In between Your Choice

I picked up a new language a few months ago. It was just laying on the ground, dirty, so I scooped it up and popped it in my mouth-

On Wednesday I wrote a post discussing self-talk. A post in which I trimmed a major theme out, primarily because it was aimed at self coaching for athletes and dare I say – ultra competitive folks. One of the issues I struggle with, daily – having once been über-competitive, is introducing mindfulness, awareness, compassion and self-love as important tool(s) to reaching your full potential, in whatever you choose to do.

I would like to thank A Somewhat Likable Girl and Fit Recovery for twisting my arm a little bit! I’m not one to back down from an opinion, although when it comes to doling out advice? I like to tread lightly, for each of us are truly unique and special, and I mean “special“. Warning: A healthy dose of self-serving advice and bloated opinions lie ahead ….

The portion I edited out

It amazes me how much time, effort, and money we pour into training for “whatever“. Thinking that better equipment and shoes will help us break through the ultra marathon wall, typically at mile 43.5. Cyclist, obsess over saving a few grams, for what? Four meager grams will not help your torrid pace near the finish. Yoga folks … Fabulous new pants and a see through crop top will not help you hold a pose longer – That’s the truth!

How does this tie into finding equanimity, self-talk, mindfulness etc.? We are keenly aware that competing and training, aerobic exercise, yoga and lifting weights are effective ways to relinquish the anger and frustration that can fester when we “Zip it Up” rather than fully expressing ourselves in the moment. Physical activity and competing can be a pathway to equanimity, like any type of meditation. Although, I feel we are missing out on the best part.

During competition, yoga – brutally honest moment: I have seen more people comparing and competing in yoga class than at the start of CAT 1 Crit. A topic for another day More so than letting out aggression and relieving stress. Positive self-talk and personal coaching allows us to deconstruct the elements of what happened, let’s our aggression escape the moment, allowing us to resolve conflicts in a magnanimous way.

For those of you reading who may not know – I fully have surrendered to myself and embrace ahiṃsā. <- This is where I stopped, before a long-winded rant ensued.

Daily Meditation:

What in the world am I talking about? Remember who you are, that’s it. Remember that you a special person doing something you love to do, but please keep in mind that YOU are not the ACTIVITY. Positive self-talk and coaching affords us the time to reconnect with our humanness. WE are not our GOAL(s), no matter how important they are to you. I’m pleading with you not to lose this perspective. Instead, cultivate it within your self coaching, self-talk and whatever. Having goals and competing can make us pretty damn cool, but not as cool as the all-encompassing, creative and mysterious universe to which we already belong. Knowing your true self in this crazy world assures you of finding serenity, even at four in the morning, rain pouring down, butterflies in your quivering stomach Mile maker 43 cannot come soon enough!

Be well this weekend and please take care.

CultFit Heart

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4 Comments on “In between Your Choice”

  1. katelon says:

    Re; Yoga, first, it is fun to have new clothes and they can inspire you, just like new bikes, etc. AND, I feel that the yoga instructor really sets the energy of the room. Some instructors are very strict and do not allow for a person to adapt poses depending upon injury limitations, or any other limitations, and other instructors really make a point to encourage people to do things at their own pace and to honor their limits and restrictions.

    And I understand the rest of what you are saying about self love, self awareness rather than the ego and critical self that pushes us so much to succeed at all costs.

  2. I believe what you say about being in a Yoga class and the comparisons that go on, however, I suppose I’m just lucky to not be aware of it. Ignorance can be bliss. I guess I just set my intensions before I even step through the door and on my mat but that time is for me, my sacred time to quiet my mind or push my boundaries, whatever I choose. Even as a first timer, I remember my instructor making it clear that it was okay for us to go at our own pace and ability and that she was there to help guide our breath – that’s always stuck with me.

    • CultFit says:

      … Ignorance can be bliss, has been my go to mantra for such a long time! As a fellow competitive athlete and certainly one who enjoys longer jots through the countryside, sometimes alone for long periods of time – with only the little voice in our heads pushing us along … I was going somewhere with this, hmmm … Stepping back and taking a really wide perspective of this conversation, a friend and I recently talked about how yoga can be your worst enemy and your best mate for endurance athletes. And I feel I should stress endurance at this point: Tri’s, Ultra’s, Back to Back 1/2’s … The mucky, dirty races that test the true spirit of those who engage in them. Back to yoga before I get lost again, and please share with me your thoughts in regards to this topic!
      When I’m not teaching or practice at home, the studios I practice at are brilliant, if you can tune out the burgeoning competitive atmosphere. Which carries over quite nicely out on the roads, when your are 60 miles out and some young punk passes you – Instead of getting caught up in this fleeting moment, the hard work is settling your heart and mind, and surrendering to the moment.
      Yoga, mindfulness, meditation, self love, passion … There is a lot, and I mean a lot we can carry over into our chosen endeavor, if we consciously choose to stop comparing and competing – which happens if we get caught up in the moment during class.
      I have more rants stewing about, my apologies! You have brought up a propound point so many people miss out on practicing yoga: Who the hell cares about the pose – asanas, or whatever they are called. Its about santosha, ahimsa, respecting and nurturing your true self. I’ll leave you with Sauca – Purity … and I totally know you get this! Take care my friend and be sure to have a great weekend!

  3. Awww. Thank you for the wave-hi. I hear you clearly on the ‘competitive yoga’ comments. I’ve been that person. It’s a strange thing to me that when I’m competing in a run, it’s more about my strength. Pushing me harder because I know I’m capable of more. But when I WAS competing in yoga or dance class, it was about my insecurity. Feeling not good enough if a posture wasn’t perfect – or more perfect than the person next to me.

    Thankfully, I graduated in my thinking before I became a yoga teacher that feeds into that disruptive insecure thinking. Since I teach some yoga classes that are targeted towards competitive athletes, I actually include cues about letting go of the busy-ness and that I won’t be handing out any medals in my class. I remind them that they’re not in yoga spin or yoga sprint. It’s kind of a running joke with my students. But then, my class encourages interaction too – laughing, joking, heckling. We’re free spirited rather than strict silence environments. Being free to laugh, I think, lets a little more freedom of the body in the door. JMO.