I spend a lot of time on my own between client sessions, writing mostly. The time I spend with clients is quite intense as I listen to how they express their experiences whilst running, jumping, rowing or whatever their sport. I’m listening for words, choice of words, listening for those limiting beliefs, the ‘I can’t’ and the ‘away from thinking – thinking about what they don’t want. I’m watching and noticing body language and where their eyes go – to the left is remembering, to the right, visualising. It’s all about them from the beginning of the hour session until the end. So it’s not a social interaction, it’s therapy. So when I have time off, I like to focus on me and yet be with others socially so I tend to exercise in classes at the gym or with a trainer. I enjoy exchanging looks and banter with the other members in the class and sometimes it helps to see how they are doing a particular pose in yoga or what weights they are using in body pump.
The down-side of there being other people around is that there can be a tendency to compare ourselves with them. We notice maybe that we can twist further round, lift a heavier weight, run faster, cycle up the hill without puffing, or maybe we can’t. So then we maybe justify this by noticing that they are much younger, fitter, go to the gym more often and so it goes on. What we are not doing is focusing on our own efforts and how we can get the most out of the class.
In most of the classes I attend, the trainer gives us an easy option, more difficult, and advanced. Which do you do? Sometimes I find it depends on my mood. If I’m feeling quite confident and the move doesn’t look too bad then I’ll try the intermediate move but I’ll almost never do the advanced one because being over 50 and not the fittest in the class, I would mentally position myself towards the lower ability end of the spectrum. Sometimes though, I’ll choose the lowest weights and all the easy options. Why?
I’m possibly building into my training an element of success for myself so that I can’t fail because I’ve done the moves. But, I’m not pushing myself. I’m staying very much in my comfort zone where I don’t experience giving up or failing. I can justify doing the easy option because of my age and the fact that I’m not someone who goes to the gym and works out every day. It’s not what I do, just one of the things I do.
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