This month I made the decision to sign up for sessions with a personal trainer.

Even though I do go to the gym regularly and I am fairly happy with my workouts, I knew that I wanted to step things up. Plus, I had a few specific goals and needed some help to work around some of the mobility & muscle engagement issues I have related to my fibroids.

I’ve had 6 sessions so far this month and I’ve loved them. Aside from the attention to detail from my trainer in terms of helping me correct my form, engage my muscles properly, and learn how to work more efficiently, it’s the little mindset lessons that he reinforces with each session that have made the biggest difference.

working on some heavy deadlifts with my trainer

The main thing that has stuck in my mind is the idea of redirecting your energy.

During one of our sessions, my trainer had me lift 2 12 kg kettlebells up to my shoulders and walk for 3 minutes. During those 3 minutes I had to have my elbows up at shoulder height and flared out. They felt like a very, very long 3 minutes! While I was struggle through the exercise, all I was focusing on was the difficulty of it. I was grimacing. I was out of breath. My form was all over the place. I was uncomfortable. When there was 30 seconds left, he said to me: Push through. Focus your energy on just walking and keeping your elbows up. Don’t stop. Get it done.

At the end of the 3 minutes, I happily dropped the kettlebells. After that he pointed out something interesting. He told me that at the 30 second mark, when he had me focus on 2 specific things, my whole demeanor changed. My face relaxed and my shoulders straightened. Suddenly I was walking as if I had just started. He pointed out how I used a lot of energy to struggle, grimace, and adjust my posture. All that energy I used for those ‘negative’ actions, could have been redirected towards where I needed strength.

What he said made perfect sense to me and it really felt like a light went off in my head. All I could imagine was these energy waves being redirected from my pained expression to my shoulders, which really could have used the help of that extra energy!!

The more I thought about this lesson, the more I realized how applicable it was to other areas of my life. There are many things beyond our control; at the same time, many things are not. I’m now making a conscious effort to use the energy I might be tempted to expend on worry or other nonconstructive thoughts & behaviors and redirect it towards the action that I need to get done. I’ve already seen it make a difference. As soon as I start to focus on the struggle of something, I pause, reevaluate my thoughts, and shift that energy (mindset/focus) towards something constructive. It’s not a natural reaction for me yet, but I hope that with practice, it will be.