Even though fitness and nutrition is my ‘thing’ so to speak, I still set goals for myself. I may (or may not) talk about them but I do set them. They change from year to year depending on where I feel that I can improve on (usually after being humbled in some way athletically speaking)
Last December I decided it was time to put more time into my flexibility and supporting my connective tissue so carved out time to do focused stretching and/or mobility work every day of the month. I realized with a moment of awe that one month has actually turned into a year of (almost) daily practice. I have missed less than a handful of stretch sessions in that time.
They weren’t long sessions per se, although sometimes I did languish in longer stretches, with the average length being about 30 minutes. Some days I did minimalist of 10 minutes, but I did it repeatedly. The work was a combination of self directed FRC/kinstretch as well as streaming of yoga videos when I just felt like following along.
The movements weren’t overly challenging in that there were no crazy positions to get into, in fact all quite basic and accessible to most of us but they did get easier over time. My bodymind slowly opening to new/old positions of movement so much so that the other week I found myself in a full split, something I haven’t tried since my WuShu days and likely wouldn’t have had the video I was following not prompted it. I was a bit stunned at it all. I haven’t been working on doing them (at all) but with frequency of my routine I ended up there anyhow.
I thought it was kind of neat for a few reasons:
- it hadn’t been my goal
- as it hadn’t been my primary goal (which was just really to commit to stretching MORE) I’d managed to get there without being competitive with myself and just focusing on the doing. Sure I’d been aware of the openings and how I felt (better circulation, and a release of the nighttime numbness I’d experience in my hands sometimes due to cervical tension, better breathing plus of course increases in flexibility) but I never went in expecting to do them again at some point thus releasing the egos need to push or force something before my body was ready. It just happened. Naturally. With consistent effort. Yup. There’s THAT word again.
What’s my Point?
Ok, so why am I sharing my splits story with you? Well, again a few reasons that I hope you’ll keep in mind as you embark on any fitness and nutrition goals.
- It’s important that we carve out time to acknowledge the things we have achieved, those that were intentional and others just a pleasant by-product of our continued commitment to self- care. We tend to focus so much on the scale moving that we forget to recognize how much easier the stairs are to walk up due to better cardiovascular health, how the extra strength helps us in our day to day life, how much better we sleep when we’re exercising or how much better our digestion is when we eat better. Pat yourself on the back. You’re being good to you. Keep it up!
- It’s a gentle reminder that real lasting results can take time. If we continue to make small steps practiced more often than not these will lead to BIG changes over time. So when you find yourself impatient with the scale, the increases in your flexibility or strength numbers STOP. Breathe. Check in to see if you’re on track with your habits and let it be. Trust. If you’re on a good program you WILL get to where you want to go with maybe an extra surprise or two along the way.