As the story goes, cows are cowards. They sense a storm coming, and they start running the other way. They plod along in vain, trying to outrun the rain. And wouldn’t you know it? They get drenched anyways.
Bison on the other hand, are wicked smart. They sense a storm coming, and they run right into it. As the storm passes, they make their way to the other side in record time. They see what’s coming. And they go towards it. Head on.
Whether it’s true or not, the analogy of facing our problems, is sound advice.
But how do we do it, in practice? How do we turn towards the dark clouds, with open arms…..when every part of our lizard brains is telling us to run the other direction?
You want my advice?
Learn to manage your emotions.
It’s about keeping fear in check. And not letting our minds run wild with “what if.”
Just the other day, I was talking to a girlfriend of mine, and she confessed that she was a “scale-watcher.”
She said that she was obsessed with the number on the scale lately, and that it was starting to feel unhealthy.
“I get it,” I said. Just this morning, I thought to myself…. “hmmm…..are my pants fitting a little tight? Did they just come out of the dryer? No they didn’t. Holy shit. Don’t tell me. Don’t even fucking tell me.”
For women especially, health is incredibly emotional. And the tiniest change in the wrong direction can throw us right off.
Our body image is tied to our self-worth, in a way that men just don’t experience. And all too often, “fitness” is measured in pounds and inches. Which means….the pressure is on!
When it comes to health, I am deeply passionate about tackling mindset first. And emotions are a big part of that. Because, as the saying goes, whether you think you can, or you think can’t, you are right.
Just like a boyfriend, you have to build a relationship with your fitness. It ain’t never gonna work if you hate every second of the date.
Sure, maybe you’re looking for a one night stand, for kicks. But if you want long-term health? You’re gonna have to deal with the tough stuff. The “I’m not good enough” moments. And the "I can't do this” days.
Ready to walk towards the storm, and turn your emotions into your very own superpower? It is my belief that it all starts with a little seduction.
First Base: Stop Lying to Yourself
We lie to ourselves. All. The. Time. Probably because we are the easiest people to fool.
Deep down, we know exactly what we need to do. And yet we blatantly go against that truth, and rationalize our decisions constantly.
I’m going to workout tonight. I’m going to start tomorrow. I’m going to sleep in, just for today.
Be honest with yourself about what you want, and be realistic about how you’re going to accomplish that thing.
Second Base: Trust Your Intuition
No matter how many times you try to bury your intuition, it will always keep coming back. It sneaks up behind you, and whispers in your ear: “trust yourself.”
Do what you love. Move in a way that feels good to you. Push it hard when you feel like you've been hunkered down and sedentary for a bit too long. And take your foot off the gas when you feel overworked and exhausted.
Check in with how you feel in your own skin. Check in with your energy level. And check in with your level of self-confidence.
Movement is primal. And intuitively, it is something your body craves. Tap into that urge. And let your body be your guide.
The Home Run: Do The Thing
If you want to survive your own emotions, put yourself in the jungle until you’re no longer scared of the lions, tigers, and bears.
Fear runs us, more than any other emotion out there. And no matter how many times we run the worst case scenarios, nothing replaces actually doing the thing.
You have to prove to your own mind that you will not die. Because once you have faced fear, rejection, and embarrassment…..and survived…..you are literally overriding the “fight or flight” response in your brain.
Let Nike be your guide. And just do it.
Commit to movement. Stay consistent. And override the “I can't do this” mindset.
Fitness is a “game of inches.” But not in the way that you might imagine. It’s not about your dress size. Or a number on the scale. Fitness is about inching your way through the hard days. Walking through the dark clouds. And managing your emotions, so that your body can do it’s thang.