I tweeted this week that I have been at Gain for 9 months now. I stopped counting months some time ago, because it feels like I have been there forever-but in a good way. Sometimes you do not even know what you need until you have it, and then you wonder how you got along without it. Gain Strength and Conditioning is like that. A few things happened this week that came about as a direct result of my belonging to this fitness community.
First, I made a point of meeting a few new people at the gym, and had conversations with a few of them. I definitely had to go out of my comfort zone and break out of my fixed mindset. I broke my “I do not socialize at the gym” rule I had for myself. I realized this morning that my philosophy about teaching and life is in conflict with the social wall I like to create. If someone reaches out for advice at the gym, it is okay to have a conversation and build upon that. Sharing is a good thing. Gain provides a supportive, very underwhelming space for finding or recreating your comfort zone. You can talk if you want to, or not talk. There is no pressure. The only expectation is to show up and do the best you can on any given day.
I also realized a 5 minute question and answer period is worth a million emails. Questions asked,answered, explained, simple. Now when I have questions at random moments when things don’t seem to make sense, or go well, I write them down and wait for a face to face chat. This also offers the bonus opportunity for a live in person demo! This has transferred to work as well. Face to face conversations provide tone, context, and can scaffold knowledge at that moment, eliminating the need to second guess.
And today I realized the power of a positive comment from a random person while I was about to die on the AirDyne bike. Next week I am going to be the person telling someone how awesome they are. I posted earlier this week I thought I was doing a good job at flying under the radar, trying not to draw attention to my introverted self. It did not occur to me I might meet others who feel the same way I do. I appreciate that someone took 2 seconds to be supportive and encouraging, when sometimes you feel like you are not so awesome.
I learned earlier this month that the brain believes what it hears most often-including your own voice. If it is negative self talk, you will internalize that. If you hear positive, supportive comments, that is what you will believe.
The brain also perceives practice and visualization as reality-so visualizing yourself being awesome means your brain will believe you are awesome. Practicing optimism makes it more likely that you will be awesome. It works. For a few weeks now I have been feeling less than awesome and in one week I have a renewed sense of optimism and awesomeness.
I was feeling pretty good about my fitness and life a year ago. All I thought I needed was a new running coach and personal trainer. I realize now I needed more balance, less fitness stress, and people to share with. I also needed a basic understanding of mobility-how the body moves from head to foot; and I needed someone with the skill, patience and a gym to help me begin to put it all together.