Change Your Mind - Fitness Together Newtonville
Mar 16, 2015
The other day one of my clients brought in his son. For the sake of privacy we will call him Johnny. Full of energy, as most youngsters are, Johnny was picking up every weight that looked like it was about his size. He picked up the 3 lb dumbbells and immediately lifted them up over his head. After putting those down, he calmly walked… okay ran over to the smallest of our kettle bells. With ease he lifted the small pink kettle bell, and though he couldn’t get this one over his head he screams “oh yeah” in his success as he, with near perfect dead lifting form stands tall with a hunk of metal as big as his head. Directly behind the pink kettle bell rest a solid black KB weighing in at 8k (about 18lbs), as I assist his father I see Johnny out of the corner of my eye reach down and touch the large black KB that he clearly deemed the next challenge he was about to conquer. Always cautious I say “careful buddy” and go back to putting my attention on my client, but not without noticing the menacing grin I got from Johnny. A grin that says “okay tall stranger, I will play by your rules for now, but I don’t care who you are, soon as you look away that kettle bell is coming off the ground!”
Of course my prediction comes true and he lifts it with ease, once again celebrating his success. With each new accomplishment he creates a new, more challenging event that he planned to conquer. Eventually stacking our boxes up, creating a tower with a height equal to his own. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied “I just want to see if I can jump from there to there,” (he was pointing from the box to the floor) well this was what he meant any ways. What he actually said was “ I am um… putting these… this thing on that… and then I’m gonna to do that with the thing and I want to see if I can, and when I if I jump on this on that thing….” At some point his father and I looked at each other confused and moved on.
Later it clicked for both of us, but it didn’t matter that we had no idea what Johnny wanted to do, he knew, and he planned on doing it. At some point the stack of boxes got so high finally Johnny had a moment of doubt. This is the whole point of my story so pay attention! When the boxes were finally as high up as Johnny is tall, he said… okay shouted “someone needs to help me up, someone needs to help me up!” Of course between me being in a career designed to help people, and Johnny’s own father right there our initial reaction would have been to pick him up and put him on the box, it would have made him happy, and not been very demanding on us because he is very light! Luckily we were busy with his father’s workout and told Johnny to figure it out himself. Maybe a little short or blunt, but Johnny didn’t seem to be offended by this, as a matter of fact within 10 seconds of being absolutely sure he needed help to get on that box, he soon realized he wasn’t going to get help, 3 seconds after that he was on top of the box. Much like every other challenge he conquered that day, he made it look easy, gave himself a big cheer, and made sure that both his father and I knew what an amazing human being he was for being able to do that on his own.
This story comes with a few points. Could Johnny have fallen and gotten hurt when he tried to climb up those boxes, or hurt himself lifting something to heavy. The answer is yes, any number of things could have gone wrong, but he wasn’t thinking that way. Those thoughts never once crossed his mind that I could tell. If they did, the risk was clearly worth the reward because it didn’t slow him down. I would be willing to bet, that even if Johnny did fall off those boxes and get hurt, he would have learned a lesson on how not to do it, which would have then been applied to his second attempt at climbing the tower.
I had another thought, after witnessing the incredible feats of Johnny the Spider Hulk. When do we go from being supremely confident in our selves? Celebrating our victories, and actively seeking out or creating new challenges for ourselves. To thinking that we can’t do it, focusing on our failures, and searching for the quickest easiest fix to our problems? Is this something that we as human beings are born with, or is it learned? If it is learned, can you unlearn and relearn a different way of thinking? I believe it is learned and I think… I know that you can reprogram the way you think. I am. I say I am and not I have, because I am still working on it. Much like everything having to do with health and fitness, changing your way of thinking takes consistent practice. Without which it is easy to fall back into old habits. This is going to be the topic of a blog series of mine. I do not know how long it will be, but I hope you all read on, learn something, and make an effort to improve your lives in a positive way. Of course positive thinking can help in all aspect of your life, but my focus will be in the effects of your health and fitness. Please be on the lookout for my next post. My goal is to have something every Friday, but if I miss one think on the POSITIVE side, it will give you more time to get up and move around!
Have a high quality day!