Madonna sang the song “Express Yourself.” It’s obvious to anyone who sees you working out every morning that you’re expressing how much you’re worth. What they might not see is the way that your mind wanders in order to let your body push itself the way it needs to go. Focus is important, and it’s what will help you succeed in everything you try. Sometimes though, you have to distract the goal-oriented mind, and let the body set the pace. One of our campers shared this story about how, by distracting herself, she found the strength to push herself even further.
It was a typical lower-body focus day. Up and down the hill a couple times. Set after set of plie squats. Lisa was pushing herself to her limits trying to keep up with the rest of the group. As she was walking a lap, wondering how close it was to 6:30, she saw Patricia jog past her. Patricia was about 15 years older with two kids, and she was in amazing shape. She could run all the way to the top of the hill without breaking pace. She had fantastic muscle tone, and on top of that her attitude was pleasant to be around.
Lisa shouted out to Patricia, “You’re an inspiration every day.” It was a genuine statement to encourage Patricia. As Lisa started her next lap, she got to thinking about what she had said. She had meant it, and she could tell from her reaction that Patricia knew she meant it. As she moved, Lisa noticed the distance between them was shrinking. While her brain was thinking about the positive things that boot camp was bringing to her life, her body had decided she had walked enough, and it was time to run again.
By distracting her brain with positive thoughts, Lisa let her body take her where it wanted to go. Our bodies send us messages: you’ve worked too hard; we can go one more lap; stretch out this tendon, woman! When the mind gets too cluttered with trying to keep up with the group, or the disappointment of not crossing that new milestone, or thinking that you just can’t do one more lap; then the body can’t do its thing. Quiet that voice in your head. Distract her with thoughts of your successes, your role models, or anything else that motivates you to keep moving. When the brain shuts up, the body can move!