Mooving, moving right along
Morning darkness pierced by an alarm!!! the lure of warmth, comfort battles with need to move, fresh cool air and an endorphin hit. Autumn the time when motivation to move is adjusting. Moving breaks the inertia and stretches us to change our wellbeing.
Ready set Goal
Goals big or small are what we answer when the alarm goes off and we see our sports gear. A personal goal provides a sense of purpose to a movement challenge: whether it be a race, a waltz on a wedding day or a walk with the dog its yours to create. A guide to making goals is found in the anacronym SMART :
Measureable: km, minutes
Attainable: “You can do it! Yes you can !”
Realistic it is possible not a flight of fantasy
Time to be achieved by: this week, month, year
Writing the goal on the fridge, bathroom mirror, car steering wheel – wherever it catches your eye makes it hard to forget or escape. Telling your friends your goal holds you accountable and provides a fan club to rally you when motivation is flagging.
A word, a touch, a sound are example of triggers that can motivate for example tapping my leg when thinking of a goal grounded me, refocused my attention and anchored my actions. Break down big audacious goals into achievable bites this reduces performance pressure and changes perspective of the challenge. For example swimming to Rottnest Island (19.7km) became 4 x 5km races in a day.
Crawl then walk then run – simple enjoy the progression in moving and identify the steps required to make a goal attainable. Watch a child learning to walk and you appreciate how far you have come and the steps you took to get here. Seeing children play reminds me of the joy of discovering and exploring new ways to move n groove. My nephews and nieces show me how to let go of expectations and be totally present when exercising. The laughter and smiles of children exercising shows moving is FUN.
What went well?
Focus on what went well, what you have achieved. Answering this question registers your progress, acknowledges where you have been and where you are. Martin Segilman conducted an experiment at Geelong Grammar school asking teachers and parents to ask students “What went well?” this had positive repercussions in their growth (2012, p.33) A personal best makes you a legend in your own lunch time even if it doesn’t make the newsreel.
Beating your self up for not answering the call to get off the coach, onto the track or pool is futile. We are all humans doing the best we can, some days there are speed bumps in the way. Contemplate these moments then you can recognise your own barriers and acts of sabotage that prevent success. Listen to your internal dialogue. Is your inner coach a harsh critic slinging vile remarks that you would never apply to a friend in your circumstance? Employ encouraging words to yourself this will let you flourish.
Remember past achievements these are your building blocks for achieving your goal and the keys to how it can be done. Memories of getting up after a fall and doing something that seemed impossible provides perspective to a current goal.
Moving as Meditation
Swimming is my moving meditation. It brings focus to my breathing, creating a state of calm, detached awareness (Rotan & Ospina – Kammerer, 2007). Worries, self-consciousness and time disappear as I am held and carried by the water, I am in a flow state. Csikszentmihalyi’s (1997) and Chazez’s (2009) findings characterised flow as limited or no cognitive conscious thoughts. The allure of the flow state is that it provides an oasis from my minds intrusions and an escape route from family tension and work stress. Moving provides a portal to another dimension where we are free to come home to our body, review our thinking and regain perspective.
Moving is not confined to the gym, it can creep into your daily life; walking to the shops, dancing to the ads on T.V. or jiving with the vacuum cleaner. I have a moving memory of two pregnant mothers post their due dates kick starting their labour by dancing to the Wiggles with their toddlers . They laughed and relaxed enhancing the hormone oxytocic which was needed to birth. Endorphin the “joggers high” is the hormone that provides the rush after exercise and altering pain perception. MOOVing does bring life in many ways your imagination is your guide dance, climb, run, swim, cycle, hop, jump along.
Chazez, E. (2009) Flow in Sport: A study of College Athletes, Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 28 (1) p 69 -91, DOI: 10.2190/IC.28.1.f
Csikszentmihalyi, M (1997) Finding the Flow: The psychology of engagement with everyday life, Basic Books, New York
Rotan, L. & Ospina – Kammerer (2007) Mind Body Medicine Foundations and Applications, Routledge, Lo
Segilman, M (2012) Flourish, Free Press, Toronto