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Enjoy Life, Slow Down.

When we are constantly racing towards a destination, what happens to the moments we are living right now? Fast does not always mean better, many times we are in such a hurry we fail to do the necessary work it takes to build a strong base. In life details matter.

Courage

When we choose to take a stand, not yield to pressure, we learn that we can triumph over darkness.  Facing the truth, we take the actions necessary to accomplish our goals, despite our fear of failure. The difficulties we will face in life are great, when we choose the right path, it may take us into unknown territory, yet if we stay the course we find what we need most.

 

Questions We Might Ask Ourselves

 

We all want change, yet few of us define our goals.  They will remain some distant dream until we decide exactly what we want.  We have a choice daily to either follow the positive or let the negative take over. Change is never easy, it will bring uncertainty, failure, life lessons, even strength in mind and body.

Five questions.

Consistency Is King

A habit is not born in a day, change will not come with a couple of days work. It is only through diligent work, overcoming any setbacks while continuing to learn on a consistent basis that we realize progress. In life consistency is king.

A Goal and a Jump Rope

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What is one of the least expensive, easily portable pieces of fitness equipment available worldwide that you can own? A Jump Rope!

It is often overlooked.  Most people think of using a machine when they think of warming up before getting their workout on.  They jump on the treadmill for a mile, or hop on a stationary bike for ten minutes.

I prefer the jump rope.  Nothing gets your blood flowing like some rope work.

The benefits may surprise you.  They include engaging your upper and lower body, cardiovascular health, increased lung power, core and bone strength, lung power, speed, agility, coordination, cognitive ability and endurance.

The wear and tear on your body is minimal with a jump rope, and you can modify your jump to make it even less so. Skipping rope is not as hard on your joints as jogging is, and it can be done indoors and on softer surfaces to help reduce the impact on your joints.

Jumping rope is hard at first, so if you are one of those people who do not like doing activities that you do not excel at immediately or look great doing, then this is not for you.  

At K-FIT we have a Rock Steady Boxer named Bob.  Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease over 20 years ago.  He joined our Rock Steady Boxing program to fight back against the disease over a year ago, right after we first opened the gym.   

Bob came in on a walker.  He watched as the other fighters all jumped rope to warm up at the beginning of class.  Instead, we warmed Bob up with weights, or a ball or some other piece of equipment instead. Then one day Bob said it was his goal to jump rope.  

He ditched his walker, and stood shakily on his feet on the gym mats.  The first day he did this, he struggled to swing the rope from behind his body to the front.  With practice, Bob managed to coordinate the swing. Then one day he was able to step over the rope after swinging it, without tripping, and the whole class erupted in celebration.  Eventually, Bob, who was more determined than anyone I’ve ever seen, hopped over the rope. We all went wild. Then it was 5 hops in five minutes. Then 8 hops the next class.

Sure, he still got the rope caught, or tripped.  Sometimes he fell. He had days that weren’t always moving forward, but that did not deter him from keeping on. Each class during the warm-up we counted his hops and we cheered him on.   

Bob would wear himself out jumping rope at the beginning of class, and then he spent the rest of the class boxing from a seated position.  But he was determined to reach his goal. The day came when Bob was able to jump rope thirty-eight times in five minutes, and many of these were consecutive hops.  

If Bob can do it, you can too.

Were you aware that jumping rope may help with bone density and the fight against osteoporosis?  When you compare it to jogging and other forms of cardiovascular forms of exercise, the jump rope stands above because it engages the entire body.

Jumping rope is whole body synchronization, something that is not possible with a machine.  Learning to breathe, relax and jump is tough. It takes time, but without a doubt it has major benefits.

So yes it is hard, but never impossible.

Get a rope and start skipping yourself to a better you.

Internal Battles That We Win

I know that I am not the only person to have big internal battles, so today I will share a little about mine.

When my day begins roughly around 2:30 am five days a week, the first of my daily battles kicks off.  I may wake up just before my alarm, in which case I wonder to myself if I should close my eyes or just get up.  Often I am shocked into alertness by my alarm and I dream about what it would like to just turn it off and roll back over.  I always get up, because a few minutes extra sleep will make no difference. It may sound crazy, but I enjoy getting an early start on my day.

After I have read the news and enjoyed a cup of coffee, I take my dogs out for a long hike at about 3am.  During my walk I judge how banged up I am from the day before. My leg, foot, shoulder, back or a combination of them all, may hurt.  

It may play out in my mind something like this: I am not going to do everything today. Maybe I’ll just do half a workout or I’ll just move around.  Then I think about my end goals and I know I will do what I need to do.

The bottom line is we all struggle with many things every day.  We know what we should do and yet we often settle for what is easy to do.  

This is where personal responsibility comes into play.  We as adults should know the cost of any decision as well as understand the reward.  We are the ones who will ultimately need to take action to reach our goals.

It is hard, not fun or popular and at times we may feel like we are missing out.  If we are honest with ourselves, we all know deep down what choices we should make for ourselves.

Making better choices is a learned behavior and it takes work. The good news is if we practice it, it gets easier.  It may be really hard to get up before the time you usually do to get in a workout, but after a few weeks of doing it, it becomes a habit.  Keeping our ultimate goals in mind is a great help when we become distracted by something. Immediate gratification is tempting, but if we change the way we look at life, we come to understand while it looks, tastes or feels good at the time it is not greater than the alternative prize.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Never Stop Learning

Becoming an expert in anything is never quite as simple as taking a weekend course to get certified by an organization.   The journey for knowledge is never-ending. Many people expect to go to school, take a class or two and become a master at something.  In reality, a true master never stops their quest for knowledge.

With martial arts, in particular, I’ve learned that when you teach others you quickly realize how much you still do not know. You realize what faults you have, and if you take the right steps to remedy your faults, it helps you grow.

No matter what you do well, there is always someone who does it better.  If we become so conceited that we believe our own hype, we will never continue to grow.

Even if you receive the highest award in your field, you cannot relax and quit working on your craft.  If you do not consistently grow, you will soon be outdated.

There is a documentary I have watched a few times called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It is about a man who found something he loves to do, make sushi, and he works tirelessly to perfect it. He is never content and is constantly looking for ways to make better sushi.  That is why his small restaurant is rated the best sushi restaurant in the world.

In life, we must constantly keep learning in order to stay relevant.  If we want to stand out in any endeavor we must keep learning and it must be quality knowledge that we gain.  

We must change our mindset. Instead of doing something to win, we instead will choose to do something to gain knowledge and grow.  It can be humbling to work at things we are not good at, but in the end, it is a valuable lesson. To grow, we must let go of our fear of failure, humble ourselves and often it means forgetting about what the rest of the pack is doing.  

I encourage you to pick something you are not good at, and start learning, growing and developing new skills.  Each of us has at our fingertips a vast amount of knowledge, why not use it?

When it comes to our faith, the same thing is true.  We can never just sit back or coast on our faith. We must constantly strive toward growth.  As a Christian, it is up to me to put in the work to continuously grow and become more like Jesus.  None of us is without faults. I need to realize what my faults are, and work on them.

Proverbs 18:15

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.