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Improving Strength & Energy to Do What You Love

Updated: Feb 29

Do You Have the Strength & Energy To Do What You Love?

Let’s talk about energy, and having enough energy to do what you love to do. Also the strength and the stamina to do the things that you love. So today I am feeling a little bit tired because, over the weekend, my husband and I took a three-day backpacking trip out into the mountains. It was very refreshing, reinvigorating and it was absolutely beautiful out there. So, I'm a little tired today. The interesting thing is that I am ridiculously sore in my calves. The rest of my body feels great. We carried pretty heavy packs and hiked in about 10 miles, and then we had to hike out 10 miles. My whole body is feeling pretty dang good, except that my calves are ridiculously sore. So, the interesting part is that it’s actually really good information for me to have, that if I want to keep backpacking and hiking in the mountains, maybe go on some more difficult hikes, then I need to work more on strengthening my calf muscles.

I want to share this story with you all because I think we can kind of get lost in the weeds when it comes to picking a fitness routine that helps improve our lives and keep us healthy and active. Maybe you just pick a group fitness class and go a few times a week, or maybe you do the same thing at the gym every single week? And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that unless it’s maybe costing you a lot of time and possibly not getting you the results that you are looking for.

So, how can we create an individualized program for ourselves that really meets our individual goals? It can be kind of confusing to know how to put all that together. This experience that I just had on this backpacking trip was really helpful because it became so clear… Oh, I could work on a little bit more strength in my lower leg and calf strength.

Especially if I would like to go hiking and backpacking and out into the mountains more which I do want to do. You know, so that's why I decided to make this topic for today's live video is just to hopefully bring that into clarity for you all about, what is it that you actually really love to do?

Do you have the strength and the energy to be able to do those things?

A couple of years ago I probably would have found myself in a very different scenario. I was really stressed during the whole COVID lockdown times and I think I might have said no to the entire backpacking trip. I think I might have just sort of been like I'm too stressed. I don't have the energy. I'm just going to say no. And in the past, I think I said no to a lot of things that I wanted to say yes to.

I remember this feeling of resentment and overwhelm. This feeling of frustration that I would experience when I said no to doing something that I actually wanted to say yes to but for whatever reason, didn't feel like I could say yes. So that's what we're going to get into today.

First off, let’s identify these moments where you might say no when you would like to say yes. Can you catch yourself in a moment when you're saying no to something and you feel resentful or you feel frustrated or you maybe even feel a little jealous of the other people around you? That’s a good moment to tune in and become more curious and aware of what’s happening for you. Often times our inner critic is super quick to the draw, and we immediately think that there isn’t enough time, or there isn’t enough energy, and it can happen so quickly that we don’t even realize that some part of ourselves actually really wants to say yes to this opportunity. So, anytime that you notice resentment, jealousy, and frustration see if you can slow down and get a little curious.

Step two is to courageously and bravely take action. Ask yourself, in what way could you say yes? Sometimes we have to test out saying yes to even see if that activity is something we actually enjoy doing. We are such creatures of habit, it can be really hard sometimes to try something new or go back to something that we’ve left behind previously.

If somebody's inviting you on a five-day backpacking trip, and that's just like, way too much for your body or it's way too much time, then could you suggest a day hike instead? Look for, and actively create a situation where you feel relatively safe but also a little challenged to test your strength and energy.

Let’s say for example, you're struggling to walk long distances without pain, right? And over time you adapt your lifestyle so that you never have to walk very far, you avoid it at all costs. In this way your world slowly gets smaller and smaller. At first it doesn’t matter too much, maybe you don’t particularly love to go for long walks so it’s fine. But then you start gaining weight and you feel sluggish. Then you have a friend who suggests walking around the lake together regularly, and you love spending time with this friend but you feel like you have to say no…

And so we just kind of give up and we make our world smaller. So if you've been doing that, you might strategically try to expand your world a little bit.

Have you tried to going for a longer walk in the last few months? Maybe now is a good time to try again, and to try under circumstances where you're maybe a little bit more intentional about it so that you can really watch and see for yourself, how did it go?

Then you can work backwards from there. And you can say, did it work? For myself currently I am now very clear that I need to work on developing more calf strength, so that I can continue to backpack and hike without knee pain.

I was getting a little bit of knee pain, nothing too bad, but a little bit of knee pain in my left knee, which is the knee that I have this ACL reconstruction on. And so it was a good reminder for me to re-motivate myself. I have that history in that left knee, I have a cadaver graft in that knee, and it's something that I always going to have to be working on. Going on this hike was a great motivator because I was a little worried about my knee, and I could feel it starting to talk to me, but ultimately it was motivating and clarifying for me to take better care of that area of my body.

So I hope this is giving you a bit of a framework to see, in a broad sense, how to assess for yourself the things that will fulfill you and bring you joy, and then challenge yourself to take courageous action towards stepping fully into that lifestyle, in a safe and progressive fashion.

What do you want to do? What do you want to do with your life? What makes you happy? You know what makes you feel fulfilled?

What are the activities that the people you love to spend time with doing? Are you able to fully participate? If the answer is no, then all too often we get stuck in these negative loops where it just feels really impossible, it feels safer to just say no.

Curious about incorporating Pilates into your strength training routine? Explore our blog post on Is Pilates Good for Strength Training? to learn more about how Pilates can help improve strength and flexibility, complementing your fitness journey.

Remember, we have to be really kind to ourselves, and we have to be really patient. And within that, we also have to be courageously willing to keep testing the border. Keep trying again and again. If your world is feeling like it's getting smaller and smaller, and there's a lot of fear and there's a lot of hesitation and there's a lot of kind of resentment and jealousy and frustration around not being able to do what you love doing or what you once were able to do. Then we have to really start intentionally compassionately trying to push that edge and push that boundary and test it and then kind of come back to the drawing board and see if it worked and go from there.

So I hope this inspires you! This is one of the main things that help all of my clients work towards and I love seeing them succeed.

Enrollment is currently open for my 4-week class series starting on July 10th.

A self-empowered 3-week program to liberate your body and renew your vitality

This is a four-week class series specifically designed to give you the foundation of functional strength training, and functional movement.

This is for if you want to be able to walk or hike or run longer, with less pain and better performance. I guide you through the process of creating a personalized strength and fitness program, developing the habit and the routine into your lifestyle, and you get to be part of an amazing community at the same time.

Spots are limited and we Start on July 10th!

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