From Flat to Fired Up
From Flat to Fired Up
Every single one of us has full days or even parts of the day that we feel flat. Physical energy can be influenced by many factors. Stress, weather, diet, day-to-day hurdles, work, relationships, circumstances, health and many other factors play a role in how physically and mentally motivated we can be. Some days we struggle to get out of bed. Some days we don’t feel like training and other days we just cant be f%#*ed doing anything.
At the end of a tough session many people ask me how I teach and train as much as I do, on top of running my school and all the other myriad of things that I have to get done. Upon reflection, I wonder the same thing as well. I won’t lie to you. I struggle with energy as much as anyone. Physical exhaustion comes with the territory of being a full- time martial arts instructor. So, in this blog, I want to share with you what I do to go from flat to fired up. And hopefully it can help you to do the same.
Do Something Physical
Often the antidote to feeling flat is just to do something. Many times at the start of a training session I feel flat but by the end I feel great. And that great feeling gets me through every session for the rest of the day. I can’t tell you how many times I have got in the car to go to wrestle in Geelong and felt so tired that I almost fall asleep at the wheel. I hit the mat and within 10 minutes (after being tapped out 50 times) I feel on top of the world. The funny thing is that that session you really want to miss usually ends up being your best one.
Physical flatness can be a result of how we are processing the world in our head. Stress, internal dialogue, negative thinking and unmotivated thoughts all play their role in physical energy. I listened to a tape by Anthony Robbins several years ago that gave a very simple universal remedy to lessen the grip of our mind on our energy levels. Its very simple, every half an hour take five deep breathes. When we are internally stressed we tend to have shallow breathing. Deep breathing gets valuable oxygen to all the muscles in the body. It instantly relaxes and de-stresses you and for those few seconds that you focus on your breathing, you are not thinking about your problems.
Do Something Different
If you sit at a desk all day, every half hour or so, jump out of your chair and do 5 push ups, go for a 2-minute walk around the office building or stand up and have a stretch. Sitting in the one place for too long puts your body and brain into autopilot. Get up and do something to fire up your physical being.
Rain, hail or shine I go for a 15-20 minute walk everyday. Walking in fresh air is a great way to activate all your senses and get your body moving. If you have problems, issues or difficulties in the office or in your home the simple act of removing yourself from that environment, for a short time, puts you in a far better position to resolve them. Plus you have the extra bonus of gentle, easy to do daily exercise. A 15-minute walk wont make you fit but it’s a step forward to maintaining an active lifestyle and kicking your energy into gear.
A lot of people reach for coffee, energy drinks or chocolate for an energy boost. Research has shown that these items actually decrease energy in the body. I find the best source of energy in a piece of fruit. Two to three pieces of fruit, spaced over a few hours, when you need the energy the most, go a long way to giving you the energy you need to train and be active.
Another thing I learnt from Tony Robbins was that physiology effects phycology. Said another way: how you physical present yourself to the world effects how you think. A simple exercise for you to try if you are feeling flat is: Stand up and stand like someone who has boundless energy, when you perform a physical action do so as if you have all the energy in the world, when you have to do a mundane task do it as if you had more energy than you know what to do with. In simple terms, fake it till you make it.
Excite Your Emotions
Music, movies, clips on you tube, books, quotes, articles and artwork all help to fire you up when you’re feeling flat. Use any and all of them to get yourself moving and into physical action.
Sometimes a catnap for 10-30 minutes is all you need to get fully rested. I find that a short walk straight after a nap is a great way to defog yourself and get yourself fully engaged in the activities that lay ahead for the rest of the day.
Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success.
William J.H Boercker