10,000 swings of a kettle bell- sure why would anyone want to do that? So obviously when the challenge of doing this over 20 workouts with a 16kg bell and 500 swings per session was put to me, I thought ok I'll do it. I don't really have any fear of trying things; like I have fear but not being able to do something wouldn't hold me back from even attempting.
WE are all wired differently, my friend said no to this challenge but just based on her own assumptions and negative self talk that she couldn't possibly do it because she wouldn't be able and isn't good enough to do it.
So after a pretty abusive slash encouraging whats app audio note from me, she was in! Sunday 12th June, we did our last 500 swings. This was an incredible 20 workouts for both of us. I learnt so much, and I really didn't think I would. Mainly mental stuff although a very physical challenge.
Here are some of the things I learnt:
There is strength in numbers and bringing people along with you is both rewarding and also great for accountability and the feeling there is something bigger happening
My friend Jess and I never once swung a bell in the same place or at the same time and yet we were doing this challenge together
Finding ways to swing a bell 500 times and execute each swing and movement properly takes dedication, time and consistency, 10,000 swings later and my final time was 17:46. Day one was 28:51
Many things happened throughout the challenge - mentally, physically and at times emotionally (like hating that bloody bell)
Things have changed and improved. Yes there has been inches lost, areas have been toned but that is aesthetic. The great news is the strength has been gained and that is the beauty of a challenge
Strength in mind, movement and the body
The mind is funny, day one of the challenge, you thought to yourself hey this is easy I could do this forever. Then day 2 is a little tougher by day 4 you hate it and then on day 5 something happened. I got a text from Jess," this challenge is making me feel better in myself. I know I haven't lost a pound or an inch yet but I just feel better". By session 12 we all hated it again but we were in this together and we were doing it no matter what.
If I wrote about the inch loss, weight loss and fat loss from this challenge well then everyone would read it and take note of what that was. There was all of these things, but I want to encourage a move away from the sole focus of training to be losing weight or toning up to a focus on improving your health, making your body work and ensuring your own life longevity. The great thing is by training and looking after yourself you will naturally get lean, toned and lose the weight you need anyway!
About half way through the challenge, I bought a bike and this for me has been a game changer. We sit for so long and have such periods of inactivity how can we possibly be moving our bodies enough in order for them to be the best they can be. The bike is now my main mode of transport. I got a new car the week before the bike and its been driven about 3 times in total since.
Now the bike club is growing with hopefully more getting on the two wheelers. Galway is so accessible by bike and honestly you cruise where you need to go, minus traffic and all that stress with ease.
I am really impressed by the nature of a challenge and how I interact when one is set. I like to be challenged and I like to focus on the long game ultimately but short term challenges are good for my mind. Next stop is the pull up, I got one this morning and sort of two yesterday but I think I cheated a little by practically jumping from the ground over the bar.
The joys of being a gentle giant I suppose!
I do live by the line " what we focus on we become" but in terms of our bodies and our tired minds, perhaps switching the focus from weight, weight, weight to achieving something in ourselves might help to resonate a feeling of good will between and the mind, the body and overall health.
Sometimes if we take the direct focus away from the scales or what you look like, you can then focus on your health and how your body actually is operating. If you train, eat well and give it rest, then your body and your mind will start to enjoy the process and realise it simply needs to be done.
So when people ask what are you training for or why do you train, your answer can just be.....for me.
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