I tell my students that if your fitness class doesn't challenge you, it won't change you. Well, guess what? The Universe decided to make me walk my talk.
Ever since my bi-lateral hip replacement ten years ago, I've told myself that HIIT classes out of the pool are too intense for my artificial hips. Never mind that they're made of titanium, the strongest metal currently known to man, or that the only restriction my orthopedic surgeon gave me beyond three months post-op was doing the splits. I was convinced that gravity-based plyometric jumps and moves like burpees were too intense for me.
I've taught a variety of classes since my surgery: Zumba, Drums Alive!, yoga, water fitness, Aqua Zumba, Aqua Tabata, Zumba Gold and most recently, POUND. I've danced in community theater shows. Each of these presented their own challenges as I re-learned how to walk and move again with Bionic Woman body parts. But none have been as challenging as teaching Tabata out of the pool.
After taking on a Tabata class two months ago and being inspired by the variety of participants who attend, I realized that I needed to walk my talk. Instead of solely coaching the class, I've been both participating and coaching. And the results have been impressive.
I couldn't do push-ups two months ago. I used the excuse that I was teaching too much to add in additional strength training. Well now I can do pushups again. I'm developing more muscle definition all over. My leg power has increased. My anaerobic and aerobic capacity has increased. My weight has remained the same, but my measurements are shrinking. And best of all, when my students find out that I'm almost 54 and have two artificial hips, they're inspired to challenge themselves.
What I've learned from this is to never underestimate my ability to challenge and change, even with seeming limitations. The only one holding me back is, well, me. Being a student again puts me in what the Buddhists call "beginner mind." Being in beginner mind allows me to understand where my students are coming from and how I can help them move beyond their own perceived limitations--physical, medical, emotional, etc.--one tiny step at a time.
"What doesn't challenge you, doesn't change you." What challenge are you ready to take on? Remember, challenge doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. I firmly believe in baby steps. After all, the quote the Buddhists again, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep." And as we all know, one footstep is a baby step compared to even one mile.
I'd love to hear about your recent challenges and positive changes!
Lover of dance, dance-fitness and aquatic fitness.