Attention to Detail: Thoughts to move you along your pathway

Posted on February 6, 2011


Part of what my clients know me for is my focus on the details of the exercise I am asking them to do. Just because a body can move, does not mean it is moving well. And that is the thing about programs like P90X or at-home bootcamps – super great workouts IF your body is not messed up with its’ length-tension relationships or muscle activation (read: you’re not ‘too tight’ ‘too weak’ or have muscles that are being inhibited in their ability to fire) If you have any of those things going on…and the majority of people I meet have some of that going on…then working out without doing anything about those muscular imbalances, you’re essentially telling your body its’ ok to hang on to those, and in fact, go ahead and strengthen those imbalances so they become even more imbalanced.

Insert ‘corrective exercise’ here. As my clients progress through corrective exercise to other phases of training, one thing they appreciate is the attention I bring to the details of each move. Lengthen farther. Contract better and with greater force. Bring more control, more power, more attention to each muscle involved in the exercise. The intention is to do this NOW so that come game day (or race day, or simply, come ‘real life’/daily life/your life) – it has become subconscious – there is minimal thought into ‘squeeze glute now’ – the glute will know the motor pattern and will DO.

I was listening to a CD from Gary de Rodriguez, NLP teacher & life coach, today. I had just finished a run, of which I had used the duration to question myself – 70 mins of personal interrogation…in slush…and snow. ‘What the hell are you going for here? Why do this at all? Why do any of us do anything? What does it all mean?????’ I’m a deep thinker. I know. (HA!) Anyways, I’m driving home, listening to Gary – who’s awesome, and usually smacks me in the face in the most loving way possible – and what he’s saying hits me right in the face (lovingly, of course!)

I ran into the house with the CD & replayed it so I could type what he was saying. There was something there that I’d never seen before, and it made so much sense! Here’s what Gary says (in italics) & what I say (not in italics):

Whenever you use, “I’m not” you are going into your story – and that takes you away from where you ultimately intend to go. Your story is your past, “I’m not” moves to your story & away from your destiny. This is the minutia of your thought patterns – You have created your reality. Every thought lays down more pathways in the brain for more of the same thoughts (just as muscle contractions repetitively over time lay down more muscle fibers for that exact muscle action) OMG – seriously true!! The more you think negatively, the easier it is to think negatively – think about that!!

People who’ve worked out long enough know working out is a part of who they are – it simply IS a part of them. It was not like that in the beginning though, they had to consciously take the action step of packing the gym bag, re-arranging schedules to put the time in exercising, the money spent on clothes/shoes/a trainer, enduring the soreness of creating new muscle fibers and growing a stronger heart muscle. Thinking negatively may seem to be a subconscious reaction – along the lines of – that’s the way I’ve always been, that’s just how I know how to respond to things – but those who do not allow negative thoughts to rule their life didn’t get that way by subconscious thought. To end the negative thoughts, you must actively make a choice. A choice to change your current thought for a higher one.

This was an epiphany to me. I teach people every day to pay attention to the details. Be mindful of each movement. Focus the mind to the present moment of successfully completing what I am asking you to do. WHY?? Because doing it consciously over and over again allows for pathways to be laid down, and in time, those pathways simply ARE a part of the person. The more they do it, the easier it becomes to do it again and again. The more we think one way or another – the easier it is to do again and again.

This may be no epiphany to some of you – but given my recent state of my mind (stressed would be an understatement) which I’m finally seeing that I chose, not that was chosen for me…and the recent blog posts of many athlete friends around the blog world who seem to also be freaking out a bit or are facing fears of some sort – I’m betting that this will resonate with someone besides just me.

Pay attention to the details. Exercise of the body is no different than exercise of the mind. What you repeatedly do, it becomes easier and easier to do. Negative talk is a slippery slope. “I can’t” “I wish” “It’s hard” all resonate at a lower energy level than “I require” “I am” “It’s an opportunity”.

 Negative thoughts during a workout guarantee a lower result. Same goes for daily life. The details of your daily thoughts will determine the outcomes of your life! Apply this to your life and let your let things metamorphasize!