If some of you haven’t picked up on it by now, life doesn’t always go according to plan. And yet, a lot of people still get taken back when things just don’t flow their way. People are somehow surprised when every day doesn’t seem to go the way they would want and often times, they become beaten down from the daily rigors life may offer. It appears that life has a strong will – usually stronger than its adversary – and the friction it causes usually results in one feeling sorry for themselves and paralyzing their efforts. But life doesn’t have to be that way, not at all. A lot of life is in how you handle it. It’s a matter of dealing with what comes your way in a productive manner.
Bernard Malamud stated, “There comes a time in our lives when to get where we have to go, if there are no doors or windows, we need to walk through a wall.” The problem, however, often lies within the confines of one’s own mind where “the wall” is an insurmountable obstacle. Most people aren’t willing to push through that wall and make that extra effort. So I’ll leave you with a question for you to reflect upon: When’s the last time you attempted to break through the barriers and walk through a wall?
It amazes me, no correct that, it angers me when I hear coaches of athletes – in particular young athletes – aren’t focusing on strengthening the cervical spine, especially if that athlete is in a sport that involves physical contact. There is so much data and research now stemming down from the NFL to adolescent sports of both genders showing the devastating impact blows to the head and neck area can be for a person.
And don’t be fooled thinking it’s only the guys who play football because it’s not. Young girls playing soccer rank up there in the #2 spot and as you can imagine and there are a host of other sports that are susceptible as well. But concussions are not limited to just these sports and the issue of reducing concussive forces really needs to be addressed. Instead of wasting their time having these athletes jumping up and down on boxes or having them do some convoluted strength program for hours on end, make time to properly perform a couple exercises that help protect the neck and shoulders so that their athletes don’t become another statistic.
Many of today’s fitness and diet recommendations are one’s that offer extreme scenarios that, in my opinion, are not sustainable for the average person. Allow me to explain in a bit more detail. For instance, many experts (so-called as well as scientific) offer the idea of interval training to be a great way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular fitness. At some level, this is an accurate statement, but for the most part, it is not a sustainable means for most people.
Let’s for example discuss some approaches to getting fit using the concept of interval training. I.T. is a very effective means of getting lean and in great cardiovascular shape but cannot and should not be used on an ongoing basis.
Intervals done at high levels on a frequent basis can and will lead to over training – which is reflected in results such as injury, poor performance, loss of muscle tissue, lowered immune function, overall burnout and more.
Nutritionists and dietitians recommend diet plans that, for the most part, are geared toward losing weight. With that usually comes a recommendation of a supplemental approach that encourages taking some type of protein powder or some kind of protein/energy bars. I am not against this in its entirety, but as an “only way” means of a diet program being successful, I’m not buying it. This is not a sustainable means after someone reaches their goal – or at least it shouldn’t be. As an example, I recently was reviewing various vegetarian diets and how an athlete/bodybuilder can do very well undergoing a plant-based diet. I would not argue that someone can succeed on a vegetarian diet (if done correctly), but the recommendation to support the diet was ingesting a plant-based protein 3 times a day. That is not a ringing endorsement for a vegetarian style diet and shouldn’t be a requirement for success.
I could list several examples here but my point is simple: healthy overall health and fitness should have a well-rounded approach that is systematic and is individualized to your goals and needs and be one that you can sustain for a long time.
In what has been nearly 4 decades since I immersed myself in the field of health and fitness and I still marvel at what the human body is capable of achieving. The body is a wonderful machine and when you are hitting on all the right cylinders, some really good things can happen. Aside from the usual benefits that are generally associated with consistent exercise, there are intrinsic values that come about. You achieve clarity of thinking, a more relaxed approach toward life, a greater level of mental, physical and spiritual energy, a shift in confidence and to be honest, the list goes on and on. Of course, there are other factors involved in, like I said, “hitting on all the right cylinders” but when that is achieved, good things happen.
I often challenge myself as a coach and a person that what I’m doing for my clients is ultimately going to make them better. They entrust in me their health and their bodies and for me, that holds an enormous amount of responsibility which I take very seriously. Because of this, I evaluate (probably way too often) a lot of what I do to make sure I am offering the very best I can to my clients. My reassurance comes back to me often in various ways from my clients and for that, I am very grateful. Today was one of those days.