Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dress Rehearsal

This post is in the spirit of my series on transformation.  What It Takes and Why started the series.

Have you ever been in a play?  In 2010 and 2011, I had a small part in my church's Christmas play, "The Gospel According to Scrooge."  We practiced over and over.  On our own, we had to practice both the songs and our lines. As a cast, we had countless rehearsals to make sure everything came out beautifully.
In 2010, I played the part of Mrs. Cratchit.
Athletes practice repeatedly to perfect their craft. They listen to their coaches and perform drills where they repeat the same plays over and over.  A good coach  has its team practice under adverse conditions to ensure peak performance during game time, regardless of the weather or other distracting scenarios.
When Mitch played Little League, his team won the division championship in 2002 and was runner up in 2005.  It takes a LOT of practice for the team to make it that far.

Why?  Not only so their team wins, but also so their team continually improves. So their team is the best it can be.

When trying to lose weight or get into shape, you have to adopt the attitude of the coach.  It's not about winning the World Series at your first game.  It's about making each play count and getting enough runs to beat your competitor.  When you start out on a fitness or wellness plan, think of the beginning of the journey as Spring Training.  You are learning all you can about nutrition, exercise and endurance. You continually rehearse and practice so you can achieve your optimal goals.
I do a lot of planks to help strengthen my core.  One type is a stability ball plank, which I time to see how long I can hold it.  My max best time is about 4 minutes.  It takes regular practice to be able to hold a plank that long.  I have to tell myself, "You can do this.  Just a little longer."
In 1996, Dr. Judd Biasiotto conducted a study to test the impact of visualization on how people conduct free throw basketball shots.  One group practiced every day for 60 minutes, the second group visualized themselves making free throws and the third group did nothing.  After thirty days, the first group improved 24%.  The second group improved by 23% without ever touching a basketball.  And the third group showed no improvement, which was expected.  This goes to show you how much visualization can help you attain your goals.  While it is not enough to just imagine yourself thin, mentally rehearsing what you are going to eat for the day, how you are going to exercise and what your focus will be, and telling yourself over and over again that you can do this is extremely powerful.

I trained for about six months to do the Ride to Remember.  I was a nervous wreck that I was not going to be able to do it, but I always said I would do it, no matter what.  I never gave up on my dream.
Some of my close friends who are overweight see me sometimes and say things to me like, "I haven't been able to get to the gym.  I've been so busy."  or "It's too hot" or "I just can't   fill in the blank   because    fill in the blank  ."  This humors me a little bit.  These are my friends, people I have cared about and been friends with since long before I started this journey.  Just because I am thin now does not mean I judge them or think poorly of them because they haven't lost weight.  They really do not have to tell me why.  I am the expert on all the whys.

I was thinking about this today and how and why I finally put aside all of my excuses to make this work for me.  I never gave up.  I didn't.  I stuck with it through everything.  Sure my motivation waned at times.  There have been plenty of setbacks along the way.  (Even today I am still nursing a sore shoulder.)  I repeatedly told myself that I had to be successful.  I could not give into my doubts.  I rehearsed this over and over again.

This is what made the difference for me.  When life happened (or happens), I never let it be a road block.  I overcame every obstacle by either working through it, or figuring a way around it.  Sometimes it's just time you need.  Sometimes it's a whole lot of determination.  But it is always, and I mean ALWAYS the voice in your head that says, "Let's do this!"

So today, I challenge you to start your rehearsal.  Come up with a game plan:

  • Decide what your meals will be for today and tomorrow,
    • what do you need to do to get in enough protein?
  • Decide today what you will do to exercise.  
    • Will you focus on strength training or cardio?
  • If something comes up, how will you work around the obstacle to stick to your plan?
  • Tell yourself over and over, "I'm going to do this."

You have to want this badly enough to make it happen.

Questions for you...Answer in the comment section below.
Have you ever been in a play?  
Do you play sports or did you as a child?

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