No pain no gain


(my first Tony Horton video. Yesterday I purchased my third - P90X3)

I had a conversation with a woman yesterday about exercise and our bodies. She mentioned that some of the moves she’d seen on the video made her joints hurt just by watching. My response? That there are modifications for every move, shown on the video. I went further, though, asking about her specific issues. I modify everything too, because of a bad knee and shoulder, and I made a point of telling her that listening to your body is so so important, whether or not the video trainer shows you less intense ways to move.

“I like your approach! So many people are into ‘no pain no gain.’”


This made me pause. There is good “pain”, which I think of as my muscles working hard. It’s the fatigue that makes me fail midway through a pullup, or collapse on the ground doing a pushup. It’s the great and satisfying ache that comes when I wake up sore the next morning, and the sigh of relief when my muscles start their work again.

And there is not good pain.The twinge when you start to move in a way that is not good. The intake of breath as something goes wrong. The wince (as opposed to the grimace of good pain).

I’ve learned to listen. When I feel a twinge, I stop and modify. No ego involved, no “I have to keep up with whatever superfit superhuman is on the screen in front of me.” That the trainers keep telling me to listen to my body surely helps. “Take breaks,” admonishes Shaun T. “Do your best and forget the rest,” says Tony Horton.

Is there a life lesson in this? Is it badass to be able to read the “pain” signals of my choices, to choose to modify when the pain is not constructive and positive? Maybe so.

I believe I’ll start with Tony’s mantra, changing it a bit. “Do your best and learn from the rest.”

Learning is about as badass as it gets.

Clean Eating

ImageApril 30, 2013

A couple of friends and I are running a 5 day healthy eating challenge on Facebook. Basically you commit to posting every day, following the meal plan, and cheering on your fellow participants. In exchange, you'll get a grocery list and menus/recipes for each day. Simple, right?

Sometimes when I do these things I spend a whole lot of time in self-doubt. Are the recipes too basic? Who needs this kind of information anyway? What if people can't find the ingredients, or hate them, or get lost in the cooking part? Who am I to think I can teach people anything about food, anyway?

There are 23 of us total (including me), now on day 2. People had to share concerns and excitement pre-Day 1 (that was the assignment), and most people wrote about time. Time to cook, time to shop, time to prep. Time to live life around this challenge.

The comments last night were fabulous. Besides seeing gorgeous photos of people's dinner, I loved reading notes. "I've not cooked with a lot of spices before, and as far as I'm concerned I have learned a lot of useful stuff already." "I wanted to lick the bowl but had to hold myself back since I was at work. Who knew something so simple could taste so delicious?" "I thought my family would demand chicken or steak - they never even mentioned it."

I learn something every time I try this kind of thing, mostly about my preconceived notions. Just because something makes such sense to me that I never even think about it any more, that does not mean everyone else feels the same way. I learn as much as anyone I am "teaching."

Being open to learning makes my day complete. How can I help you?