You are wasting your potential…or are you?!? Far too often people are quick to judge who someone should be and the standard they should hold themselves to. While for many this comes from a heartfelt space, I hate to break it to you, but this expectation you force upon others is just as foul as incessant ask-holes and those who lack any level of understanding of the relationships of social discourse and context. Is Melissa about to rant? Nope not today, not here anyway LOL 😉
What if I told you that these people might actually be right in that you are wasting your potential, but worst of all not based on the outsiders’ frame of reference for you, but in terms of your very own goals?
The 6th Sense – A True Story!
Okay, so I am not actually referring to THAT 6th Sense as being a true story. For many of you reading this, you may have grown up with the knowledge that humans have 5 senses that we use to learn, take in, and interpret our world from; sight (vision), hearing (auditory/audition), touch (tactile/tactician), taste (gustation/gustatory), smell (olfactory), but in fact, we have 9 (but probably more); add on pain (nociception), temperature (thermoception), body awareness (proprioception), and balance (equilibrioception/vestibular) (1).
Yes, we get more and more complex and interesting as the scienc-ers (because why not make up new words) do more of their science!
So what the heck does this have to do with my blog and your goals in life? And by life, I literally mean this in the context of life – fitness. Knowing that we have a greater capacity to ‘control’ and involve ourselves, and thus EVOLVE ourselves, by other sensory interpretation variables means that we get to tap into things that can take us to next level goals or can save our lives where other lesser beings might falter.
“Knowledge Without Action Is Madness” – Time For SELF-Improvement
I appreciate a good quote and that one is simply spot on, for this reason, I would like to gift you with some ways to make SENSE (see what I did there) of your new-found knowledge in terms of your life (fitness and health) goals:
- Sight- If it is a sunny day and you are outdoors, wear sunglasses, especially if you want to KEEP your sight. Be sure that where you workout is bright enough to see your surroundings. Challenge yourself with a speed bag, double end bag or with a reaction ball.
- Hearing- This can go either way depending on you. For some, it would fare you well to spend some time unplugged and in nature listening to your surroundings, listening to how you are breathing and connecting with the ground. Those last two points can actually tell you a lot about potential mechanically, physiological or technical deficiencies. For others, I recommend getting a good bluetooth headset and using your favourite tunes to motivate you to push through your workout to new levels.
- Touch- Whether it is your hands or your feet, I truly feel that going bare or close to it is the best way to go. My rationale and reasons both personally, with others and with my research extends beyond this , but for many activities, train tactilely with things like Liquid Grip and Piga. (FYI, I don’t make money of those recommendations, at least at this point ;-D but I have invested in one and swear by the other.)
- Taste- This one is fairly straightforward in that you should taste some fuel before and after training for optimal performance and recovery. While this will vary from person to person and timelines of goals, it is a pretty generalized safe recommendation to abide by for most. While I don’t agree with all aspects of what is in the recommendations, my friend Joey put together some great generalized info on the basics you can check out here.
- Smell- Be sure that you have showered in the past day or so and your clothes don’t emit stenches as it can affect others around you. Also, be sure to avoid strong artificial perfumes as those are often irritating to others and if not now, eventually they may become an irritant to you. Another point here is to avoid exercising in places with poor ventilation which can often be sensed by an irregular smell.
- Pain- While there are certain types of pain that you don’t want to ignore, for many you need to learn to lean into it a little if you want to grow as a person in fitness and in life. For the sake of semantics, let’s take it down a notch and simply refer to the leaning-into-it pain as discomfort. You are ‘stronger’ than you believe so give yourself the opportunity to actually see and feel that.
- Temperature- This can and will depend on your personal preference but being sure that you are dressed for the weather or if indoors, prepared with the right layering for places that may be too hot or too cold, and be sure to have a water bottle filled with water.
- Body Awareness- A great example of this is the simple Bird Dog/ Quadruped Extension exercise. So often it may seem that one is doing this correctly but once you put a long tray, a cup of water, or anything that would require stability on your back, that awareness is easily highlighted as a lack thereof. If you are extending your arm and leg and the item topples, is not maintaining its position on your back, your body awareness, in this context that may translate to other areas, could use some attention. Reactive neuromuscular training is a great tool here too.
- Balance- There are similarities between proprioception and balance but they are not one in of the same. Incorporate some exercise/activities while simply standing on one leg like Tree Pose in yoga or weight shifting like simply standing on one leg for a count of 5-10 then switching to the other (2). Tai chi is great for this as well as reactive neuromuscular training activities or surfing or SUPing, or doing the crane kick ala Mr. Myagi style in Karate Kid!
Now You Must Do
Wasted potential is only unfortunate if it is true wasted potential of self. If you have a goal and really, I mean REALLY, want to achieve it, expect more of yourself and tap into more of your self with some of the tips listed above. If you are still having trouble, hit me up on here!
- Augustine, G. J., Fitzpatrick, D., Hall, W. C., LaMantia, A., & White, L. E. (2012). Neuroscience(5th ed.) (D. Purves, Ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc.
- Seada, Y., Elsayed, E., & Talat, W. (2013). Impact of Reactive Neuromuscular Training on Falling in Parkinsons Disease. Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy – An International Journal,7(2), 70. doi:10.5958/j.0973-5674.7.2.015