Tag Archives: achievement

Week 22 – Yoga and the Comfort Zone

Throughout the MKMMA course we’ve been challenged to get out of our comfort zone.  For those of us who have been even remotely faithful to the exercises, we can all attest we’ve been out of our comfort zone too many times to count over the past 22 weeks.

Now that I’m engaged and looking at getting married in the next few months, I’ve adopted the “bridal frenzy” that is “I’ve GOT to lose weight for my wedding!!!”  (OK, truth be told, I wanted to lose weight for ME…but hey, the whole wedding thing is a good excuse to kick my efforts into high gear.)

So what do I do?  I step out of my comfort zone and into…BAH-BAH-BAH-BAH…the Fitness Center!  Now let me just say that I’m one of those people that doesn’t visit a gym unless I’m dragged in.  But now I don’t have an excuse…it’s included in our homeowner’s association, so I want to take advantage of it.

The fitness center has a “motto” of sorts on all their shirts:

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.

And they I see they have Zumba classes.  “Woo-hoo!  I LOOOOOVVVVVEEE the Zumba DVDs!  I’m gonna do THAT!  That’s easy!”

OK…so my first step is a baby step outside my comfort zone:  going to the fitness center.

What I’ve learned is that the classes are very different from the DVDs.  VERY different.  I felt like a fish out of water.  And I have to admit it was slightly uncomfortable being the only person out of about 30 who didn’t know what the heck was going on.

But I had fun!  So I went back.  And so far I’ve been to Zumba 3 times…and I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable.

Time to expand the comfort zone!

OK…step 2:  a class called “Cardio Strength.”  It’s an “anything goes” type of class.  The first time I went the instructor was leading a “cardio kickboxing” class for the first time.  Man-oh-man was it a challenging workout!  And yet because no one knew what was going on, I almost felt like I had the upper hand because I’ve had some experience kickboxing.  The workout was challenging, and I had a blast!!!  (And I was sooooooo sore the next day from throwing all those punches!)

That was a bigger step outside the comfort zone!

So I went back.  Unfortunately, this week’s class was running…sprints, up and down the hill, etc.  Due to an injury, I can’t run.  So it wasn’t just that it was outside my comfort zone…I could do permanent damage.

And you know what…I was sad when I left without a workout.  Hopefully next week’s class will be something I can physically do.

Time to expand the comfort zone again!

Next up:  yoga.  I already know this will be the most challenging of the classes for me.  Back in 2006 my doctor encouraged me to take up yoga for stress relief, strength, and weight loss.  I got a whole 5 minutes into the DVD and wondered how much time was left.

So here we are, 9 years later.  I’ve changed.  My body has changed.  Time to give this another shot.

The class moved slowly (to me…especially compared to the high-energy classes like Zumba and kickboxing).  I was physically able to do all the poses, though I had to exit the pose early on a couple occasions.  But I got too comfortable in one of the poses…and I fell asleep!

Apparently that’s the REAL danger of the comfort zone…you can get SO comfortable that you don’t have to pay attention…and then you get results you didn’t want.

Yoga, silence, and the comfort zoneSince I was told that wasn’t a “typical” class I went back for another yoga class today.  While this one was slightly more active — and I did NOT fall asleep — there was the issue of the silence.

Here’s what I mean:  the yoga class is quieter than most libraries.  And then you get into a pose and hold it for 30-90 seconds.  That doesn’t seem like a long time until you’re holding a pose for that long.  And then it can seem like forever!  And while I was in these poses, I found my mind wandering to all sorts of things.  And that’s when the instructor said:

Concentrate.  Focus.  Balance.

That was a “lightbulb moment” for me, because the reason I was so UNcomfortable with yoga is BECAUSE of the silence.  I had nowhere to be but in my head.  I was directed to concentrate, focus, and balance.  These things are not natural to me, and they are REALLY uncomfortable in silence!

So…while I don’t see yoga as my “thing,” it might be just the thing I need to expand my comfort zone.  Get inside my head.  Get comfortable there.  And then see what NEW experiences take me out of my comfort zone.  After all…

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

 

Week 14 – Cool Runnings, Mon!

This week we had an “assignment” to watch a movie and then observe and report the 4 Tiny Habits that create persistence.

Oh, no!  Watch a MOVIE???  Don’t throw me in that Briar Patch!  😉

I’m somewhat of a movie junkie…I’ve even been known to quote movie lines in everyday conversation…OFTEN.

So I chose the movie “Cool Runnings.”  It’s based on the true story of the 1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team.

Now, if you’re thinking “Jamaican Bobsled Team?  WHAT???”  Then you’re right there with me when I heard about the story.  If you’re familiar with the story, then I guess you were paying attention to the Olympics in 1988.  (I, however, was in my first year of college, and lived in what was affectionately known as “The Baylor Bubble” where only select information made it through to us students…)

But I digress…

THERE ARE 4 TINY HABITS THAT CREATE PERSISTENCE

  1. A Definite Purpose, Backed By a Burning Desire For Its Fulfillment
  2. A Definite Plan, Expressed in Continuous Action
  3. A Mind Closed Against Negative and Discouraging Influences (A Positive Mental Attitude)
  4. A Friendly Alliance With One Or More Persons Who Will Encourage One To Follow Through With Both Plan And Purpose

HABIT #1
A DEFINITE PURPOSE, BACKED BY A BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT

Derese was a track star and Olympic hopeful whose dream was to compete in the Olympics.  He “knew” he would make the Olympic team at tryouts, yet his dreams of running in the Olympics turned to dust as a fellow Olympic hopeful tripped and took down two additional runners…including Derese.

Yet Derese didn’t give up.  Far from it!

He was inspired by a photo of his father — a fellow track star — standing next to a man who was an Olympic Gold Medal Winner…in the Bobsled.  This gentleman wanted Derese’s father to be a bobsledder, as he believed that sprinters would make the best bobsledders.  Yet Derese’s father stuck to what he was good at…running.

With just 3 months until the Olympic Games, Derese set his mind on a new goal:  representing Jamaica in the Olympic Games…as a member of Jamaica’s first bobsled team.  And he convinced his friend Sanka — “the best push cart driver in all of Jamaica” — to join him on his journey.

Derese located this man, Irv, who, conveniently, lived in Jamaica, and “stalked” him until he agreed to coach Jamaica’s first bobsled team.  Derese then held a meeting to find teammates, and Irv did everything in his power to convince the attendees NOT to join the team.

Somehow they found two teammates (the other two Olympic hopefuls who lost the opportunity to compete in track and field), and a team was born.

The odds were stacked against them:

  • They were track stars…they could run…on LAND.  But what about running on ICE?
  • They didn’t know what a bobsled WAS…three months before the Games.
  • They didn’t have the ability to practice in the snow.  (Forget “snow”…they didn’t even know “cold!”)
  • They had a reluctant coach.
  • They didn’t have a bobsled.
  • They didn’t have the money to get to Calgary.

But they had the BURNING DESIRE to get there.  Each of the team members had their own burning desire, and their combined desire led to their living their dream.

HABIT #2
A DEFINITE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION

These young men knew NOTHING about bobsledding.  They had to start from the very beginning learning the fundamentals of the sport…with just 3 months until the games.

I’m reminded of Vince Lombardi, who was passionate about the fundamentals:

Gentlemen…this is a football.

These men had to start with the fundamentals:

  • What is bobsledding?
  • Who are the team members, and what are their roles?
  • What is a push start?
  • The importance of cold weather endurance.
  • Running…on ICE.
  • The responsibilities of the Driver.

On top of the fundamentals of the sport of bobsledding, they team also had to raise the money to get them from Jamaica to Canada.  In the movie, the team raised money by street performances, arm wrestling, a kissing booth, and selling a very expensive car.  The first-hand participation in the fundraising events is proof of the BURNING DESIRE these men had to attend the Games.

The team — especially Derese, as the driver — continuously visualized their goal.  Derese studied photographs of the turns and mentally went through the motions of navigating the turns.  And the entire team went through the turns sitting in a bathtub.

Nobody had that much fun in a sled since Santa Clause!  ~ Sanka

HABIT #3
A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE

Everyone laughed at these men for being the pioneers from their country in the sport of bobsledding.

They were different.  People are afraid of what’s different.

But they never lost sight of their vision…competing in the Games.  Representing their Country.

Other teams laughed at them.  These men brushed off their negativity, because they had a BURNING DESIRE to achieve their goals.  They KNEW they could do it.

Rise and Shine!  It’s Butt-Whipping Time!

HABIT #4

A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS

Sure, these men had a BURNING DESIRE to achieve their dreams of competing in the Olympics, but they couldn’t do it alone.

They needed the support of others.

They supported each other as teammates.

Yul to Junior:  

I see pride! I see power! I see a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap from nobody!

They returned to their roots and expressed their authentic selves:

 All I’m saying, mon, is if we walk Jamaican, talk Jamaican, and *is* Jamaican, then we sure as hell better bobsled Jamaican.

When they became JAMAICAN bobsledders, they released their TRUE power.  Ah, the power of authenticity!

They changed their push-start lead-in from “eins, zwei, drei” to…

Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! Cool Runnings!

That’s more like it!

Their bobsled was named “Cool Runnings,” which translates to “Peace Be The Journey.”  (Hmmm…talk about being in harmony with MKMMA!)

Even though the team lost control of their bobsled and never finished the race, they still won.  While they may not have won their medals, they won the respect of the world that watched.

WHAT’S IT ALL MEAN?

The bottom line and moral of the story is summed up in this quote from Irv:

A gold medal is a wonderful thing.  But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.

It all starts from within.

Cool Runnings, mon.

jamaicabobsled

Week 12 – The Powerful Trio of Knowledge, Courage, & Faith

As a child I would drag books to my mother and ask her to read to me.  She would ultimately read each book to me so many times that I could “read” these book myself, because I knew what was said on each page.

That kicked off a lifelong obsession for learning.  I enjoyed school.  I enjoyed learning.  (Until I got to subjects like calculus…YUCK!)

To this day, I still enjoy learning new things, whether it’s learning a new skill, a new hobby, or something about myself.   Among the more unusual subject I’ve studied are salsa dancing, cooking, bartending, jewelry making, handwriting analysis, tarot card reading, reading body language, handgun safety & shooting, home organization…well, you get the picture.  It’s all over the board.

And that’s just the “fun” stuff.  Then there’s the skills and business development studies, as well as the personal development programs.

A big in-your-face lesson lesson for me this week is that I have been accumulating a vast array of KNOWLEDGE, yet over the past few years, I haven’t had the COURAGE to dare, much less the FAITH to do.

Knowledge-Courage-Faith

What’s wrong with that?

KNOWLEDGE DOES NOT APPLY ITSELF.

I have all the knowledge I need to succeed…if I would just apply it.

So why haven’t I had the courage to do it?

I never felt like an “expert” compared to the so-called “experts” out there…so I kept learning until my knowledge was “perfect.”

This habit of obtaining knowledge and seeking perfectionism has not served me well.  I have been on the sidelines while others have advanced.  So I am dismissing it.

So how do I summon the courage?
By taking a leap of faith.

Throughout the MKMMA course we’ve been told to “have faith in the process.”

That’s not always easy for me…especially when the process involves something that’s out of my comfort zone.

But I’ve kept the faith and trusted the process throughout the course, including this week’s task of creating two sets of “flash cards,” each with an affirmation or an achievement (big or small) on each card.

I kept a set of these “flash cards” with me at all times, and read through them several times a day.

And you know what?

It triggered something within me.

All the constant reminders of the successes I’ve had in the PAST have created a burning desire within me for successes in my PRESENT and my FUTURE.

And what does a burning desire plus the affirmation “Do It Now!” do?

It creates action.  Now.

I’ve done more this week — and more efficiently — than I have in a long time.

I’ve learned.  I’ve implemented.  I’ve made PROGRESS toward my goals.

Because I Have KNOWLEDGE of My Power,
The COURAGE to Dare,
And the FAITH to Do.
And that makes me UNSTOPPABLE!