I don’t know about you, but I have been rearing and ready to attack my health & fitness goals head-on in 2013. Bring it on. I plan to work out 6 days/week and eat much healthier, with lots more veggies in my diet. I also am training for my first half-marathon, the Wallis Sands Half in April, and I want to achieve a personal best in a 10K and a sprint triathlon later in the summer. So far I feel I am off to a good start with my workouts and 5k runs in the New Year. But, today in Vinyasa (Flow) Yoga class, I really hit the wall and “tanked” my workout, or at least I thought so.
The class was just what I needed to start the week off. It was taught by one of my favorite instructors at 3 Bridges Yoga, Allison, who is tough, fun, funny, creative and very attentive. This lunchtime class was a good counter-balance to the intense Bikram Yoga class I went to the day before. I am very tight and inflexible so yoga is essential to my fitness routine and helps my running. So, I was working up quite a sweat on my mat with all the warrior poses, one-legged balance poses (my weakness) and core work in Allison’s class. It was hard but good, and kicked my butt. Still, I was not feeling strong or flexible and really felt like I could have given a lot more. (Yes, I know I should not be competitive in yoga class, but I can’t help it).
After class as I was packing up, Allison shouted over to me that my poses and balances were really looking good today and that I have come a long way! Of course, I shrugged her feedback off and complained about my poor balance and posture in the three-legged dog poses. Allison hearing that I was frustrated about my practice, responded by coaching me up with a small but inspirational comment that made my day – “hey Michael, poco by poco.” Yes, little by little. She’s right. I needed that (life) coaching and to remember to focus on the little things and incremental gains in my fitness, workouts and my yoga practice. Thanks Allison. Namaste.
As I was walking home, Allison’s advice got me to thinking about one of my favorite inspirational poems that I used to hand out to my college lacrosse teams and to my athletes to help them carry on through adversity and challenges on or off the field, on training runs or in the weight room. We all need a little coaching to help us reach our goals and to remember to carry on.
So, if you are in need of a little inspiration to achieve your fitness goals and to keep on track day by day, and “poco by poco” in the New Year, here is my favorite inspirational poem, courtesy of Robert W. Service. I hope you enjoy it, are inspired and share it. (FYI, it is for men and women, and yes this is the original copy I have had above my desk for 10+ years – gives it some character I think… enjoy the imperfections and wrinkles. Such is life.)