Hey guys! Burpee Bon here, checking in and feeling SORE from Sunday’s events! My calves are tight, my shoulders are sore when I raise them up over my head, my quads are only a bit tender and my abs – all around – are sore. (In case you missed the reason why I’m feeling sore but oh-so-happy, check out yesterday’s post!)
So after taking yesterday as a rest day and then heading home after a good day of work, I decided to pull some blogs up and do some casual reading/browsing before bed. I came across a few posts that made me think about what we’re pumping ourselves up with, what truth (or lie) we’re believing on a particular day and how much the messages we’re surrounded by are impacting our lives. If you will, allow me to elaborate.
Last year our small group (of Fat Tuesday fame) read through (most of) G.K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy.” One of the things that continues to speak to me is the use of maxims, or “an expression of a general truth or principle, a brief expression of a general truth, principle, or rule of conduct” (from dictionary.com).
In and of themselves, these maxims aren’t necessarily wrong but they also don’t always mean much. It was the first time I’d heard that word before and heard it described as such. We don’t always think things through, but instead simply subscribe to popular thoughts that are held around us.
This weekend while at the Can-Fit-Pro conference in Calgary, I heard several maxims spouted out one after the other by a fiery, fun motivational speaker. They were so obvious that I found myself looking around at those around me like, “Did you hear that?!” Phrases such as “Know your limitations; and then defy them;” “The body achieves what the mind believes;” and “No pain, no gain” tumbled out of her mouth in such a way that I wondered how weighty they were to receive. When we hear things over and over, do we get the benefit or does it lose it’s meaning?
We are bombarded by so many phrases every day, by so many images and by so many different influences it’s really a wonder that we can think for ourselves! I think there’s a certain danger in some mantras not only when they lose their meaning and power (kind of like the words “epic” and “awesome” – those are meant for truly incredible things, not a runny egg yolk for breakfast) but also if they’re negative mantras. Here are a few you might have heard or spoken to yourself without recognizing it:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I won’t be happy until I weigh ___ much/can see my abs/fit in those pants.”
“I can’t do it.”
There are comparison traps, unhealthy emphases and pressure from others and that we place on ourselves. Tamara just wrote a great article about this within the fitness industry and it’s definitely worth a read! Do you think that, as people concerned with living healthy and taking care of our bodies (as I assume most of my readership is), that we can elevate these thoughts and mantras to an unhealthy place?
On the flip side, when mantras are used in the right way they can be amazing tools for motivation and tracking goals! Janetha wrote a post on this yesterday and I loved the two mantras she highlighted from two women in her gym: “It’s just one day” and “I already know what that tastes like.” They’re different types of mantras than perhaps we’re used to hearing and I encourage you to check out her post to read between the lines of what those mantras really mean and how they could affect your life.
I discovered some other mantras that I really liked that aren’t the typical, run-of-the-mill fitness mantras through Alfonso. He’s a solid trainer, great blogger and fellow FitFluential Ambassador. Here’s a great post of his that you should check out if you’re in need of some solid motivation!
Personally, I do get inspired by mantras (I even made some myself!), but I think they can be very overused and lose their punch.
There are some that help and some that hinder, I think, if we let them guilt us into certain behaviors or if they hang over our heads. I’d love to hear what YOU think and if you use mantras for yourself!
What do you think about mantras? Are they harmful or helpful to you?
Live well & be well today, friends!