“I want to make this clear; this project is about exploration and not about breaking records. I have no idea if I can do this or for that matter if it is a good thing to do. But I do know this, I am extremely curious about the journey, the exploration…asking myself the question, just “what is possible?” and asking it for my own account. “
That was a quote from my first communication, “It is Just a Push Up” posted on March 17, 2009 marking the start of this project. A lot has happened in the last sixty days, none the least of which is learning I can do some amazing things when I pay attention.
Before this project was conceived, I was already certain and committed to the idea that all of us can go farther, feel better, and be more productive than we ever imagined possible. First, we have to believe we can.
Moreover, belief seems to be an inside job.
Therefore, with that in mind, what goes on inside your head is just as important as how you physically train; and from what I have experienced so far, it is the most important thing. What goes on in my head (how I think) is just as important as what I do.
And the first thing I noticed about my head was chaos…oh oh (I was hoping for so much more).
There is a concept I work with my coaching clients to understand called “mind hijacking”. It is simply the minds tendency to wander off. Maybe you have had the experience while reading a good book or magazine article about whatever, and all of a sudden realized you are a thousand miles away.
Or maybe when you are having this intense conversation with your wife or lover or … and you are catch yourself thinking about where your keys are, or your third grade gym teacher or if you fed the dogs today.
This is usually the time you hear “you’re not listening” way off in the distance. I really started to notice this during my first project workouts. I would be doing my planned workout, maybe a cycle of pushups and bike riding and instead of paying attention to what I was doing, I found myself admiring spandex or thinking about my family or business.
There is nothing wrong with this at all within many contexts. Many a time I have read the paper while logging miles on the stationary bike or jammed my head with music from my iPod, but with this project I want to pay attention…to everything.
Because any interventions or adjustments that can improve the process, no matter how small, are useful – but to see them, I needed to slow everything down – making discernments requires attention.
So to do this thing I started with my mind…starts with paying attention.
No matter how many times I say this project is not about how many pushups I can do, the first question I get asked is “How many can you do now” or “are they full pushups” that sort of thing. So in every post from now on I will set aside a few lines for statistics. During yesterday’s workout, my count was 1400 and it took 80 minutes. I call this workout “WYD-38 on two/mid” or in English, Who’s your Daddy, 38 cycles, (a cycle is a number of pushups, followed by riding a recumbent bike) at a very steady pace controlled by audio input consisting of a specific sound that signals me when to start the cycle (You should see my Tina Turner workout – awesome).
But my intention for each workout has little to do with my count and everything to do with managing the moment I am in…Staying present and paying attention. If that isn’t there, I don’t move one inch.