I was at the gym this morning and my trainer had some real tricks up his sleeve. He first let me know the sequence of exercises we'd be doing for the day, which he never does. This should have been my first clue, but I'm pretty slow thinking in the mornings so I followed him off the cliff before I realized to what I had agreed. The exercises all seemed fairly typical: bicep curls, squat press, standing crunch with under the leg clap, etc. What my sleepy self didn't realize was that he was rolling out stability balls and Bosu-balls…. All of these ‘normal' exercises were to be done while standing on an rubber inflatable ball?! Granted, I did gymnastics and competitive cheer growing up so maybe I shouldn't have been as intimidated as I was, but then again I haven't done anything of the sort in fifteen years so maybe my intimidation was warranted. Good/bad news is…. my trainer couldn't care less about my intimidation levels.

I can't be an easy person to train, but I've been with my trainer for enough years that he understands me. I'll do what I have to do (but I also may or may not be cursing him the whole time). So with all the convincing and help, I get up on the stability ball. My confidence levels are low and I KNOW I'm about to fall on my ass. I keep screaming, “YOU'RE GOING TO BREAK MY NECK”. Do I even have to tell you how this ends? I don't break my neck. Mostly because I wouldn't even trust myself long enough to try. As soon as the ball moves (immediately…. cause it's a ball…..), I bail. I jump off the ball accusing my trainer of trying to kill me again.

After a pep talk and a reminder that a) my body is fully capable, b) I need to believe and trust myself or I'll never accomplish this task and c) there are mats everywhere.. even if i do fall, I'm not going to be hurt. Well all of that and I, of course, forced him to demonstrate everything because I was having trouble believing this was even possible. But… turns out… it is.

Okay, I don't like to be bad at things, but you know what? I can't even be bad at it if I don't try. So I get my nerve and say, let's show this ball who's boss! I hop up on the ball (with some help from my trainer) and I'm shaking like a leaf on a tree. I'm still scared and I'm still doubting myself, but I'm going for it. As soon as I try to commence into squat position, I bust it.

At this point, I'm discouraged to say the least, but I put on my Chumbawamba – Tubthumping track and get my game face on. I look to my trainer for support and he's shaking his head… “Kelly, you already know exactly how to do this. You know what it takes. Fix your eyes on a place on that wall. Believe in yourself and STAND STRONG AND LOOK AHEAD”.

Oh yeahhhhhhhh, that is the trick. Isn't it? I can do balance exercises, I can do yoga. How different is this, realllllly? I fix my eyes on a spot ahead of me, I focus on the goal, and I let all of the circumstantial drift away. I imagine my feet are anchored through the ball, through the mats, deep into the foundation of the gym. I focus on being strong, looking ahead, and instead of thinking of the ball – I thought about the squat, or the curl, or the exercise at hand. I thought about the basic principles of THAT exercise. The standard process I have for completing a squat. I did exactly that. Much slower and with even more intention.

And wouldn't you know it, I KILLED IT.

On the drive home I couldn't help but think of how this same principle is rooted in everything in life. Focusing on all the circumstantial factors, the curve balls, the daunting tasks that intimidate us.. it drives us crazy. We have two options: we can allow ourselves to drown in the minutia of our obstacles OR we believe in ourselves, stand strong, look ahead, and focus on the basics! Following sound processes feed into the support of sound systems that are successful and repeatable. Even when the curve balls come flying in, when we have processes and systems in place, we get the FREEDOM of following the process we know like the back of our hand to get to the other side.

I was at the gym this morning and my trainer had some real tricks up his sleeve. He first let me know the sequence of exercises we'd be doing for the day, which he never does. This should have been my first clue, but I'm pretty slow thinking in the mornings so I followed him off the cliff before I realized to what I had agreed. The exercises all seemed fairly typical: bicep curls, squat press, standing crunch with under the leg clap, etc. What my sleepy self didn't realize was that he was rolling out stability balls and Bosu-balls…. All of these ‘normal' exercises were to be done while standing on an rubber inflatable ball?! Granted, I did gymnastics and competitive cheer growing up so maybe I shouldn't have been as intimidated as I was, but then again I haven't done anything of the sort in fifteen years so maybe my intimidation was warranted. Good/bad news is…. my trainer couldn't care less about my intimidation levels. 

I can't be an easy person to train, but I've been with my trainer for an amount of time now, and he understands me. I'll do what I have to do (but I also may or may not be cursing him the whole time). So with all the convincing and help, I get up on the stability ball. My confidence levels are low and I KNOW I'm about to fall on my ass. I keep screaming, “YOU'RE GOING TO BREAK MY NECK”. Do I even have to tell you how this ends? I don't break my neck. Mostly because I wouldn't even trust myself long enough to try. As soon as the ball moves (immediately…. cause it's a ball…..), I bail. I jump off the ball accusing my trainer of trying to kill me again. 

After this, I required a pep talk and a reminder that a) my body is fully capable, b) I need to believe and trust myself or I'll never accomplish this task and c) there are mats everywhere.. even if i do fall, I'm not going to be hurt. Well all of that and I, of course, forced him to demonstrate everything because I was having trouble believing this was even possible. But… turns out… it is. 

Okay, I don't like to be bad at things, but you know what? I can't even be bad at it if I don't try. So I get my nerve and say, let's show this ball who's boss! I hop up on the ball (with some help from my trainer) and I'm shaking like a leaf on a tree. I'm still scared and I'm still doubting myself, but I'm going for it. As soon as I try to commence into squat position, I bust it. 

At this point, I'm discouraged to say the least, but I put on my Chumbawamba – Tubthumping track and get my game face on. I look to my trainer for support and he's shaking his head… “Kelly, you already know exactly how to do this. You know what it takes. Fix your eyes on a place on that wall. Believe in yourself and STAND STRONG AND LOOK AHEAD”. 

Oh yeahhhhhhhh, that is the trick. Isn't it? I can do balance exercises, I can do yoga. How different is this, realllllly? I fix my eyes on a spot ahead of me, I focus on the goal, and I let all of the circumstantial drift away. I imagine my feet are anchored through the ball, through the mats, deep into the foundation of the gym. I focus on being strong, looking ahead, and instead of thinking of the ball – I thought about the squat, or the curl, or the exercise at hand. I thought about the basic principles of THAT exercise. The standard process I have for completing a squat. I did exactly that. Much slower and with even more intention. 

And wouldn't you know it, I KILLED IT. 

On the drive home I couldn't help but think of how this same principle is rooted in everything in life. Focusing on all the circumstantial factors, the curve balls, the daunting tasks that intimidate us.. it drives us crazy. We have two options: we can allow ourselves to drown in the minutia of our obstacles OR we believe in ourselves, stand strong, look ahead, and focus on the basics! Following sound processes feed into the support of sound systems that are successful and repeatable. Even when the curve balls come flying in, when we have processes and systems in place, we get the FREEDOM of following the process we know like the back of our hand to get to the other side.