When I was swimming yesterday I noticed my feet like never before!
As a triathlete, I’ve swum many miles over a number of years but what was interesting about yesterday’s swim is that I noticed my feet in a way I have not noticed them before. I could feel the water moving around my feet in a pattern that I was not used to. I was surprised and thrilled.
As one of the early adopters to the sport of triathlon in the early 1980s, I was a huge fan, and student of, the long-distance training model. It was what we knew then, and believed to be the best training model. The long-term impact, as we know now, is wear and tear on the body, especially the connective tissues. My feet and lower legs have paid the price of that long-distance training and I have not been able to run any kind of distance in many years.
I decided in January of this year that one of my New Year’s resolutions would be to work on the condition of my feet. I reached for my copy of “Ready to Run“, by Dr. Kelly Starrett, on my bookshelf and began in earnest the study of my feet. I like very much what Kelly says in his book about the power we have to heal ourselves. And most importantly I wanted to believe what he said about being able to recondition the body to be able to run again.
What he was asking for wasn’t much, simply 10 minutes a day. I began on January 1 committing to 10 minutes a day each and every day. The first few days the exercises I decided to work on were very painful. Undeterred I kept up with the program and in about 10 days I noticed a little improvement in my flexibility and a lot less pain. I have continued with the 10 minutes a day program, although many days it expands to 20 minutes. Frankly, I am motivated to spend more time on the exercises because of the positive results I am getting. My feet are becoming more flexible! When I was swimming the other day the sensation I felt of the water moving around the outside of my foot was a result of the increased flexibility.
I am truly amazed that the impact 10 minutes a day has had on my feet. More importantly, the 10 minutes a day routine has had a huge impact on my attitude. I have decided that each month I will add a new 10-minute habit to my routines. At the end 12 months, I know I will have been able to tackle some things that have been on my mind for a long time.
In the fitness industry, people are always interested in making changes. Often times I see that they want huge changes very quickly but are unwilling or unable to change their habits. Usually, this is because they perceive that the new habit will take more time than they have available in their day. I believe everyone can find 10 minutes in their day.
When you set goals for yourself or help your clients set goals, try the 10-minute guideline. Get your client, or yourself, to commit to 10 minutes a day for a minimum of three weeks. Based on my experience, and what I’ve seen from other clients, I believe they will see some success within the three weeks and, therefore, they will be motivated to continue. If they don’t see success something isn’t quite right and I would recommend trying a different goal. When a person sees success, they become even more motivated to put in the time to solidify the habit. Once the new habit has become a routine, the results are guaranteed.
Besides noticing my feet when I swim, I have actually been able to do some running again. It has not been for a long distance and it usually consists of a running/walking combination. The exciting thing is that I can see that in a few more months I should be able to run again.
Perhaps most importantly I am super motivated about finding results in other areas where I apply the 10-minute rule.
When you’re helping your clients set new goals, try the 10-minute plan and watch what happens. I’m positive both you and your client will be thrilled.