what an avid CST practitioner I am, I can assure you that the damage was not done via my training.  The damaged area was greatly weakened by a nasty infection.  My cat and then my dog ran into my leg and finished off the damage.  However, the rest of my knee was picture perfect, and that I will attribute to my daily practice of Intu-Flow®.

Since I knew surgery was coming but the surgeon I wanted was out of the country, I had a few weeks to prepare.  There was a chance that I wasn’t going to be able to put weight on that leg for as long as 3 months, so I had my work cut out for me.

A quick run through of what was needed yielded the following list:

Crutches

  1. Arm and core strength:  If you want to avoid an impingement syndrome from the crutches smashing into your armpits, and you do, you will be using your arms and core a lot.  Walking is an illusion with crutches.  The healthy leg acts more like a pivot.  If you think it is easy, try doing burpees from your bedroom to the living room while using only one foot—welcome to crutching.
  2. Compensation for so much pushing with the arms and abdominal contractions
  3. An uneven pelvis from holding one leg up while standing on the other
  4. Compensation for the uneven pelvis

Non-weight bearing on the right

  1. A strong left leg while standing
  2. The ability to move around with both hands and one foot without touching the right leg to the bed/floor/etc.
  3. Balance—if you think you have it, wait until you test it by crutching to the bathroom and successfully sitting on the toilet after a drugged night’s sleep. (When the pain meds bottle says not to operate heavy machinery, I’m pretty sure that includes me on crutches.)
  4. Compensation for the left leg doing all the work

Unable to bend the right knee

  1. Enough flexibility to put on clothes… you don’t want to be trying to lasso your foot with your undies.  Plus, once you get them on the injured leg and over the brace that runs to your upper thigh and the sutures, you have to get the other foot in there too.  Flexibility is major.
  2. Sitting requires that the left leg can lower and raise you either by itself or with some help from your arms.

What I did:

  1. Intu-Flow® every day—got to have nutrition pumped in and gunk pumped out.  My knee was injured, but there was no need to starve the rest of the joint or the rest of my body.
  2. Forward Pressure on day 2 of 4—I did the beginner version and because I couldn’t tolerate any weight on the knee cap at that point, I did it with the right leg held up and back.  I also removed any of the flow that wouldn’t allow the right knee to be modified out of it.
  3. Forward Pressure compensations daily—I kept these up even after the surgery
  4. Quad hop switches on day 3 of 4—the ability to balance and be strong while moving around in that position was priceless.  I used it getting on and off the bed, getting in and out of the shower, getting in and out of the CPM machine, etc.
  5. Crab walk, shoulder bridges, and 1-legged shoulder bridges on day 3 of 4—all of these helped me move and get clothes on and off
  6. Seal pose and “superman” on day 3 of 4—to help counter all the forward contractions
  7. Forest flow (from the Prasara Series “A” DVD) on day 4 of 4—balance, balance, balance with strength, strength, strength.  After a few weeks, I could stand on one leg for as long as 5 minutes before the burn was too great.  It allowed me to have some independence to cook and brush my teeth, etc.  Plus it was where the flexibility to also get the good leg in my pants was created.  I also practiced this entirely on the floor so it could serve as compensatory work post surgery.
  8. BeBreathed and Coach Murdock’s “Beyond Sit-ups” on day 4 of 4—I now have a stronger core than I have ever had in my life.  As a result of the work I did with this and the attention I paid to proper crutching technique (plus Intu-Flow®), even after months on crutches, I had zero low back pain.
  9. Leg swoops on day 4 of 4—These were modified a bit and mostly it was the right leg I trained because it couldn’t take being squatted.  I sat on the floor and tried to get up without putting any weight on my leg.  The only way I could do it without furniture near was to perform a modified leg swoop that led to me standing.  Reverse it and I could sit down.

That’s the program I did and the reasoning behind it.  Other than wishing I had started Forest earlier, it served me very well and kept my frustrations to a minimum.

Post-surgery I did daily Intu-Flow® for everything but the right knee.  I also did yoga to compensate for all of the time in bed.  You can see the leg all bandaged and in the CMP maching if you look to the left of my very attentive “helper” in the above picture.

After the first week, I worked out every other day.  It took some creative thinking to design a program that would allow me to maintain balance, keep making physical progress, and to leave the repaired leg out of it.  In another month, I’ll film and post the entire progression.  I think that even those who can use their legs will enjoy it.  😉

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Every Now and Zen

Change happens.  Sometimes it comes in an undeniable wave and sometimes with such soft subtleness we aren’t even aware of the transformation.  Most often perhaps, it is a combination.  Change trickles into our lives and our bodies until the accumulative effect is great enough to catch our attention.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a public place visiting one of my brothers.  Someone passed by the open door of the room where we were sitting and gave me a dirty look.  Unfortunately it was not the seductive, “come hither” kind, but the, “how dare you” kind.

What was the horribly offensive behavior we were engaging in?  We were laughing—not chuckling or giggling, but with our heads thrown back, arms and feet flopping, gasping for air, laughing.

Why was our laughter so offensive?  We weren’t in just any public place.  We were sitting in my brother’s hospital room where he was undergoing chemo therapy to help arrest a highly aggressive cancer that is already in stage 4 of 4.  There are many who would say it is not a place to laugh, but is instead a place to cry.

I have cried and am sure I will again.  But in that moment when someone else via a look asked me how I could dare to laugh when my brother might die from complications related to the treatment or the cancer in a much shorter time than desired or expected, an equally alarming question popped into my head, “if not now, when?”

I can grieve when he is gone, but I can only create more memories and moments with him now.  My brother agreed, and we went right back to telling stories and laughing.

every-now-and-zen

 

In that moment, change had reached critical mass and we experienced it full force.  To an outsider it might have been unnoticeable or it could have appeared that we ignored someone’s obvious dislike of our behavior.  But for us, it was a mutual decision to stay in the moment.  Every ‘now’ had new importance.

Upon telling another friend about it, he suggested it was very  Zen of us to feel that way.  I fired back that I need to make some t-shirts that read, “Every Now and Zen” to wear on the days when what might be threatens to rob opportunity from what is.

The past matters—the way we treated each other, the things we said and did, the experiences we shared or enabled the other to have all add up to the bond between us.  The past guides and influences every decision we make and every action we take.

The future matters.  We have talked about what he wants when all is said and done.  We have also taken action to help ensure that what he wants is possible.

But the present is where the living occurs.  It isn’t a bridge between the past and future, but is instead an intersection with nearly unlimited potential.  What we do at the intersection determines the direction our future takes.  So every ‘now’ carries with it the potential to live more fully.

This last week my brother was to go through another round of chemo, one that was supposed to be especially nasty.  I like to be there for the ones with more severe side-effects, just in case the staff is extra busy and misses that he is reacting.  But at the end of the week a friend was getting married and, before my brother’s diagnosis was even made, we had made plans to attend.

The “what if’s” played a game of duck, duck, goose in my head for days.  On Tuesday I was sitting with my brother watching a comedian on the TV.  My stomach ached and tears rolled down my cheeks as the guy told joke after joke.  There was a point when my brother and I were laughing at how hard the other one was laughing!  But later that afternoon he took a nap, and the what if’s began their game again.

I sat there and watched him sleep.  The what if’s gave way to memories, some old and some new, and I realized that even if he died in that moment, neither of us would question the importance of the other in our life.  Every Now and Zen had in a very short time caused us to say all of the really important stuff.

So I went to the wedding and had a wonderful time.  I called and checked in with my brother daily, but I also practiced being fully present with each person I interacted with at the wedding.  As a result, mixed in with all of the laughter, teasing, and conversation, I learned things…some of them important enough to share.

I spoke with a couple lawyers, a couple editors, a couple publishers, a writer, some fitness experts, a CPA, a fish guy who is also biking across Canada, a literature teacher, someone who works at a bank, some writers, some martial artists, and a few other people.  You will want to read what these folks taught me because they shared life-changing secrets.  For the sake of all of us, I’ll be posting more frequently to make sure I get the ideas down in full writing instead of just notes scribbled on a piece of paper in the early morning hours.

Meanwhile, may the choices you make and actions you take today create a healthier “you” tomorrow!

🙂
Kathryn

P.S. Some people were interested in an “Every Now And Zen” t-shirt. It’s now available in Women’s and Men’s.

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Where the time goes…

It has been a while since posting.  In addition to working on the nutrition book that Coach Sonnon and I are getting closer to releasing, I’ve also undergone surgery on my knee – arthroscopic with micro-fracture.  Getting ready for surgery is a bit like getting ready to go on a long vacation without the opportunity to enjoy the mountains or walk by the ocean.

The surgery went well and recovery is proceeding nicely.  Soon I’ll make a post about how I prepared for it and what I’m doing now.  The prep has really paid off and having a workout I can do after so much laying around has been priceless.

Today I took my first shower without needing someone to help me, or mostly at least.  The joy of being able to have your knee slightly bent in the shower is amazing and it makes the plastic chair feel a little less awkward.  I also did a full 20 minute Clubbell and bodyweight exercise session followed by yoga…not the first time since surgery, but it felt just as good today as it did the first time.  And yes, it was all done without any weight on the right leg.

But alas, it is time to get in the CPM (completely passive motion) machine again.  Six hours of each day is spent with my leg strapped into a machine that repeatedly bends my knee to 90 degrees.  It sounds a bit like the bot tank/auto-milkers in my childhood friend’s dairy barn.  Thankfully, there are no attachments involved.  I’d love to be able to spend all 6 hours at night, but I can’t sleep well and sometimes just can’t sleep at all with the blasted thing moving my leg now that it is up to 90 degrees.

Nine years ago Matt and I were saying our vows to each other.  (Happy Anniversary Honey!!)  Time has flown and it appears that the craziness that occurred nine years ago had no bearing on the quality of our relationship.  We didn’t really celebrate today, but we didn’t really celebrate nine years ago either — although we were pretty happy we made it through the ceremony.  However, that is a long and funny story for another day.

I’ll be back to more regular posting in a few weeks.

🙂
Kathryn

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Avatar

Note:  spoilers present.

We went to see Avatar with some friends a few weeks ago.  Since that time, a few people have sent reviews my way.  Some of them have made it clear that while the same film rolls, we all experience a different movie.

Avatar is a movie that follows Joseph Campbell’s idea of The Hero’s Journey.  Within it are multiple smaller stories—all mimicking some aspect of life as seen from different points of view.  There is the journey of the individual from feeling defeated to earning victory.  There is love.  There is war.  There are politics and jealousy.   There is technology versus living in balance with the land.  (Both might be possible, but we don’t see it in this story or in our history.)  And there are conflicting beliefs with each side fully convinced that theirs is the only one worth believing in and dying for.  Avatar does an excellent job of capturing the complexity of the stories of our real lives within a fictional world.

Several of the reviewers quoted the scene where Colonel Quaritch asks Jake Sully, “How does it feel to betray your own race?”  They call the colonel loyal, honorable, and humane while calling Sully a traitor to both the Marines and all of humanity.  One reviewer went so far as to say that Sully destroyed humanity’s last hope for survival.  I suppose I can see how they got there, but that wasn’t my experience of the scene.  In fact, throughout the movie there was an underlying story about second chances, personal growth and change, understanding the value of all life, and the hard work and sacrifices as well as rewards that sometimes go along with those things.

When the colonel asked Jake how it felt to betray his own race, I thought that the question was ironic.  Sully’s “race” betrayed themselves.  They destroyed their own resources and rather than realize that change was needed, they were more than willing to destroy yet another planet and all of the life on it.  I felt that Sully’s experiences taught him that the “aliens” (the Na’vi)  knew a balance he had never experienced on earth and he was willing to die to protect them from the destruction his own people had already proven more than capable of doing.

Sully had the opportunity to walk again by destroying an entire species, but instead he risked his life to save them.  Did he get something out of the deal?  Yes.  He got a second chance in a body that was fully functional on a planet that was still rich with life and resources.  But to do so he literally had to leave his old body and life behind.  That sounds like a no-brainer, but when was the last time you changed your life even a little bit not alone left behind all that you knew.  As Richard Bach wrote, “Change is the end of the world as it is.”

Quaritch might have been saying that they had given the Na’vi every chance to leave and any loss of life was their own fault since they stayed, but I failed to understand how the power to more rapidly kill gave him more right to their home than they had.  If a bully tells your kid to just hand over all their money and possessions each day and they won’t get a beating, does it make the bully honorable?  How about humane?  If a robber does that to you, how about then?  But if it happens to beings we consider alien, different than us, for any reason…somehow it becomes OK?

I enjoyed Avatar and think that it did an excellent job of making the blend between real world and digital creations almost unnoticed.  That sort of creative expression along with the intelligence that makes it possible gives me some hope that maybe someday we will have learned to live in a way that doesn’t betray all of life on this planet.

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Before the Success…

Did you ever notice that right before you are about to succeed:

  • It sometimes feels like you’re moving through rapidly drying superglue
  • There is the temptation to stop pushing because you know you’ve got it in the bag now.
  • All those little (and sometimes not-so-little) distractions challenge you, but staying on target creates a new level of balance in your life.
  • Sometimes even the best laid plans fall apart.  You want to wait until you can integrate that plan again, but you’re really better off letting it go and creating one that works now.  Anything else just pushes your goal that much further away.
  • You question whether you deserve the success.  Oh maybe not directly or in those words, but your actions tattle on you if you look at them.
  • You make a lot of excuses to yourself while trying to deny the building fear.  But the only way to get over the fear is to experience the unknown and then look back and know you made it.  Despite knowing that’s the way it is, you still look for a way to know without doing.  You’ve got to accept that you just have to do it, and then jump.  If you can’t jump, creep.  But forward is the only way through.

It helps to remind yourself that the outcome of everything on the above list hinges upon your actions, and that the ease or difficulty of getting through it to the other side hinges on your attitude and perceptions.  When everything else is out of your control, those things are still firmly yours.

Dream big.

Work smart.

Allow success.

Until next time, may your choices and actions today create a healthier ‘you’ tomorrow.

🙂 Kathryn

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The Secret of Success

The following is a clip of a fellow RMAX athlete, Jim Romig.  (He has the shorter haircut and is in black and gray.)  If you view the clip, watch his face.  Watching Jim in this clip, I noticed something important that applies to much of life and may very well be the secret of success.

Jim Romig match on Facebook

When his opponent has his arm about his neck and is cutting off his air, Jim’s face gets red and you see his body begin to tense.   In other words, it is obvious that he is uncomfortable.  I don’t know if he was feeling panic or not, but it would have been easy to in that situation.  You might also notice that his opponent repeatedly had Jim in situations where it appeared likely that he would tap out (signal to concede the match).  If you listen closely, someone even says that he is going to tap, but he didn’t.  Jim hung with the discomfort and found a way through it.  He did that repeatedly before he won the match.

I found myself admiring him for the tenacity and strength of will it took to recognize his ego as well as the false cues his body was giving that were implying he should just quit.  He had the wisdom to question the cues, and had developed the skills to find a way through the discomfort.

It is the first of the year and people are making New Year’s resolutions like politicians make promises.  If you are one of those people, and I hope that you have goals regardless of the time of year they are made, remember Jim as you work to achieve them.

That video clip is 127 seconds long.  There were multiple times of discomfort and 1 second of his opponent tapping out.  We see him win and think it is cool.  But what the video doesn’t show is all of the months of training, the dialogue he was having with himself when things were tough and quitting seemed a good option, or the way he prioritized his life leading up to that one-second tap out.

It isn’t about no pain-no gain, but is instead about enough discomfort that improvement is achieved.  Discomfort is OK, pain is not.  Pain will stop your progress, lead to injury, and make it harder for you to succeed.  Discomfort, complimented by enough satisfaction to keep you working, makes it possible to succeed.

It doesn’t matter if you are training for sport, trying to lose weight, saving for a house, starting a business, etc….can you hang with the discomfort long enough to find a way through?

Until next time, may the choices you make and the actions you take today, create a better “you” tomorrow.

Kathryn

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