The Pursuit of Excellence

Today my husband and I watched the Sochi Olympics and I was intrigued with the Biathlon

They cross-country ski and then stop and shoot 5 targets. For each miss, they have a penalty lap before they continue skiing on to the next shooting location.

The commentator said they don’t try to get their heart-rate down to focus and shoot the rifle with precision, but instead they learn to shoot with accuracy with their heart-rate elevated -- as there is simply no time to get the heart-rate down and be competitive.

This event reminded me of some of our training at MoveStrong Kettlebells.

We seek to train mind and body to work together under heavy tension.

It’s not easy to move with technical precision when your heart is pounding and there is a lot to think about to maintain optimal movement quality.

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We don’t train to failure, but we do challenge ourselves on days where we are able to focus the mind and body to move well. 

We continuously remind each other that much of our performance in the gym is impacted by how we care for our bodies outside the gym ... getting plenty of sleep, water, nutrient-dense food, managing stress, being honest with ourselves about caring for aches and pains that pop up, balancing other physical activities that we enjoy and giving our bodies time to recover from training and from life. I think that our members are embracing the challenge of this.

Today in classes, we completed a Snatch, Swing, Plank combination -- 

I love movement combinations like this because it combines aggressive, ballistic movement (Snatch and Swing) followed by a movement that requires us to calm the body -- with our heart-rate up (Plank).

It forces us to tune into the stuff we're made of -- teaching us to adapt to changing conditions and to manage physical and mental stress.

I remind our members to stay tuned to how the body and mind is feeling in this stressful state --the condition of body can change from good to not-good in a flash -- 

We also practice using positive mental focus to induce a feeling of calm under tension along with using good posture and breathing, optimal technique and tensing and relaxing muscles as needed.

I firmly believe that how we practice, train and play in the gym applies to daily life. If it doesn't, why bother?

This practice of fitness can be an energy source for us, a time to get to know ourselves better and an opportunity to be inspired by and learn from those we train with.

I am awe-struck by what our members have achieved in terms of building stronger minds and bodies in their personal Pursuit of Excellence. 

I see no limits to what they can do.

They are acquiring fitness skills and a healthy life-balance that they can rely on for a lifetime ... and share with others.

In my eyes, our members are every bit as inspiring as any Olympic athlete and that is very exciting!