If you get this concept right, then you’ll never have to look any farther for motivation to exercise. Have I got your attention? Good, because learning to listen and act upon your own inner voice before and during exercise will return you a lifetime of great workouts. The push/pull concept applies to just about every aspect of life because it has to do with energy; and, in the final analysis, we are a form of energy, especially as we exercise.
What do I mean about push/pull? Simply put, it is the direction that energy is flowing and moving within you. In other words, are you swimming upstream or downstream? Are you “working” against something or “flowing” with something? Are you being drawn into an activity or being pushed away from an activity? These questions outline the essence of push/pull in exercise.
I’ll use the example of an aerobic exercise session. Let’s say you have decided to go for a bike-ride because it’s beautiful outside. You feel good, you have some free time, and the bike in the garage is calling you to jump on and leave your cares behind. Before you have even reached your bike you have already experienced the pull of exercise. That’s the energetic place where you want to live the majority of your life, and that’s how you want to design your entire exercise program, from the inside out. It’s time we stopped listening to all the so-called experts and started listening to our inner wisdom.
The other side to the equation might have occurred if it was raining and you were tired from yesterday’s exercise but your training program had you down for a bike ride - so you better go. Wrong! Even in this guilt-producing situation, don’t go. In fact, I would go so far as to say that any exercise that you are not drawn into would create more negative energy than positive energy (the start of an injury, etc.). Time to pack it in for the day or ask yourself what moves you at this moment.
In the first example you get on your bike and start a very slow spin, feeling great. You take it slow and wait for your body to warm up, all the time listening and checking, making sure all systems are a “go.” This applies to the moment-to-moment, second-to-second analysis; in fact, it’s all about being totally present in the “now.” Literally learning to become one with your exercise, not intellectualizing and acting-out exercise. If you stay on this side of the coin, never turning the session into a workout and forcing the movement through acts of will power, you will experience the “high” of exercise. You’ll reach the zone where time doesn’t exist and the session flies by.
By staying on the pull side of the fence, where you always feel great, you will become one within your body, mind, and movement. Now that you think I’ve taken the big plunge off the diving board never to return to sanity, think about what I just said for a moment. If all of us only ever exercised in a state of bliss, feeling fantastic, and being pulled into this healthy experience, what a spiritually uplifting activity exercise would be. That’s what I call the pull state. That’s where I feel all exercise should always occur. In fact, that’s the ideal state to live our entire lives in, although easier said than done.
Whenever you feel yourself starting to work at exercise, change what your doing, slow down, quit, start breathing through your nose, seek a different activity - whatever it takes to re-capture that feeling of oneness, of being in the now, of floating along, or swimming downstream. Find an activity and perform it in such a fashion that you are always enjoying the moment. If you can “do” that, you will love to “be” with yourself during exercise.
Exercise will no longer be hard to fit in to your lifestyle, as it will become an energetic magnet that draws you in.
So try exercising differently this week, start by choosing exactly what your body wants to do each day, not what you think it should do and get in touch with what form of activity your body desires. Next, as you engage in the activity, start off “guilt producingly slow”; let your body dictate how and when to pick it up, how and when to quit, etc. Just go with the flow, all the time listening and staying in a pull, feel-great state. Once you cannot remain in that state during your exercise session quit for the day. Don’t build any criteria into the exercise session, just go with the flow and let your body tell you how hard and how long for that day. If you master this concept, I guarantee that it will return to you a desire to exercise every day, and that will lead to very high levels of fitness all created from the energy within you.