Have you ever used this expression?
Have you ever been asked to do this by someone else?
Have you ever considered and really reflected on what this statement means to you and how it may differ for somebody else?
I love words.
I love the power they have. The beauty they can create. The freedom and joy they can give us when written, spoken or heard. Perhaps I have too many words for some people. I suppose those people won't read this which therefore makes this the perfect place for me to share this weeks words.
Exercise, riding in our Spinning® classes or participating in our daily activities in life can all push our boundaries at some point, testing our limitations. We are constantly told that in order to grow and develop we need to break down the walls of comfort and create new pathways.
May we all love and live by this philosophy.
This is what often gives me the strength when the 'poop hits the fan'. I think at least at the end of it all I will be wiser and tougher. That should surely make the current suffering and discomfort seem more worthwhile.
This is essentially what we do every time we ride and teach.
As instructors we are forever cajoling and encouraging our riders to push a little harder and 'dig a little deeper....'
Which brings me to my first question:
What does 'dig a little deeper' mean to you?
Is it physical or is it mental? Or both?
Maybe it's metaphorical?
In all my years of teaching, training and racing I had never really considered this particular statement in great detail. However due to a very difficult run I had recently it has been at the forefront of my mind.
I've just spent the last two weeks in Bali - beautiful, sunny and deliciously warm weather. Unfortunately not so delicious when you take a gal from a cold winter and drop her into the humid heat and expect her to run (without out dropping).
Needless to say running was tough in Bali but every other morning I was committed to sucking it up and just doing what I could - which most days was not so much.
I had a couple of good days but most were really hard. High high rate at a slow pace with a perceived exertion ridiculously high even though at times I was walking. You know it's a bad day when you're heart rate is at 85% with a stroll!
Anyway one particular morning that was perhaps a little too late and the sun and humidity was giving me a harder time than usual - I was struggling. I was really struggling. I was 5km from my hotel, I'd finished my water and there was little shade around. My salvation was that I was running along the beach path. There was the ocean to at least give the impression of coolness but it was not enough to save me.
It was during this time that I was thinking to myself -
"C'mon Tash - you can do this, just a little further - Dig deep!!!....Fight the demons in your head that say stop.
Quieten the voices that are telling you you're weak.
Do not pay attention to the physical discomfort that you feel and keep moving forward!"
Even with all my self pep up there were still times I needed to stop and walk because it simply felt too hard. I needed a time out, both physically and mentally to regroup, recenter and repair.
Sometimes that is all we need and I say that is okay. It is not giving up - it is a pause.
When you give yourself the opportunity to pause and really decide who you are going to listen to. Forcing yourself to silence all the negativity and search for the tiniest glimmer of belief in yourself that you can push through.
That to me is digging deep.
It is when you want to cry from the pain, the fatigue, when all you want to do is stop and you feel like throwing your hands in the air and say -
No more, I'm done!!! - But you don't because you pause and consider the implications of giving up.
You search every ounce of your being for that one little soldier still standing. The one warrior who remains proud and armed even though injured and tired he will always fight for you. If you believe, then he exists.
Digging deep is looking for that fighting warrior spirit within you and knowing no matter what you are faced, or how hard you are pushed or how bad it feels -
You can do it...
You will do it...
You want to do it!
You may need to dust yourself off. You may need to rest. You may not do it that day or session but when you are ready and went you find your warrior spirit. You dig deep and you succeed.
Words for each of us have different significance. For some they are just noise, for others they are poetry and music that touch our soul to the very core when expressed with love and good intention.
In your classes how do you use your words?
Do you give them the respect and power they deserve?
Do your words echo positively in the minds and souls of your participants long after your class has finished?
We are more than just fitness instructors - we are creators of change through exercise and through our delivery of music and words.
So rather than the 'dig deep' we may say to our students while riding, I want to say 'dig deep' also to you with your delivery.
Make every word and sentence you say in your class be mindful and purposeful. Push yourself to break out of your comfort zone in your own class delivery. Just as you may be pushing them to break down barriers and walls with their fitness, you are in turn respecting them enough to force yourself to do the same with your classes.
Then the benefit is twofold. You will grow and as instructor and you will inspire as a teacher.
Now that's DEEP! :)
Until next week - be happy and have fun kids!