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5 tips to keep training


There’s an ebb and flow to our motivations to move. All the buzzwords in the world won’t keep you going on a down day, even if this is your “self-care” time. Some of us have had regulated training times in the past through sports participation and others of us haven’t. Either way, I can tell you, keeping a steady practice going takes more than a plucky attitude. Training is the term I use for movement when you’re just not that into it.

I know all the benefits of a strong movement practice and I still avoid training with a relish that comes from belated teenage rebellion. So what do I do to maintain a strong enough practice to support my job as an instructor of a strong movement practice? These are the 5 tips that have kept me active through winters, rebellions, bad days, bad attitudes, and inertia.

  1. Stick to the schedule. Seriously put an appointment into however you schedule your time and show up to your appointment to move. Half of my job as an instructor is probably simply expecting people to show up. When I feel expected at a place, even if the expectation is my own, I show up more often. Something about missing an appointment (even with myself) eats at me for the entire time I’m meant to be doing that thing. Avoidance of that is worth the effort.

  1. Add something completely different. When I am really at a loss for motivation to move, I literally buy into something new. I’ve drifted from my primary practice to explore other things whenever I find myself skipping ahead. If I’m too impatient to dive into the movement I know, I seek out movements I don’t know for the challenge. This invariably brings me back to my primary practice with a sense of appreciation.

  1. Remember what brought you in. Something made you seek movement out. Go back to that purpose that first took you out your door whenever you need a reminder of how far you’ve come or why you’re there.

  1. Approach it like a beginner. Forget what you know, step back from yourself, and see if you can experience things like it’s your first time again. What do you notice?

  1. You’ll get more from feeling strong than looking strong. This encompasses strength of mind. Some days that’s getting there despite yourself and some days that’s choosing not to go. Whatever the choice, make sure it makes you feel strong and like you are actively choosing yourself and you won’t be wrong.

After a movement session, you’re going to have a biologically positive response. We’ve all felt the “I didn’t want to go, but I’m glad I came” at the end of a session that was a drag to make. This after-effect isn’t usually enough of a draw to get us out the door in the first place if we’ve been in the routine for a while. Don’t try to expect it to and give yourself as many tools as you can to make a habit of movement enjoyable.

These are my tricks for myself that I’ve picked up throughout a 14-year athletic career and employed for an active life beyond it. It’s fun to simply show up on the mountain and ski for the weekend feeling strong in your body and confident in your skills. The groundwork for that happens in the routine of your habits. Sometimes, that means you just need to train for it.

Photo Credit: @wendy.shep :Wendy Shepherd Photography


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