I am back from another Singapore trip and this one put a stamp on something I wanted to write about a long time ago. Four currently most important words and their meaning related to my world (perhaps yours too). So without any hesitation and long warm up let's have a look at them.
Definition of empathy is: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It sounds like everyone could have this quality but unfortunately not everyone was lucky enough to be empathetic. However I am an example that empathy can be "restored" from you. We just need to ask ourselves the right questions and open our minds like the parachute below. Because the mind is like a parachute. It only works when is open.
In this currently fast-paced world it's very easy to be upset or angry at people but before you make any conclusion, think twice. So ,for example, I am often upset when people drop exercise or training program because "I" would not do it.
I personally can't imagine prioritise work in front of my health. But I grew up in the sports environment and since I never quit. But that's the catch - some people didn't. They don't have the same priority like I or you do. Yes, of course, you may pose a question "what else is more important than health" but people still smoke despite the ugly horror photos on the front of the cigarette packet...
For some people exercise is hard work. They don't enjoy to do it hence they drop. So instead of hammering them with your beliefs try to find a what they enjoy to do. It could be a long walk with you where you will sneakily drop some squats, step ups or sprints.
Or create an environment so people will start loving the exercise. One of the most important reasons why our member love EvoPrime Fitness is that it doesn't look like a gym. When we went through an on-boarding process several people told us "I don't like exercise and gym". We created an environment which is clean, non-intimidating and supportive. Do we try to think what they don't like it?
Or maybe your friend is talking all the time about the topic you are not interested in BUT the reason why they are talking about it is that they are into it. It's not enjoyable for you but it's important for them. So instead of being cranky, roll the eyes or walking away just listen and be there for them.
There are certainly many more examples than these two but I think you got it. Simply, ALWAYS scrutinise why people acting like they do or try to see their world with their eyes. Walk in their shoes for some time. Because there is always a reason behind every decision.
Empathy is paramount to "coach - client" relationship and lack of empathy can cause some significant disagreements along the way. Both in professional and personal journeys.
Oh man, how this one changed my life. I have been talking about this for a few years now. Precisely for last 5 years since IoM opened my eyes to the world of variability. If you do something too much and too often most of the time you will always run into some consequences. We are victims of doing too much repetition whilst working on the specific outcome (IoM Health mobile platform 2016). And the human body does not like repetitive motion.
** ALWAYS THINK DOSE RESPONSE - JUST RIGHT **
From the physical perspective, we are not just a muscle, or brain, or bone nor nerves. We are made up of all of them together. Therefore we must take care of them all.
So when you are in the gym you should:
manage body weight drills
move 3D (depth, direction and distance)
use linear machines (including bikes or rowers - yes all of them they do have a place too)
do mobility AND stretching (restorative poses)
train variety of strength but also have cardiovascular program
perform drills which challenge your nervous system
power (because we lose power quicker than strength)
be able to slow down the motion but also accelerate
and so on...
Avoid dogmatic, "this is wrong and what is good" thinking. Keep your continuum based thinking hat always on.
When you are not in the gym you should:
sit some time
stand the other time
"Variability of motion goes down when we practice the same skill. Variability of motion is high until a more stable (less variable) movement pattern is adopted. But, lack of inherent movement variability (degrees of freedom) is limiting because of restricted adaptability."
Michol Dalcourt, Founder of IoM Health
Why all of these? Because life is variable. It's unpredictable and its environment dictates the outcome. At IoM we say - the movement demands of sport and life are, SPECIFICALLY VARIABLE. The more skills you have the better, as your body will take a new skill any time its need it.
From the general nutritional perspective, we need micro and macro nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Because they all yield different benefits (same like strength and mobility. Two different things but both vitally important).
Low nutrition variability can lead to nutrient deficiency and co-related health problems such as anemia and osteoporosis. Yes, we can be slightly biased to a certain way of eating but try to drink a litre of kombucha a day for next 6 months.
The chance your body will start reacting to it is pretty high. And kombucha suppose to be good for us, right? Well, it is but only in the right dosage. One single repetition repeated many times and dose response are our main enemies.
I recently bought a pair of NIKE's. Oh yes I can see some 😩 faces (like my friend Brett gave me on Instagram message - I still like you buddy) but hold on for a second - what if I really need them (remember EMPATHY part?)
Why I bought them? Did I just ditch my most favourite brand on the planet Vivobarefoot? Of course not. What however made me realise that sometimes it's nice to have a cushion in my shoes. And if I manage the right dosage I will be fine. I enjoy them couple of times a week. My back is loving it.
I also understand the benefits of minimalist shoes AND be barefoot so I make sure my feet have enough variable environment.
You know the problem is that we are all or nothing. We train hard or doing nothing at all, we over eat or are on the special diets why not stick with simple and sustainable small steps? Variability and dosage are key words to many different outcomes across many different themes.
Now you are probably asking if I did not know what health is. Of course, I did but I never knew the right meaning behind it. When I was an athlete I thought I am super healthy. I eat whatever I wanted, I trained multiple times a day and every day and I felt ok after I missed few nights of sleep. I wonder where I would be If I would know the right meaning of the health?
We are a product of our environment. Environment dictates our behaviours. Do you want to be healthy? Check your environment. On top of those three behaviours I described above there is an extra one I never had. A screen time. And this one is serious. Unfortunately, this needs to be a topic for next post.
So now I get it. Being healthy does not mean to perform at the highest possible level with the ripped body. It's much more. For me it means:
easily fall asleep and sleep all night (if you fall asleep in 5 seconds - not good though)
wake up rested
be nutritionally resilient when you can't have the healthiest food available
not having headaches (I actually never had)
move without pain and restrictions (I actually think there is NOT a sport which is healthy)
be strong, powerful and supple
be able to speed up and slow down in life
being able to control my actions and decisions
In regards health, consistent behaviours will always have the biggest outcome. To control physical activity, nutrition, sleep and screen time is critical. Every pillar has some habits. They are simple in isolation but powerful alltogether.
If you are more interested in habit coaching read this amazing post by my friend DP and find out how managing habits are important to our health and longevity. We also explore habits in our IoM Health mobile platform.
In a nutshell, it really doesn't matter what you do in the gym if you are not able to manage the environment around you. And if you don't believe me - google it🤣. So I did and find this amazing article.
For this reason I am now incorporating habit coaching into my online training program. If you would like to work with me sign up today.
This one will be short and sweet but definitely not the least important because to adapt to a certain live situations will probably turn our life quality volume down or up. In other words. You adapt quickly and you live well beyond average. You struggle to adapt and you will be always one step behind.
Here is what I mean - nice blend of everything:
catch up with the technology even if you don't like it
don't have fully equipped gym accessible - adapt to it and create a different program
create nutritional resiliency for times when you travel and don't have ideal options
be versatile in many ways
work on mechanical, heart rate and motor variability
So here you go. Four main life discoveries and ideas. Each of them is equally important - at least for me - and each of them plays a huge role in our life.
CONFESSION: There is a chance that this blog isn't as grammatically correct as other posts but remember the empathy part? Try to write a blog post in the Czech language. Plus my wife isn't here so no one can take care of this. Hope you will enjoy this anyway.