It's now 2020. A new decade, a new beginning (I know technically the new decade begins in 2021, but the general culture has decided to ignore this fact). January will come with resolutions, goals, and planning your fitness for a year or years to come.
But before we do that, I encourage you to pause and look backward, not just over 2019, but at the past decade, and reflect on your fitness, your body, on your approach to wellness, and how it has shifted over the span of 10 years. To help you, here are seven questions for reflection. If you are so inclined, take 30 – 60 minutes this week to journal your responses. If you are inspired, have your partner, a close friend, or a friend journal responses as well, and use your responses as a springboard for discussion.
Question 1: What are you grateful for?
Let’s start with a practice of gratitude. You are alive and well enough to participate in fitness--that’s a significant start. What's working well? What do you love about your body and what it can do? What are the things and who are the people that support your health and wellness? What have you accomplished? What skills can you fully rely on? How have you grown?
Question 2: How has your body changed?
For some, a renewed commitment to fitness has them in better shape than they can remember. For many, including me, the past 10 years have brought challenges of age, including slower metabolism and greater recovery time. For others, significant physical events such as pregnancy, surgery, illness, or recovery have impacted the body and physicality.
Question 3: How has your approach to exercise evolved?
For me, age and Kenzai have had a profound impact. I went from big athletic events (soccer tournaments and marathons) to consistent, daily exercise with an eye toward the long road. I think about areas of fitness that I used to ignore (I’m looking at you, flexibility and range of motion). Lately, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to mindfulness.
Question 4: How has your diet and relationship with food changed?
With Kenzai, I have a sustainable approach to healthy eating that I didn’t have before. I also know when to let go of that approach and have fun. But as I push 50, my body can’t handle as much fun-time as it used to.
Question 5: What were you too scared, lazy, or stuck to try?
I never got around to writing that novel and I still don’t speak French. More relevant to Kenzai, my use of alcohol comes up a lot in my blogs. I’ve been afraid to really dig into that. I’ve long thought that we do ethical somersaults to justify how we love our dogs but eat cows and pigs anyway. But I love the taste and culture of meat, so I'm not a vegan...yet! I’ve wanted to try a martial art, but it seems like a huge effort to start at the lowest belt level.
Question 6: Who are your people?
You are a Kenzai member, so you already know the value of community in fitness. Who are the people that support your healthy journey? Do you have teachers, mentors, or dear friends that won’t judge you but will push you? Who will you need to rely on in the years to come and in what ways? Conversely, who are the negative forces in your life? What compels you to sustain your relationships with them?
Which leads us to the last question.
Question 7: What do you need to let go?
You have a thing you do: a behavior, a pattern, a series of choices that once served a need. It might have even been pivotal for your survival. Your life is different now and that behavior isn’t serving you anymore, but you don’t know how to let it go. Name that thing for yourself and think about whether you want to carry it for the next 10 years. Cigarettes? Gossip? Negative self-talk? What or who need to go? I’m going to start by examining my relationship with my phone and social media.
I wish an amazing and healthy next year and decade for all of us in this community. That won’t just happen. We will have to play an active and intentional role in making it so. Look back. Think. Reflect. Write. Talk. And then plot out what you need to do to make this next decade golden.
By: Ed Center // Kenzai Trainer
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