Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't Break Your Momentum

The only thing harder than starting a workout routine is staying with it....seriously. It may seem like starting is the hardest part, but when we think about it, how many times do people start? Many. But how many times do they stick with it? None! Otherwise they would still be training, wouldn't they!

I started teaching classes this past January, and since that time I only have 2 students that have kept training with me.....and I'm sure no one else has kept it up on their own, even though almost everyone that had trained at least 4 consecutive weeks with me had seen results...noticeable results, not only in the shape and tone of their bodies, but most definitely in their conditioning! Some even own their own kettlebells, and still don't train them!

It's easy to quit, and the farther you get from regularity the harder it is to not quit completely. During these past 10 months every time I take a weekend off, and have to cancel a regular class, I always, always lose students! That's how close most people are to quitting! All one needs, it seems someitmes, is one missed!

I've written many times about how I don't like the word "struggle". I don't like to use the word because I feel as if using it makes it so. But just because I don't like using the word, and I certainly don't like feeling the word, doesn't mean I don't think it, or feel it! When I think it, I'm, for sure, feeling it! What am I really feeling though? Lazy, unmotivated, tired, hopeless, scared?

It doesn't matter to me that I find the answer to that question, what matters is that, in the mean time, I show up to swing, I show up to spin, I show up to walk, I show up for my yoga practice....that's what matters. How long I swing, spin, walk, or the number of yoga classes I go to doesn't matter until it gets to the point of breaking the habit, breaking the regularity of my workouts, breaking momentum.

Many times near the end of Max Vo2 training I want to keep snatching my last few sets in a row, instead of putting the bell down for a rest period....why? Many times I'll do long, long, long sets of fact the few times I have swung with the purpose of seeing how many swings I could do in an hours time, it was much easier to swing continuously as long as possible, taking bigger rest periods, instead of breaking it up into smaller sets with shorter rest periods....why? Because it's easier to keep going, working with momentum, than it is to break momentum, and start over. A few months ago when I tested my 10 minute snatch with Meg and Gen, we all got a "second wind" near the end and sprinted to the finish! No one rested during the 10 minutes, but still we were able to actually use momentum to speed up at the end.

These past few months my own training has seen a shift and for the first time in over 3 years I could actually see myself quitting my Bikram's Yoga practice.....scary! But, as bad as I had been feeling about my practice I kept going....not as often as I had been going, but my practice never fell lower than 4 times a week. That may not seem like much of a drop, but at the first of the year I was averaging 9 times a week! And, here's the big confession......I've thought many times recently, if I wasn't committed to teaching my swing classes I could very well start to lose my kettlebell practice! Thank God for my students that keep showing up and expecting me to show up as well!

Breaking momentum applies to more than working out. It applies to any good habit we've all established in our lives. And I believe everything we do on a regular basis are simply habits we establish. It takes 6 weeks to establish a new habit, but much shorter a time to break it. One missed workout may be all it takes........don't stop, because getting started again is so f***ing hard!

PS this seems to also apply to writing blogposts....LOL!


Diana said...

This is always a frustrating situation. Just why do people "give up"? As far as I'm concerned, my life is just starting and I've got tons to experience! My momentum now consists of three letters....RKC!
P/S: I'd show up for your workouts regularly if CA was my address! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Amen sister!

Tracy Reifkind said...


My momentum may consist of the same three letters, but add on Level 2! Yikes....not willing to commit yet, lol!

As far as why anyone gives up. I don't think their intention is to give up, just to take the day off....slippery slope!