The concept is simple. Mindfulness is a way of being you can have in any moment of your life. How can one be present and bring a kind, playful, and non-judgmental attitude to their workouts? Better yet, what if there were a community of people who cultivated and embodied that presence during a workout to help elevate, encourage, and support each other? You can check out our previous post on high intensity interval training here but the aim is simple and that is creating the intention to have fun working out no matter what level of fitness you are currently in, pain you are experiencing, as anything can be modified and met with compassion because exercise is medicine and vital to living well or at least as best we can.
To share some of my personal story I first came to mindfulness because I was stressed out, and I did not recognize the impact the stressors in my life were having on myself, my health, and my relationships with others. I ate and drank to cope with stress and my weight skyrocketed. I buried my emotions but it showed. I would have told you I was fine and believed it, but that was because I wasn’t paying attention to my mind or body. First responders are notorious for stuffing things inside, especially the trauma they frequently face, but pro tip, the body keeps score, i.e. depression and anxiety, obesity, headaches, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and gastrointestinal problems. As a therapist I did too, inhibiting my stress. My doctor wanted to put me on blood pressure medication and my BMI was off the charts not to mention I would get winded walking up a flight of stairs, it destroyed my confidence and self-esteem. Mindfulness saved my life because the practices like the body scan drove me inward to explore the source of my stress, identify my emotions, and the underlying thoughts that fueled it all.
I wanted to be healthy and work out again, knew I needed to not only for myself but for my family, and yet I felt shame and embarrassment about how I had let my body go. There was no one to blame but myself, and it hurt. I’ve had my lowpoint, well if I’m being honest I have had a few but the point is I have been there. Maybe you are there too. The good news is there is hope. The obstacle is the path, and it all can start now. That is the power of mindfulness, because life is only lived in the moment.
My saving grace was hiring a young personal trainer, friend, and Mindfully Fit partner John Clingerman, CPT, of Happy Hour Fitness. I came to our workouts beyond motivated, and that energy combined with his enthusiasm met with a synergy that was not only fun but super productive. The weight melted off to the tune of 80lbs which sounds disgusting as I write it but it felt great. I felt lighter both physically and emotionally, and my confidence and self-esteem began to become positive and healthy again. My thoughts became more positive and I became more skilled at being open, non-judgmental, accepting, and better at letting things go, not to mention cultivating a deepening practice of gratitude, especially for the people in my life who generously continue to offer acceptance, love, and support.
Mindfully Fit is designed to provide an attitude of kindness, compassion, and mindfulness all in the endeavor to bring fun to your workouts and be more healthy and well, and working out in a group you may find there is power in connection with others. So if you feel compelled in your own individual workouts or if you join a group, or even wish to come workout with us at Mindfully Fit please know it is never too late to begin again. Each moment is a new moment.