One step back, two steps forward


I’ve been trying to do a body building competition for the last 5 years.  Each time I start lifting serious weight and get close to building enough muscle to compete I hurt myself.  I’ll either tear something in my shoulder or pull something in my spine.  Usually this happens as I try to push past 225 lbs on the bench press.  I’ve been repeating the same cycle for literally 4 years, hurting myself mid-year almost every year.  It’s been very frustrating.

It wasn’t until I met Trevor, my personal trainer, that I completely changed my approach to lifting and, in the process, my philosophy around problem solving.  Trevor took one look at how I was exercising and just shook his head.  For about a month we stopped lifting any sort of weight at all, just focusing on natural body resistance with an emphasis on strengthening my core.  At first, I was freaked out.  If I was just lifting light weight, how would I ever get to be a body builder?!

Ironically, I actually became stronger.  By completely rebuilding my core and relearning how to move through each exercise my body was able to build the solid foundation it had never had before.

I took a step back so that I could take two steps forward.  This is a key concept and was really hard to do.  If the advice hadn’t come from someone I really respected, I probably would have never done it.  But it was absolutely the right thing to do.  Looking back, I can think of a number of times the same advice might have applied equally well to business deals, software development, and personal relationships.  Sometimes you just know something is off, but you’re so far in you don’t want to back up a little so that you can do things the right way.  You tell yourself you’ll just push through and fix it.  For most of my life I’ve been a master of just “brute forcing” a solution.  When it came to my body it didn’t work so well, and I’m grateful to have learned such a valuable lesson.

Don’t be afraid to take a step back so that you can truly move forward in the right direction.  It may be exactly what you need to do to succeed.

Build Energy through Exercise – Part 1 of 3

Trevor and I got together to record some energy building exercises. These are really simple movements that you can do at any time to boost your energy and feel great. If you work behind a desk or don’t get to move around much during work, take a 5 minute break and cycle through these movements. Let me know what you think!