Life Inertia? Yes, How It Applies To Fitness And My Training.
In life, I am a true representative of Newton’s Law:
“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
The additional component of, “with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force” is the most intriguing. I know when I go home to Pennsylvania to see my family, I can sleep forever! And it sometimes takes me a couple days to feel “strong” again. And on the flip side, when I’m back in NYC, if I get a good workout and feel “pumped”, I want to keep it going the next day, and the next day, and the next day, until I need to wind down, and wind down, and down…
It seems like we’re on a roller coaster that goes up and keeps going with momentum until we stop and then we go down and if we let this little roller coaster keep going down, it certainly will!
What makes up both parts of this? I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.
According to Jim Taylor Ph.D, there are Four Forces Of Life Inertia. He talks about: needs, self esteem, ownership, and emotions. These are the forces that are propelling you through life. And if you’re not on a path you like, you will continue unless you, I mean WE do something about it. As it says above, “with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Let’s look at these forces:
“If you are driven to gain love, a feeling of security, and a sense of competence from other people because you need their approval to feel good about yourself, then others are controlling your life path.”
An essential part of piloting your spaceship will require that you learn how to trust in your inherent value and capabilities, so that you can be in control of your own self-esteem.
3. Ownership (The guidance system that directs your life)- Ownership means that you are an independent being who has a cause-and-effect relationship with the world in which your actions matter, your actions have consequences. It is different than letting others run your life. When you take ownership, you are responsible for your mistakes and failures, but also accept responsibility for successes. One of the best books for this is “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win,” by Jocko Willink. Great book that really gets us to think about taking complete control of our lives.
4. Emotions (The fuel that drives your life)- Growing up in a household with a lot emotional turmoil may leave the person with predominantly negative emotions. This, as Dr. Taylor says is like living on contaminated fuel. And on the flip side, growing up without feeling any emotions due to parents trying to protect kids from feeling anything negative, leaves a person emotionally malnourished. Having a good understanding of your emotions and can express them in a healthy way gives us a good, non-contaminated fuel that keeps our inertia moving forward in a healthy manner.
That’s great Jayson, how are we going to apply it to fitness?
I don’t know, but I’m going to find out. Kidding! I know exactly how I’m going to tie this together. We’re going to discuss how all these different life forces: needs, self esteem, ownership, and emotions apply to fitness.
How can I give you the best plan of action to keep your inertia moving forward? Let’s discuss the different life forces mentioned above, we’ll now call them fitness forces.
If you had hired a manager to take care of your health and fitness, how are they(you) doing? Would you fire them or keep them?
4. Emotions- You may have had some bad experiences with training and fitness in the past and you’re letting that influence you going forward. You’re running on contaminated fuel! You need to get a new fuel source. That can only come from keeping yourself going. Think about it, every time you workout, you’re building yourself up with new fuel. You have to get rid of the old, contaminated fuel and build yourself up with new, clean fuel. But that’s not to say that every day is going to be roses! You will have shitty workouts. You’re going to have “just OK” workouts. And you’ll have some mind blowing workouts. Be aware of it, recognize it, acknowledge it, and keep moving on.
“A friend to all is a friend to none”
Judge your workouts too. If it sucked, say it! Be aware of your fitness emotions. But don’t let them get too high or too low. If you had a good one, acknowledge it and keep moving forward. If you skipped a day, no big deal, you’ll get back on track tomorrow.
How do I deal with inertia? First of all, let me just tell you anyone that says they are absolutely psyched every time they workout is a psychopath. NO one feels like a million bucks before every workout. But for me, I know that I have to keep pushing forward because I have goals I want to reach. And also, you really want to know what I hate? First workouts after a long break. They suck. And I know the longer I take off, the worse it’s going to be. So for me, the needs are evident, I told you what they were. The self esteem? Here’s the deal; anything you start, just figure the first 3 months are going to suck. That’s the way it was for me with triathlon swimming, muay thai, boxing, and especially jiu jitsu. You’re going to suck, it’s going to hurt, you’re going to get dejected. But you just keep going if you really want to get better. If you depend on anything new for your self esteem, you’re going to be in trouble. Just be happy you’re trying something new and challenging yourself! As far as ownership, I set myself up so that I can get better workouts and training. How? When you sign yourself up for a race, you have to prepare for it. When you get around the right people to workout with, you push yourself harder. So I take ownership by knowing I have to set up challenges or I have to be around people that push me to get the best workout. I’m not going to get the best workouts all the time by myself so I set it up where I know I’ll succeed. And emotions? You have to accept good and bad emotions. Let me just tell you what it was like learning to do “double unders.” Double unders are when you jump rope and the rope goes under your feet two times each time you jump. I smashed about three ropes out of frustration before I started to feel comfortable doing them. But I kept going. I was getting down on myself a lot because I’d jumped rope all my life! But I pushed it away and came back. I didn’t let those failures stop my inertia for too long. Just keep going.
So this week, you’re going to:
With you taking all of these into account, you should be able to find a way to keep some kick ass inertia going. Let me know if you have any questions or need any help. Have a great week!