Pain, Risk, Love and Fitness
This audio recording was taken during a conversation between Kelly Atkins and ex-husband Sid Atkins while the kids got ready for school this morning. Sid was a certified ACE personal trainer along with Kai's creator Kelly Atkins. They still share a passion for meaningful conversations and this is a glimpse in they share with the hope it provides some inspiration today for you. Enjoy clicking the link.
"You can't cut out the risk and the pain without losing the love that remains" Bruce Springsteen
There's nothing like having a friendly conversation with your ex about pain/pleasure risk and love, haha! Since we still meet regularly with co-raising our kids and still have a deep respect and love for each other as well as a mutual interest in fitness, we thought we'd share a "pod cast" in to our conversation this morning .
There was a time I used pain as a barometer of whether I was working out "hard" enough. I'd push and that definitely helped my body become more muscular, my heart and cardiovascular system stronger, and my will to push thru anything more powerful. The problem with training this way though is that through many years of training my nervous system and my ways of thinking was always to push thru. I became addicted to the "pushing"......and lost contact with subtler sensations offering me important information of what was happening inside me.
I then began exploring pleasure as a measurement....Always looking for ways to move and feeling for how can I make it feel better. This was a deepening into to knowing my bodies desires, my senses and gifting myself time and space to receive what felt good. I learned to make new choices not just in my workouts but also in my life. Believe it or not, after using pain for so many years it was very very difficult to let go and allow myself to trust pleasure. I changed......My body's fitness actually IMPROVED in all ways ( blood pressure in athletic range, lost weight, increased sense well being within and with relationships) without so much effort, I softened, I re-connected within......But I also became then attached to pleasure and stopped taking risks. Complacency and even some self indulgence settled in along with some extra weight and some self loathing. I started to lose confidence in growth. I wanted change but didn't see how I could make it happen from pleasure....or from love. I didn't want the risk. This is where fear become my God, and spent time here until the pain to change become greater than the the complacency of status quo.
Today I've defined that there is a deeper sensitivity developed with practice to knowing both physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually whether I need to push to grow, invest, take on something new or whether I need to rest, lean back, wait and be. If i'm not present enough to listen within deeper I may feel stuck and unable to generate the energy to accomplish the tasks and inspiration coming to me even though that is exactly the "pain" ( uncomfortable and sometimes painful) that needs to move.
The inertia can come from heavy emotions or form simply not moving the body/mind in awhile and the wheel needs to turn to get it going. Inertia breeds more inertia. Other times when I listen more deeply it can mean move but with gentleness, or in a new and different way. This can be during your workout/Kai or maybe it's doing that "new thing" in class or in life that will open up more possibility. This kind of pain is like that muscle soreness you get the next day after doing what you know is good for you, but it aches at first. This is good pain. Push thru.
Other times I may feel a nervousness and need to move but what is really needed is deeper inner stillness. At times like these movement pushes my immune system unhealthfully, or my ability to respond to life clearly in a negative way opening me to injury. Sleep and rest are absolutely essential for the body and brain to function well. Knowing when to rest is important for longevity and takes a deep inner listening and self control to say "no" when your challenged .
Developing that balance and deeper knowing takes regularly testing it out and being aware of when you are "on target" and when you "fell off" to define that skill. Eventually, like all athletes, you can hone it and use this practice in life on a daily moment to moment assessment for utilizing how you engage with life in the best possible way. This practice will keep you IN LIFE, FULLY ENGAGED more.
We all are creators making choices in our work, social, physical, health, intimate and even financial relationships all the time, choosing with this deeper attention to detail and taking risks is a way to live life fully.....It's all about balance and staying awake.