10,000 Kettlebells for Parkinson's Challenge Ends in...

If you have made it this far, you are over the first hurdle. You have completed one week of deliberate, planned, intentional activity. Don’t size yourself up for the medal yet, or organize the parade, but… well done thus far.

So what’s beyond the first hurdle? Well, it’s pretty much more of the same. An actual hurdle race is a stretch of running track with a number of evenly spaced, identical hurdles. A clever ad laid an audio track over the video of a hurdler charging down the track to show what they were thinking. Here’s what they said [very quickly]. . .

One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten-eleven-twelve-KICK!!

Ten times. . .

At the end of the clip, the camera did a close up of the athlete, who asked into the camera, “What the heck did you think I was thinking?”

It should be no a surprise that the “journey” to fitness, even on the scale of a one-month challenge, is really just a series of smaller, discrete steps. Or even sub-steps. Tracking smaller component parts of a larger whole can make it easier to pace yourself. For example, I swim. I can’t always tell my exact speed in the water, but keeping an eye on each 25m interval helps me make sure I’m working roughly at the pace I intended.

In the same way, a week-long (seven day) interval gives us an idea of our overall pace.  Am I working too hard (yeah, right!)? Overdoing it can lead to injury and discomfort, so we don’t want to overdo it. But, in order to see an effect (such as improved stamina, strength or agility), we have to at least stress our system a bit. Remember, especially if you are new to this, some of the initial changes taking place may not exactly be VISIBLE at first. Keep that in mind, because if you focus too much on “progress” early on, you will probably discourage yourself. Progress for you may, in fact, initially be stopping doing some (not-so-good) things before you can get on to doing other (good) things.

This week is now in the rear-view mirror. It’s time for lessons learned. Did I have a plan? Did I follow my plan? How did it work? Should I do some things differently (more, less, or just differently)? Draw your lessons from this past week, make any necessary course corrections, and head into Week Two with a renewed focus and enthusiasm.

Stay Strong!!