Today during my step bench workout I had an epiphany: pain in movement doesn’t mean I need to necessarily fear movement. It more likely means that I’ve stopped paying attention to myself. I’ve set down my self-care, my self-love, and let my ego step in. I know that sounds like a contradiction. “Doesn’t listening to pain mean paying attention to your body?” No! It means I HAVEN’T been paying attention to my body and now my body is sending out an alarm!
Here’s what I’m trying to say: if I get caught up in trying to keep up or do better than the guy on the screen, or the person next to me, or with someone I admire, I stop focusing on how I’m moving. I’m trying to make my body be their body. In a body like mine full of injuries, or in a body that hasn’t been moving much lately, that can spell trouble. I have to LOVE MYSELF ENOUGH by paying attention to my body enough to NOT follow the leader, to NOT do as many reps as the person next to me, to NOT jump when the person next to me is jumping… Is that hard for me to do? You bet.
Is it hard for you, too?
“I feel weird modifying.” “Everybody else can do it, why not me?” “I feel bad if I can’t keep up.” “I feel like a failure if I can’t do as many.” “Everybody’s watching me.”
That’s what transformational empowerment coach Judit Szabo calls C.R.A.P.
Our fears of C.R.A.P. are really our egos getting in our way. Our ego starts that horrible comparison game (you know, the one that is “the thief of joy?”). That’s when we have to SHUT THAT VOICE UP and let our self LOVE talk louder than the C.R.A.P. For me, that can mean moving slower so that I can pay attention to how my foot lands, or changing the movement so I can pay attention to how my shoulders are set. It’s me keeping my ears on for the cues but taking my eyes inward to see how MY system is doing.
It’s also me saying over and over, “So what?” So what if my number of reps is different – they’re MY reps. So what if my push-up isn’t as low – it’s MY push-up. So what if I can only run XX seconds/feet/miles – that’s how far I can go being mindful of caring for my body and that effort is MINE.
I get to OWN my movement, and to be proud of it, because I am working hard at letting my only benchmark be me. And I so want you to feel the same. Wouldn’t you like to find a place inside that empowers you to move while holding yourself up with love? Love means you accept who you are, you celebrate who you are with all your movement considerations, and you work on who YOU are. That doesn’t mean you don’t push yourself. Oh, no! It only means that your efforts come supported from a place of loving self-awareness.
And that’s powerful.
With thanks to Shaun T. and Judit Szabo for today’s inspiration.