Whenever you embark on a new journey, whatever that journey entails, at some point you will lose your way, possibly by going too quick, too slow, but whatever the speed or the reason, you will hit a block, a hurdle, or more accurately, you will hit the wall... and believe it or not, this is great news !
What always amazes me is peoples reaction on hitting 'the wall', it's perceived as being the most infuriating aspect of attaining the something new, and it needn't be viewed like that...
A blog all about pointing out that people stumble then give up isn't entirely constructive, and a sound bite really isn't going to cut it, so, the definitive guide to 'the wall' and how to deal with it.
Imagine that you're about to drive from Portrush to Newry, this is a long journey and with long journeys comes some sort of ritual...
You pop to the loo then pack some sweets, a couple of bottles of water, you check the map and make a mental note of the traffic, where it will flow freely and where it l will come to a total stop, then creep onwards at a frustrating pace, by anticipating these jams, you factor in the additional time that your journey will take, and then you set off.
At first progress is good, then you hit the motorway and start flying along with the wind in your hair, all is great until the inevitable traffic jam...
Which option would you go with at this stage?
a. Think that all is lost, you've wasted your time and you may as well give up.
b. View it as an inevitable aspect of the journey, crank up the music volume and push on.
Of course, most people would go with option 'b' because you knew this jam was likely and ultimately, regardless how much time it adds to your journey, you're still making progress in the right direction
Now.. let's transpose this car journey to your fitness journey, because this is a healthy living blog, not a blog sponsored by the RAC etc
When people embark on their fitness journeys, they typically look at the start and end point only i.e.,
today I'm less fit than I want to be
next month I want to be a superhero!
While that approach is commendable, it's missing the vital middle bit, without factoring the plateaux, walls, hurdles and challenges to progression, you're missing a trick, perhaps you think the wall wont apply to you?
If you do think that, then you're not really looking to achieve anything significant, as the wall is there as a squared on challenge to those who want to succeed in something pretty big as far you're concerned..
It's a test, a test of resolve, will and your creativity in overcoming it, much as the traffic jam is a test of patience, finding a decent radio station, holding your bladder and testing your resolve to not eating all the travel sweets!
When embarking on a fitness journey, your personal wall... is a dot on the horizon, seemingly miles away.........
As you progress within your fitness journey, that dot becomes a shape, it takes form and dependant on your goal and self belief, it forms a wall and one which will go from innocuous to to looking really menacing, then suddenly, it's here.
While still building momentum in your cause, and as you near the wall, you MUST have faith in yourself, this ensures your self belief and with that you're self belief is indestructible and it's self belief which ultimately gets you through...
Every time you say 'Can't' you put a chink in your otherwise indestructible armour, every negative thought, every 'impossible', every time you accept a put down from a jealous colleague, every opportunity for self improvement that you pass off, every time that you have the thought that only other people can achieve it, they all damage your armour of self belief, eventually damaging what lies beneath your armour.... you !
Instead, have faith, have courage, test yourself, hurtle headlong and ever faster towards that wall. As you achieve more, as you tell that colleague or 'friend' to go duck themselves, as you say 'I can' more and more and actually believe it...you become stronger than any wall!
The wall looms, it's 50 foot tall and a mile wide, now is the ultimate test, every fibre of your determination and being is testing the value of that thing which is on the other side of that wall, testing whether all the positives are worth the ensuing tiny bit of pain (in comparison), you continue heading toward it.
Do you flinch at the last moment and stem your progress through fear?, or do you dig in, adopt a steely look and yell at the wall that it had best get out of the way, because you're getting to the other side?
You're not slowing down, you are not blinking or hesitating, you're emboldened and you are going to achieve.. and guess what, it's that unwavering self belief which ensures YOU DO!
The wall only appears if you're heading in the right direction and with determination, it's like a ring of steel around your goals and its the thing which keeps you confined to your old limits..
The wall is proof positive of your progress, don't fear it, do celebrate it, because it means you've reached your first step and when you step up, you are forever elevated in self belief.
Those people that do everything with ease and state that they never hit a wall or have a blasé attitude to it, they are the weak ones, they have never pushed and they have never experienced the true rush of ascending in self belief through serious personal challenge.
So... when embarking on a journey in fitness or self discovery or a career course or job interview or any other type of journey, plan into your strategy, the wall, because it's there, but only if you're serious, and if you're not serious then what a waste, as the wall is a sight to behold and the bigger and more mean, the better it is...
Northern Ireland 1onOne Personal Trainer
Belfast Life Coach