I didn’t see it coming.

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It’s taken me a solid few months to want to talk about this.

The words embarrassed and even humiliation come to my mind when I think about what happened.

And the last word that comes to my mind is feedback.

Feedback can be a bitch sometimes.  But it’s worth its weight in gold, if you take it on board as an opportunity for growth.

The feedback I received was back in January some time and was silent, indisputable and shocking.  The kind of feedback that’s often confronted with a whole lot of excuses and laying blame elsewhere.

I rocked up to a CrossFit workout and amongst the group, Mum and Dad turned up as well.

They’ll often train in the same class as me so it wasn’t out of the ordinary. The workout was explained, warm up was performed and the group was ready. The workout started with a 1.3km run and I was feeling good that day. Actually, I was feeling fast.The timer counted down, 3, 2, 1 and GO.Game on.We set off and I hit the lead quickly with a solid pace.

I could hear the thumps of feet behind me and between you and me, it felt right that my 65 year old Mother & Father were behind me.

Of course they should be – did I already mention they are 65 and I’m 36!

We turned the corner and started approaching the hill.  It’s a slight rise over about 300 meters, so a steady solid climb.

And when I hit the start of that hill, something happened.

My legs started slowing and the thumps behind me grew louder and closer.

I pushed on more, and then the thumps were on my tail, and in real-life slow motion….the thumps passed me.

I had to do a double-take when I saw that the thumps were from my Father.

He strode up the bloody hill and left me behind.

Bloody hell – how does that happen?!

I pushed on more, but no matter how hard I pushed I was beaten fair and square.

Is this really happening right now?!

I thought I was fit – and YES, of course I thought I was fitter than my Father.  I could list the excuses that popped up in my mind as I processed the feedback that day, but really excuses are irrelevant and counterproductive for growth.

I swallowed the feedback and took it on the chin.

And I started running more.

Quit any excuses leaving your mouth and own up to it and take yourself forward.

That’s the best way to take that sort of feedback.

And remember, it doesn’t define who you are, it’s just an opportunity for growth.

Jods x

The honeymoon is over

Every Friday night without fail I start dreading it.

Thinking of ways to get around it or avoid it.

I’m talking about my 4:30am alarm on my Saturday morning to get me up and Trek Training at Mt Cootha.

The honeymoon lasted about 2 weeks and then the reality set in.

We all experience that honeymoon phase when we start something new and mine went something like this…

“Oh, I think I might do a Trek in New Zealand and invite some other ladies along and we’ll all lugg around 16kg each on our backs, carry and cook our own food, NOT have showers at the end of the day and do this 5 days in a row.  That sounds like fun!”

I’m deep in trek training at the moment with 5 weeks to go.

Saturday mornings are the day we do a group hike at Mt Cootha and it’s the toughest session of the week, with our backpacks getting heavier and heavier every week to get our bodies and minds conditioned for what’s about to unfold.

It’s hot, it’s hard and it’s gruelling.

It’s mentally draining after a big week of business, babies and not seeing my Husband that much.

But I know it’s part of the deal.Jodie trekking

I know it’s what I signed up for.

The honeymoon has well and truly left the harbour.

I’m totally motivating you right now aren’t I? (note sarcasm)

Here’s the thing.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, how fit, unfit or how strong or weak you are.

The honeymoon always ends.

Learn to accept that.

After the honeymoon there’s always “work,” just like night follows day.

It always has and always will.

If you are waking up, finishing work or getting to the weekend and aren’t feeling motivated – welcome to the club.

My name is Jodie, nice to meet you :)

Jods x

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The one thing to stop worrying about

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I could see she was in the hurt box when I walked past and then heard her quick remark to Tony…. “You know we started early, don’t you?

The woman was training with my beloved – God help her.

And she has done so for years, so she’s not new to Tony, and Tony’s not new to her.

Coming back to Training after a good hurrah over New Years is always hard, but coming back to Training with Tony is harder.

I knew she was stalling him and letting him know loud and clear she was happy to finish the session then and there.

And then Tony responded. “What…. Are you worried that you’ll get too fit?”

Case in point.

In that instant I chuckled.

Don’t you hate it when “they” are right? “They” being your Trainer.

We all do it.

Focus on the hurt.

Wishing it would stop.

Thinking…. I’ve done enough for today… Surely?!

 

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But you know what? There’s always that little bit more inside.

That extra effort, rep, minute, round or lap around the block.

That extra effort is where real change – real results are.

Getting fitter, faster, leaner and stronger only happens with overload – not comfort zone load.

Don’t let that little voice inside of you tell you any lies.

And next time you are in the hurt box, don’t worry…..

You won’t get too fit – so push on soldier!

Jods x

The Key to Greatness!

greatnessI was invited to a Women’s Business Christmas Lunch last week and took the opportunity to step out of my sweat clothes, wipe off any Vegemite from the kids and step into my serious pants.

They had a speaker, Jen Harwood, who was a bundle of energy and she spoke passionately about Greatness – and how you can create greatness in your life.

She shared her personal story of breakdown to break-through and her own quest for greatness.

Greatness is such a personal “thing” and there is no right or wrong way to define it. What makes me feel great and super awesome, might be boring as hell for you and vice versa.

My own take on it is; do stuff that you love, do it well and do it passionately – and you are well on your way to greatness and feeling fulfilled in life.

The clincher in her Presentation was on the “HOW-To” bit.

How do you set out and achieve greatness – in x, y, or z part of your life?

And her answer: Get your support system plugged into your goal and with other people’s help – you can create and achieve greatness.

I totally agree and totally squirmed (just a little) when she mentioned this and 3 little words.

“Asking for help….” (and god forbid – accepting help when it’s given!)

If you are anything like me asking for help is un-natural – but something that I have learned ask for helpis highly valuable.

Our egos think we can (and should) do it all on our own, but the reality is Human Beings (that is you and me!) are designed for interaction.

We do not survive as a species without it.

Jen spoke about having different people in your life that fulfil different “Roles” that you can lean on for help when it’s needed.

I’m not going to list all of the “Roles” she spoke about (you can read more here), but here’s the Jodie run-down on who you should have in your support system.

You need critics to challenge your commitment and play the devils-advocate – sometimes the glass does end up half-full.

You need experts to short-cut your learning curve and fast-track your results and save you time, energy and money.

You need BFFs to pick you up, dust you on and send you on your way.  You need hugs, we all need more hugs.

You need role models to instil hope – if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you kinda thing.

And you need to have the courage and wisdom to open your mouth and repeat after me, “Hey, I need a little help here please?”

If that made you squirm, then you know what you need to do 😉

Jods x

Is it really all worth it?

I was reminded yesterday of a basic fundamental in the fitness formula of getting results.

I was flat, feeling tired and sore going into the workout and nothing much changed throughout the workout   except more tiredness and soreness.

Workout done, protein recovery done, shower and refreshed and then struggling in front of my computer to  get myself into action.

I was hitting a wall big-time, feeling fatigued mentally and physically.

As I sat at my desk I started to procrastinate – getting up filling my water, going to the bathroom, checking on things that didn’t need checking.

The whole time I was telling myself how tired I was and how flat I felt.

The basic fundamental was – if you train hard then expect to feel tired.

Not uber motivating I know, but it’s the truth.Tired

Getting results takes work – hard work, and hard work will feel hard.

There’s no sugar-coating it or wrapping it up in cotton wool.

I let myself slump into a pity-ball which wasn’t helping me and when I reminded myself that what I was feeling was normal it helped me snap out of it.

There will be times when you’ll question whether it’s worth it…

And I’d recommend that you don’t answer this question when you are feeling tired and flat after a workout.

When you’ve nailed a workout, high from a P.B. (personal best) or sitting smugly in new threads, that’s when you should ask yourself….”Is it worth it?”

A day later and a better mood and less tired body….

Yes.

It’s worth it.

Jods x

The Devil is in the Details

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In 4 ½ months time 5 ladies and I will be hitting New Zealand for an amazing 5 Day Trekking Adventure and I can’t wait!

It came about from me wanting another challenge and something to strive for and after a few phone call and emails, the group is now locked in!

The funny thing is since I’ve got the last ladies on board, I’ve started telling more people about it and then I’ve had questions which I have no bloody idea about.

Questions like…

How many kilometers are you trekking?”

“How long are you trekking for each day?”

“16kg doesn’t sound like a lot to carry when it includes food, clothes, cooking equipment….are you sure that’s right?”

I’ve had the same answer for each question.

“I don’t know.”

The people that know me laugh and the people that don’t know me have a puzzled look on their face that says, “Why wouldn’t you know this?!”

Sometimes knowing too much about something is not always a good thing.

Sometimes the more you ask the more you 2nd guess yourself, become unsure and then continue to sit on the fence.NZ_ArthursPass01

It’s not that the detail is unimportant or that I don’t have access to the information, it’s just the detail is not important to me – especially right now.

Knowing WHY I want to do it, is way more important than crossing my i’s and dotting my t’s before I go. (For the detail people, I may have ruffled your feathers here ;))

There’s a syndrome that you can sometimes experience: Analysis Paralysis.

A place where you are frozen and unable to make a decision.

A place that takes you nowhere other than around and around in circles.

You’ll find yourself saying things like, “I’d like too…I want too, but, jeez I’m not too sure now!”

All I know about my adventure is it’s a 5 Day Trek across Arthur’s Pass in the South Island of NZ, and we’ll be sleeping in huts, carrying our own 16kg Packs of clothes, food and cooking equipment – and there will be no showers.

I also know I need to get fitter and the most important thing – I need to listen to the expert here – our Trek Guide.

It’s his job to know everything, know all the details and be across any questions that come his way.

It’s his job to tell me what to do…and it’s my job to do what I’m told!

He’s the expert – I’m not.

Kinda, sort-of, just maybe relates to listening to any expert that you are getting help from.

Kinda like…your Trainer. :)

Learn to use your Experts around you.

Learn to focus on simply following the plan that they give you.

If you need the detail – get down and dirty with your WHY, why you want to do it and why it’s so important to you.

imagesYou’ve heard the saying, “The devil is in the details” and that can work for and against you.

True or not true?

Jods :)

Everything in Moderation

This whole weight loss and fitness journey thing that we thrust upon ourselves can be an evil beast – if you let it.

All consuming, self-depriving and even worse… self-shaming.

I see it happen in real life and a lot on Facebook.

“Eating clean.”

Personally, I didn’t know food could be dirty?

“Cheat days.”

The last I knew cheating happened in school – when you wrote formulas on the back of wooden rulers for Advanced Maths. (Sorry Mum & Dad!)

And even worse, “No [insert banned substance] for 30 days”.

Now you and I both know that abstaining often increases the urge to be an all consuming need, which then results in greater excess consumed than what would have been consumed under “normal” life conditions.

Sometimes I feel like grabbing people and shaking them whilst screaming, “It doesn’t have to be this way!  Have you ever heard of balance?!”

But I guess being balanced doesn’t have the same sexy ring to it…and this whole weight loss thing should be more complicated – right? 7e7596ddacf64449e636c0e5833637c0

Not really…

Not. At. All.

Take the pressure of yourself to change everything overnight and just tweak one small thing.

Commit to always having your “treat” (not cheat) food in small doses – whenever you feel like it. I dare you!

Start moving your body in ways that you love and that feel good for you.

If you’ve been stuck in a place where you’ve adopted the feast or famine mindset than why not take a moment to question how exhausting that can be…

Do you really want to keep going down that path?

I think it’s time for you to blaze a new trail, don’t you think?

Always here to help!

Jods x

Discipline

There is one muscle in our body that will get you the best results of all – if you train it properly.

People ask me about spot-reduction, trimming and toning their but, arms and whatever else and even though doing things the right way is important, knowing this about this muscle in our body trumps any squat workout.

It’s the Kings king, or maybe even the Queen’s, queen. :)

And here’s the catch.

You don’t train this muscle when you are at the Gym.

You train it away from the Gym – when you are at home, at work, out partying.

And like any muscle, the more you train it, the stronger it gets and the easier your next workout will be.

And it’s the most important muscle of all.

And that muscle is your mental discipline.

The flexing, pushing and pulling of following through when you couldn’t give a …..

Yep, that muscle.

We are never taught how to work this muscle to make it stronger, so let me share with you 3 of my flexing exercises for this…

1. Write down your goals (daily) and how good you’ll feel when you get there.

You gotta get past the short term pain in your daily chatter, and start to imagine what it will really feel like to achieve your goal. Without some sort of positive to pull you forward, it’s damn hard to beat that negative nelly in your head!

2. Keep an “evidence journal” of all the good things you did do, obstacles you overcame and opportunities that presented themselves.

This one is all about being mindful and grateful to allow more good things to happen to you.

3. START SMALL. Yes I did just yell at you, and there’s a reason for that. Changing your health is a long term game. You gotta to start chipping away, and start flexing your Discipline Muscle with the right amount of weight for you.

Don’t jump in and start lifting 20kg with the new mental commitment you are going to workout EVERYDAY from now on.

That’s starting way too big – and you and I both know that after Week 3 when life starts to get in the way, you’ll let it.

Start with a 5kg new mental commitment and focus on that.

Run 1kms instead of saying 5kms.

Go to the Gym once a week, instead of saying 5.

Cut alcohol back just one night a week instead of going dry overnight.

Do you get my drift?

Start flexing it a little every day and you’ll feel the power of this muscle for the long haul.

Jods x

Tuning In

It made complete sense as soon as I read it and left me wondering why hadn’t I thought of it sooner!

No fluff, just simple common sense.

I was reading a CrossFit article on Facebook and it was an interview with one of Australia’s most respected Coaches, Matt Swift.

And there was one little golden nugget in the last question directed at him: “Matt, what would you recommend to people when they are checking out CrossFit for the first time?”

In his usual brevity: “Enjoy being a beginner.”gen

Told you it was so simple!

Kids naturally “do this” with anything new I reckon.

Everything new is fun.

There’s no hangups, expectations or negative self-talk.

Just pure excitement with the opportunity to learn and they have fun – they totally enjoy being a beginner at everything!

The first steps.

The first words.

The first bike ride.

Small wins are celebrated with a smile, and failures are met with hands being dusted off and having another go – straight away.

They aren’t worried about any on-lookers and they actually encourage it!

“Look at me Mum, Look at me Dad!”

How cool is that?!

They are too involved in themselves and in the learning, to worry about what others are thinking.

And that’s where the focus should be – on tuning in, not tuning out.

On how we feel about ourselves with our effort – not the result and on our progress, no matter how small.

On enjoying the process and not rushing towards the outcome.

Is it time to tune in for you?

Jods

The Art of Self Motivation

When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything. – Stephen Richards

We all want to live healthier lives. So what’s stopping you from reaching your fitness goals? Surely those people at the gym who never seem to get off track have some extra chromosome that keeps them going. Right?!

Wrong. A lot of self motivation is less about being in the mood and more about creating sustainable habits that become your default so on those days when you just don’t feel like doing another squat you do. Because you’ve created a framework to support yourself with.

But we all have to start somewhere right? Right! So here are 4 simple steps, from coach Steve Stagg, that can help you start to create those healthy habits.

Here it goes:

Step 1 – Write Down Reasons Why

Really understanding the reasons behind any goal is the best way to develop that ‘must have’ attitude that let’s nothing get in the way of success. I recommend you start by writing down 10 reasons why for each goal that you have. It may seem a little difficult to start with but be honest with yourself and it will begin to flow. The more reasons why you can think of the better so keep adding to the list over time and solidifying your motivation.

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Step 2 – Write Your Goals Daily

Writing your goals down daily is a ritual you must perform to be truly self-motivated. Keep a little notepad and pen next to your bed and your goals will become so ingrained into you that everything you do each day will be a step towards achieving them. Choose whether you write in your notepad first thing in the morning or last thing before going to sleep but make sure you are recording goals that are specific, measurable and have a timeframe.

Step 3 – Use Pictures

Pictures are a great tool for helping to stay motivated. Obviously the picture you use will vary depending on your goal but choose something that creates a fire in your belly to achieve your goal. Pictures can be put on your training diary to fire you up before your workout. You might like to put a picture on the fridge to help you make good food choices or on the bathroom mirror so you look at it every time you are cleaning your teeth.

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Step 4 – Reward Yourself!

Lastly, rewarding yourself for achieving your goals is great positive reinforcement to help you continue on with your goal achieving ways. It doesn’t have to be big but it does have to inspire you to keep getting better. An example of this might be to buy yourself a new pair of jeans or treat yourself to that new restaurant when you achieve your weight loss goal. Or perhaps getting some new running shoes for completing every planned workout for the month. Be strict with yourself here and only reap your reward once the hard work is done.

– Steve Stagg, Brisbane Personal Trainer & Manager

Okay, ball’s in your court. Start small and start today. And if you ever need support, talk to one of our awesome coaches/trainers. Go for it athletes!

Rae “of Sunshine” Kess

CrossFit Zenergy, Windsor