Monday, March 12, 2012

Make an Appointment with Your Best Body

I was lucky enough to take a long walk yesterday morning for almost an hour.  Lots of thoughts, of course, but one of the first things I started to think about, worry about, was how some of the people I've taught how to swing recently were going to manage on their own, without me, the cheerleader of the swing, leading them through a workout.  Would the experience of improved strength and fitness in less than two weeks be enough motivation?  Would visible muscle tone and shape be enough motivation?  Would the proof of how 20-30 minutes twice a week (even once a week) be enough for them to find that amount of time somewhere in their day?  And the final question....since I left kettlebells with them, would the convenience of needing only one piece of equipment be enough?

If all, or any, of those examples were not enough, then why not?  I think most people have good intentions, but intention without action is, well, just intention. You must schedule the action, work it into a regular time and day and NOT miss.  Consistency is key.  I haven't missed a workout in over 6 years.  I'm serious.  It's not that hard, in fact it's not hard at all once you commit to a regular day and time.

How many of us have vacation and sick days building up at work?  Why?  Because you are in the habit of going to work everyday, and unless you have a darn good reason not to go, you go...out of habit as much as, that's what's on the schedule (what else would we do?).  How many of us have other regular activities that we never miss because we've established the habit of doing it.  Most of us have a regular grocery shopping day, car wash day, or laundry day.  Some of us pay our bills on the same days of the week, the month.  What does it feel like when our schedules get "messed up"?  It doesn't feel right, does it?.  You have to schedule the habit of exercise, and not compromise until it's's your body, your health, your confidence, no one else is responsible for it.  Pick a day and a time and stick with.  Even if you cut the workout short, show up and swing 10 sets of 10 reps!

I train kettlebells Tuesdays 6am, Thursdays 5:30am, and Saturday mornings 6:45am, period. I train yoga on Monday, Wed, Fri, period.  It never changes unless I go out of town or some other unmovable appt interferes, and in that case I adjust to schedule it another day and time.  Most of the things I do in my life that are important to me are scheduled, including a regular "date night" with Mark.  We've spent every Saturday night together alone for years probably going on a decade now.  Ask anyone that has established the habit of exercise and they will be able to tell you the days and the times they workout.

Look at your schedule right now and book it!  Your best body is tapping it's toes waiting...don't be late!

So much good stuff about walking.  Actually propelling you body through time and space is not the same as jumping on a treadmill.  Opening your front door and stepping out with one foot in front of the other doesn't get dusty either, or take up space in your bedroom or garage!  Walking doesn't cost anything, it's free...well, so are treadmills that people don't use, get tired of facing the fact that they aren't exercising, and put them out on the curb with a "take me" sign!  lol

I love to take walks.  I don't do it as often as I want to or should, because it's not on the schedule!  But I try and take every chance to run errands on foot to the grocery or to get coffee, walk with clients or during phone consultations (a favorite), etc.  The very first exercise I committed to when I decided to lose weight was to walk every day....every day (6:00am before work).  It was the only exercise that was #1 safe enough to do at my heaviest (I didn't know about swinging kettlebells at the time), #2 easy and comfortable (reasonably), #3 allowed me to be alone and reconnect with my body in a private way.  It was my regular appointment with my body.  I love feeling my body work with every step, especially the contraction of my thigh muscles as I move forward....move forward...

What a metaphor.


Hanneke said...

Consistency is key! Absolutely..

My KB days are also Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I run Wednesdays, Fridays and my long run is Sunday morning. No excuses ever! The only times I don't work my KB's is when I travel by air and can't take them with me. Then I just run more. I can run everywhere, so I love it. I always learn a lot about a new town or place just by running neighborhoods, I love to kinda "get lost"

It gets to be -30F or worse here in winter but I still run outside. No excuses, obviously it's slow but still possible, just a matter of being well dressed. The only day this winter that I changed my training was a morning when it was -50F with wind chill. That can be pretty dangerous to run outside so what I did is just switch my KB and running days.

To me key is also doing it early in the morning. If you don't, then something can always come up during the day that will make you skip your training. Especially when it's not a habit yet!

dherself said...

Good post, Tracy. Thanks. I reposted it to a Weight Watchers page that needs this sort of reinforcement.

Diana said...

I took my first "warm" walk yesterday. I'll walk outside no matter what the weather but that first one where the winds are now out of the south and warm against my pasty white skin is the best! No jacket, no "layers", no gloves, etc...
KB's 4 days a week, running and grunt work in between. Now with the warm coming, the bike will be dusted off and a lot of brick sessions to come! I love doing KB's right off a ride or run....
Great post Tracy!

tricia said...

Wonderful post Tracy. I agree about schedules. If it's on the schedule it becomes habit and I don't have to think or stress about it. Once that happens I just do it.
I felt like this post was speaking directly to me.

Tracy where did you start with kettlebells? 10 sets of 10 swings?
I have the kettlebell and I need to start somewhere. Now I have a number to put on it.

Hanneke said...

YEAY I ordered The Swing. Didn't think Amazon would ship it to Canada yet but they do. I'm psyched...

guy said...

Consistency! Schedules! Shopping lists! I like organization (genetic probably... German/Swiss ancestry)I swing TracyStyle on Mon/Wed/Fri and Do hvy presses on Tues. Mon-Sat is Super Joints time 1st thing in the Am.
I have trouble working with "The Body That Shows Up for the day...I think I try and command a certain body to show up...sorry OCD on steroids! Yet I think I have pretty good habits, like the latest one of fixing my and my wifes meals, we only eat one meal a day though.

guy said...

The closer it gets to the 15th the more I want my copy of "The Swing", Darnit! ;) Seriously I can't wait to read it.

KKC said...

I have started telling to go after being consistent...not perfect!

Also, walking is so under-rated! I am going to go take a walk right now!

Thanks Tracy!

Tracy Reifkind said...


As a future Instructor I think it's going to be a book you'll recommend a lot! The information comes across in a simple and uncomplicated way and helps everybody learn why "The Swing". Thank you for all of your support and comments.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I love Weight Watchers! In fact I mention WW in my book. Say "hi" to everybody!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I plan on taking a very long walk this morning...I'm already looking forward to it.

I don't think I could ever live someplace that gets so darn cold!

Tracy Reifkind said...


It's got to not be a choice...if it's something that you have yet to look forward to!

I wish I had kept track of what I did when I first started! I can only share with you how I "start" new students.

The "start" is learning the movement, and that's a ton of work right there for a lot of people, next is those sets of "10-20" using the rest periods as a gauge for improvement.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I tend to eat two meals back to back at lunch time....finish another about 2-3 hours later and then that's it.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Walking is so underrated! Here is one of my favorite "rif-ism's"

"Consistency trumps intensity, every time!"

Isn't my husband genius?