I’ve found myself fantasising about foreign travel recently. Walks on empty beaches, through narrow alleyways in medieval European cities, and up deserted mountain trails. No surprise I guess when our freedom to travel is currently restricted.
The most enjoyable aspect of travelling for me isn’t so much the scenery however, but rather the experiences that challenge my current thinking. Getting interesting perspectives on life from people who’ve had an entirely different set of experiences to my own.
One of the funniest examples was showing a Tanzanian mountain guide an advert for an English product that claimed to solve ‘the embarrassment of cracked feet.’
He was incredulous. ‘People are worried about their feet in England? They get embarrassed by them? No!!!’
Yes I explained, we really try to sell each other lots of shit we don’t need.
As I’m sure you’ll agree, the part of any trip that changes you is not the journey’s end. Nobody thinks walking through customs at Gatwick bleary eyed at 1am is the important bit.
It’s funny therefore we view exercise this way.
Focus on the process not the goal
Whenever we start an exercise programme it’s the end result we value most, not the steps we take to achieve the goal.
The journey is the fascinating part however and what changes us more than the result.
It’s never about mindlessly doing something 2 or 3 times a week for a period of time and hey presto we’re at customs in Gatwick.
In fact I would go so far as to say the people who only focus on the goal are less likely to achieve it.
Understanding the process is crucial because in most cases you will not only be learning new information, but perhaps altering your view on long held beliefs.
Think of it like this, everything you’ve been told and may believe has got you to where you are now.
If you are unsatisfied with your current situation some of that information may not have been accurate.
In the last 2 weeks alone I’ve had interesting discussions with clients around the following topics:
• What the signs of a good training session are.
• The value of certain approaches like stretching, yoga and high intensity interval training (HIIT).
• Why using aerobic exercise to reduce body fat might not be the most effective method.
• How often you really need to exercise.
• Why your knees going over your toes during a squat may actually be a good idea if you have knee problems.
• The importance of sleep in recovery.
• Why symptoms that had previously been reducing can worsen when we get sick and why that’s not representative of any damage to the tissues.
• How sitting for long periods can cause discomfort but won’t lead to injury.
In each case explaining my perspective on these topics may help these people achieve their goals a little quicker and make their journey just a bit more interesting.
Keep the end result in mind but take time to enjoy the process. This is the part that will stay with you the longest.