Are You Digging Deep Enough?

Jessica photo for The Journey“Don’t leave here knowing you could have done just a little bit more!”…direct quote from me during one of my cycle classes the other day.

As I hit the boxing bag, work on deadlifts or push presses…there is something in me that has to dig deep.  Even as I am on the bike and climbing up that hill that just never seems to end…something in me HAS to kick in because my body is done and is telling me to stop.  I have to find the desire to really work hard in order to get that bag to move…or that weight to go up off the floor…or have those pedals keep turning.

Deadlifts are by far one of my favorite things in the world to do.  They sound scary, I know.  But they are amazing!  They work so many muscles groups all at once…and it just feels awesome to pull weight up off the floor (plus I feel like the world champion when I am done!)  The barbell in front of me wants to be moved up off the floor.  It really does.  😉  How I get it to move requires something…well…it isn’t rocket science.  It requires determination.

The same goes for you.

  • If you like to run and you have a big hill in front of you…what makes you say “Here we go!” instead of “Let’s just walk up this one.”?  Determination.
  • If you like to Zumba and you are in minute 45 of dancing around with those arms and hips going…what makes you say…I can go 10 more minutes?  Determination (and some music…they have some fun music in those classes!)
  • If time is your issue and the only time to squeeze in a workout is the morning…what makes you crawl out of those comfy covers and starting moving…determination.

I strength train and teach cycling classes and part of my job is to help motivate people.  I can tell you some motivating words that might help you realize that you truly are capable of pretty awesome things during your workout…but I can’t actually make you move your legs faster or grab a weight that is heavier or drag you to the gym.  I just can’t.  You have to do that all on your own with your body but most importantly you need to realize that YOU CAN do this.  Not only CAN you do this but you WILL do this.  Huge difference.  

How I Mentally Get Ready for My Workout

  • Pump Yourself Up.  This last Sunday I was antsy.  I was seriously ready for Monday morning.  I wasn’t ready because it was Monday and I just love Mondays.  No…I was ready because it was deadlift day!  I couldn’t wait to see how much I could lift.  It was in my journal and on my to-do for my exercises and I was super pumped up.  Sometimes I just have to take a moment and get excited and let that fuel me to do things like get up at 5am so I can go to the gym.
  • e55f812091494d84931da4a84d761d93Just do it…but think about what you are already capable of doing.  When I am strength training on my own…I’m not standing there doing bicep curls with 5 pound weights, groupies.  I strongly believe that you should lift something heavier than what you already do (aka…purse, diaper bag, backpack, etc.)  Me personally, I am lifting 200 pounds up off the floor for my deadlift.  That amount of weight is a person.  You don’t just lift up the weight of a person by thinking about butterflies and rainbows.  At least I don’t.  It takes practice and trying out different weights to see what you are capable of doing.  I didn’t just one day decide that I would deadlift 200 pounds…I had a starting point and worked hard to keep moving higher in how much I lifted and how many times I lifted that weight.  You have to start somewhere though…and that takes courage to try new things…to try a different amount of weight…and sometimes to even try new things.
  • Music.  Music is huge for me.  I have music going in my ears that gets me motivated.  To see a sample of what I would play you can check out the playlists that I have put together for cardio, riding bikes and strength training.
  • I CAN DO THIS!  If there is any doubt…any little smidgen at all in my mind…trust me, that barbell won’t be coming up off the floor.  It takes everything I have and I have to be 100% in.  Sometimes I will even stand there, shuffle my feet around a bit and just get ready mentally.  Ok…almost every time I lift super heavy I do a little feet dancing.  My arms can hold on and my legs can lift that barbell up…but my mind has to be ready or it just won’t happen.  I get ready…I dig deep…and I lift it up.

8f80665f8908f415b12c78a4e4869aeaThe mental part of getting healthy is sometimes a bigger piece of the puzzle than we realize.  You can say that you are going to exercise or workout or eat healthier…but you need to ask yourself if you dug deep.  Did you get in your head and find that inner strength and determination that will help you reach your goals?

Lately I have been seeing more and more excuses come out of peoples mouths or typed on their Facebook page about why they can’t exercise.  I get the injury stuff…I’ve had my fair share.  But it is the “I’m tired” or the “I thought about it” or “I don’t have time”  or “I’ve never done that” type of remarks that seem to be the common answer that really are sabotaging people and keeping them from results.   I have also heard “I am almost ready to commit” type of thing from lots of people too…and my inner response to those are:

“Time isn’t going to wait for you and something is always going to be in your path.  Always!  You have to decide if you are going to climb over those obstacles or just let them stay in your way.  If you would start today…you would be so much closer to those results…and stronger, healthier, happier.”

As I first started going to cycling classes…my dear friend, Melissa, would tell us in the nicest way (screaming) “Don’t leave here knowing you could have done just a little bit more!”.  That has kindof been my mantra and what I say to myself as I am lifting and working on strength training.  That is what I ask myself before I am done with each and every workout.  That is why I wake up early.  I can do more with my day…but first I have to get up.  If I can do one more set or put more weight on…what is stopping me from trying other than me?

Those words are now what I ask those members who are in front of me when I can see the tiredness on their face and the moment just before they give up.  I’ll just shout it out for them…Don’t leave here knowing you could have done just a little bit more.  Push yourself!”  Figure out WHY you started…and make that push you.  Think of your goal that you have…and help that inspire you to keep working hard.  

“Can I do just a little bit more?”  If the answer is “yes”…then I’d better get going, dig deep and do it.

What are you determined to do today?

Next week we will be sharing the story of a groupie here at The Journey that had to be determined in order to just survive.  Be sure to hit that follow button or sign up to receive our newsletter and you will be one of the first to read her amazing story of determination.

20130717-222549.jpg– Jessica

Jessica is a fitness instructor at two locations in Rochester, MN.  You can read more about her journey of weightloss and strength training here.



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