September newsletter, 9/17: moving forward

When I finally became consistent with my handstands, I practiced them daily. Unvaried, at the beginning of the workout, the way I was taught. Maintaining a steadfast commitment to consistency allowed me to keep my handstand; however, I didn’t improve. I remained stagnant, and my hesitancy to work on variations that were challenging for me didn’t exactly move me forward in a meaningful way.

It’s easy to become complacent. When something works, why change it? However, complacency doesn’t make us better. It makes us stale, neither flourishing nor withering. Sometimes, it’s good to stay put for a while. If you are comfortable with one area of your life, it can allow you focus and expend energy in other areas. Eventually, however, boredom will set in. Or overuse injuries. Or a general apathy for the thing that used to excite you. Apathy feels different than boredom and can seep into different aspects of your well-being, silently poisoning your optimism.

I am working on changing a few things. It started with my studio, which I have now been at for four years. I got rid of things, re-arranged a few things, and am actively looking to expand by adding another trainer. The first two years after I opened were filled with a little bit of anxiety, a lot of work, and finding a rhythm. Eventually, I became comfortable. Over the past six months, the sense of unease settled in, letting me know it’s time to shake things up and grow in some way. Part of this means overhauling my website and doing that annoying thing where I make the business website just about the business and start another website dedicated to my teachings/writings/products. It will take a while to get all of that sorted out, but the momentum is beginning to build. While change always provokes uncertainty, it’s also exciting to see where I can go from here. 

As for handstands, I mentioned a while ago I hired a coach who did what all good coaches do- he programmed them in twice a week instead of daily and is making me work on variations that are challenging for me. My wrists aren’t sore any more and I am getting stronger. If you feel stuck and unsure how to move forward, either in your workout or your life, talking with a friend or mentor to get an outsider’s perspective can be invaluable. So can writing about it. Tim Ferriss gave a great TED talk on fear setting.* Basically, if you want to do something but anxiety is holding you back, map out your fears- what is the worst thing that could happen? And if you have any control over the causes of that worst thing, what can you do to implement tools to minimize the risk. Embrace when life is easy, but remember that in order to move forward, eventually you have to get out of your comfort zone.

Yours in health and wellness,

My latest course on the shoulders is available for purchase on Vimeo. Check it out here: 
*The TED talk can be found here

Upcoming events:
I will be back in LA at teaching 360 FitHaus Saturday, October 14 from 12-4:30. We are covering the spine. If you are interested in joining us, registration can be found here: 

I am really excited to be hosting Jules Mitchell at Be Well Personal Training Saturday, December 2. For more information or to register, visit the link.
(Early bird pricing ends November 10). 

Suggested reading:
“How Emotions are Made: The New Science of the Mind and Brain,” by Lisa Feldman Barrett. She has strong opinions that are backed by science. Interesting view on things.
“The Stranger in the Woods,” by Michael Finkel is a fascinating look at the North Pond Hermit, a man that lived in the woods of north Maine for 27 years. If you like journalistic books in the vane of Jon Krakauer, this is a worthwhile read.

Two good pieces on back pain came out this month. The first is a discussion with Cathryn Ramin, whose book “Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery,” is out now. The link to the article can be found here.

The second is a short read by a writer for The New York Times who quieted his back pain down with medically supervised meditation. Check it out here.

Ryan Holiday wrote an interesting piece about being creative and selling. This is a struggle for me, and I think most of us that create would rather not deal with actually making money- except living is important, too. Here, he tries to reconcile the resistance creatives have against the s word.