When I Say "Athlete" or "Class Participant," You See....

I remember in one of my Kinesiology classes our instructor asked us to draw athletes. She gave us 2 minutes in groups to put together a collage of sports and athletes playing them. The end result was that not one of us added a disabled athlete. Sometimes, as individuals and professionals, we don't see, or notice, the entire scope of what it means to be an athlete, or a class participant that might have a disability. The experience I am about to share with you reminded me of that moment and was incredibly humbling.

 

Just the other day, I had a blind participant in my willPower & grace class. 100% honesty? After over 6 years training clients and teaching classes, I was terrified. How was I possibly going to guide this person through an hour long class when he couldn't see what was going on? How could I not expect that one day, I might have a blind individual in class? More importantly, who the heck was I to automatically assume that this blind person didn't know what he was in for, was in any kind of danger, or how to get around?

 

First step...BREATHE. Doubt your doubts and they will vanish. I quickly spoke with a colleague who happened to be taking my class that day, and she just reminded me that I'd have to be more precise with my cueing. OK, I can do that, I thought to myself. So, I started the class and found myself growing with every minute. Instead of "look up," it was "chin to the sky." Instead of "find your eyes in the mirror," I found other cues to use. It was also great to have the rest of class participants close their eyes and allow their bare feet to guide them. As Stacey Lei Krauss pointed out in willPower instructor training, we get up every night, in the middle of the night, to go to the bathroom. Do we turn the lights on? NO! Our skin, which is the largest organ in our bodies and has the most proprioception, second to the spine, sends messages to our brain to tell us where we need to go. Tell me you've never gone to the bathroom with your eyes half closed in the middle of the night. :o)

 

The point is...what an experience this was, to have one of those moments where it's not just walking into the studio and becoming a robot to teach class. We are tested once in a while, to further our knowledge and grow as professionals, and this was one of those testing moments for me. At "halftime," I went up and introduced myself, and the man said "I'm blind by the way." I replied, "yes I noticed, I saw you walking in with your cane. You're doing amazing, by the way!" He thanked me for being so specific in my direction and cueing, and I was so proud at the fact that every time I looked back, he was right on tune. I have to give his girlfriend some credit for helping him out occasionally...

 

Not if, but WHEN this happens to you, rise up to the challenge. You might surprise yourself and learn something!

 

The Science of Optimism - Time Mag

Time Magazine boasts about the Science of Optimism - In fact, it made the June 6th cover. So many of us need the willPower and motivation to keep thinking on the "up." We are all guilty of choosing to think the worst, so that if the best happens...it might be a bonus. The truth is, sometimes it's just easier that way. But why not, even if for just ONE day, try not to take the easy road? Why not try to make lemonade when life hands you lemons? I dare you to try it for one day...and if that's too long, try it for an hour!

 

Check out the article here: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2074067,00.html, as it has some great information. Talis (2011) brings into view how optimism may help us save more money, reduce cases in divorce or increase the chances of marriage after divorce, and even how optimism may be hardwired into our brains. Must be worth something if it made this month's cover.

 

So the next time you're feeling like things might not be going your way, take a moment, breathe, and see if you can change your attitude. It may be the healthier choice.

 

Have a beautiful day and keep smiling!

 

Reference

Sharot, Tali (2011). The Optimism Bias. Time Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2074067,00.html

June Lake Triathlon is Around the Corner. Get Registered!

Set in a beautifully scenic high alpine setting, the community of June Lake sits at 7,600 feet above sea level with breathtaking views of Carson Peak and the Sierra Range surrounding the nestled cluster of high altitude lakes: Grant, Silver, Gull and June.

Get registered at http://www.highsierratri.org/junelake.html

why Barefoot?

Courtesy of the willPower method website (www.willpowermethod.com):

why barefoot?

In the fitness industry, functional (or natural) movement is the most recent focus. However, we've been walking, running and jumping with a highly supportive athletic shoes. Over the past three decades, fitness shoe manufacturers have developed advanced technology to cushion and control motion in our feet and ankles. This advanced support does not allow full articulation where we really need it. We've lost flexibility and mobility at these crucial joints as a result of over supporting them.

The result? We’ve disconnected with our feet!

The willPower Method programs have been barefoot in gyms since 2000. We know how to teach students to stretch their toes, increase circulation and mobility throughout their feet and ankles. We train our clients to use their most intrinsic muscles to land on their feet gracefully; reducing pain and injuries in their feet, ankels and knees. It just makes good sense. Now, in the wake of mainstream fitness, you will find increasingly more programs are kicking off their shoes and going barefoot. In fact, we have recently partnered with Vibram FiveFingers, the leaders in minimalist shoes, and barefoot education. See what you think.

We don't suggest that you buy a barefoot shoe today and begin running today. We DO suggest that you stregthen your feet and ankles - essentially wake them up - since they have been bound, cushioned and supported for too long.  We do suggest wearing a barefoot shoe and allowing your body to progressively adjust and feel your feet and lower legs awaken. Once you wake up your feet, your body will be more functional for everyday life in a barefoot-type shoe... and you can even start barefoot running, if you'd like. After all, humans were Born To Run!

Barefoot in London

Check out willPower's progress in London's Daily Express!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/willPower-grace/389841230054#!/photo.php?fbid=10150445556860055&set=a.450953320054.378060.389841230054&theater