“Showing Up” to Your Workout – Courtney Townley

Posted on July 31, 2010 by


“If there is no joy, ease, or lightness in what you are doing, it does not necessarily mean that you need to change what you are doing.  It may be sufficient to change the how. “ How” is always more important than “what”.  See if you can give more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it.  Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents.  This implies that you also completely accept what it is, because you cannot give your full attention to something and at the same time resist it.”
-Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now

Walking through the gym during a recent workout, I had the eerie suspicion that, although the cardio deck was packed and the weight room was blazing with voices, very few people were actually at the gym.  They were anywhere and everywhere but the one place they actually were; meaning it looked to me as if only a select few were really focusing on “what” they were doing and “how” they were doing it.
I witnessed at least a half dozen folks zoning out to the TV as they persevered through their endless cardio sessions with horrific form, one woman on her cell phone as she walked on the treadmill at such a slow pace I was pretty sure she burned more calories walking from her car in the club than she was on that treadmill.   I saw one gentleman actually reading the newspaper as he walked at a pace similar to his phone gabbing neighbor, an assembly of men talking shop in the weight room, and a few other random people throwing themselves around on machines looking more confused about what they were doing than sweaty from their efforts.  It was disappointing for me to acknowledge the good intentions all these folks had by carving out time in their busy day to work out, and yet, there they were, doing anything BUT.   Beyond catching up on the latest news on CBS, and the town gossip, I’m not sure that many other benefits were reaped from those workouts; in fact, I think many people put their health in jeopardy by completely zoning out.   Seriously, how do you walk on a treadmill, read the paper, and walk out of the gym with both ankles intact?
My point here is this: to get to where you want to go physically, in the straightest line possible, let there be no mistaking, that you MUST be present when you workout.  If you are carving an hour out of your day to show up at the gym, by all means…SHOW UP.  Commit yourself 100% to being there, just there, and doing better than you thought your best could do.
It is highly likely that someone could go through an entire transformation process and never really be present with their workouts (always watching TV, never thinking about form while lifting, etc), but I am also pretty certain that people who always workout in that way, almost always struggle to get to the gym because it is never engaging and, most certainly, not fun when done in that fashion.  And when it isn’t “joyful” and “fun”, what’s the point?
There is a lot of research that shows the direct link between long term exercise adherence and the enjoyment of exercise.  And if you are engaged in the Genesis Transformation process in any way, you are clearly seeking out tools for long term health.  So, the next time you gear up for your  workout, be it at the gym, outside or at your home, dedicate your workout  to you and ONLY you!
-Take a breeze through an anatomy book if it has been awhile or, certainly, if you never have.  There is a lot of value in having a rough idea of how the body is put together and where muscles run.  Try to visualize those muscles as you workout.
-Save the TV for another time.  Listen to music to motive you during your cardio sessions, or better yet, toss the head phones all together and be present with your heartbeat, your breath, and your form (the stair climber is NOT a leaning post….last I checked it was intended to work your legs not your arms
-Wear headphones while strength training, even if you aren’t listening to music.   People are a  ot less likely to interrupt your workouts if they think you are listening to music.
-Write your workouts down as you do them and outdo yourself a little with every set.  Keep breaking your personal records and you will a powerful, lean machine in no time
-Remember why you are there….to workout.  You can catch-up on the national, local and personal news LATER.
-Do exercises that you enjoy but also that challenge you.  It is really hard to space out when doing something you aren’t very good at.
-Use your workout time as time to “check-in” with yourself and “check out”  from everything else.  You deserve it and your body and mind will thank you for it!

Team Genesis shows up to a workout

Posted in: Food For Thought