When the weather starts to cool down, it's natural to slow down as well and begin to go internal and crave comfort and warm foods. After my various experiences speaking with my colleague and neuroscientist Kamila Szulc on the benefits of exercise as well as consciously increasing the amount of exercise in my life, I encourage you to still get outside and take advantage of the cooler weather (and the lovely fall colors) to still move your body.
Speaking of movement, I take a weekly spinning class at my gym that is taught by a former female football player. She is small, tough and hilarious and I love her class because she is so awesome, but spinning.....not so much.
It's actually quite a painful class to move through because at times it gets so tough, but she inspires me to "haul A$$".
At the end of class, she does an all out sprint, where you have to set a distance goal in your mind and then just GO FOR IT! There are these little red monitors attached to each bike that tell you your rate.
You set your first goal, which is stretching it a bit and usually I can meet that goal. Then in the second round she encourages you to beat that by .10 miles.
The last few weeks, I was meeting my initial goal, but somehow falling short of the second one because in my mind, I was already pushing the envelope with the first goal. And this had been happening for a few weeks and I was frustrated that I couldn't beat it.
I also realized during the first round, that I had set what I thought was too high for me on the first round and was just finishing it in time---but what I was also doing was staring at the number slowly creep up. It reminded me of that saying, "A watched pot never boils".
So I decided to do an experiment for the second round. I put a towel over the monitor and decided to just go by feel. The feel of my feet on the pedals and the force on my legs.
When I finished the second round this time, I had not only beat my previous distance by .10 miles, I had far surpassed it.
I realized that my vision of what was possible for me and my mental limitations that I put on my body were actually keeping my performance from progressing!
I started to think about what other ways my eyes and my expectations of myself could subtly be prevented because of preconceived notions I had about my ability.
In brain gym we postulate that 7% of vision is actual acuity (the ability to focus and point the eyes) the remaining 93% of vision is mental vision, or what we expect to see based on our prior experience.
You don't really "see" a lot of what you see.
Your eyes and brain are constantly filling in gaps in your vision based on information from your life.
If you don't believe that you have blind spots in your vision, check out this cool blind spot vision test!
In what ways can you challenge yourself to try something without your vision?
By this I don't mean driving or doing things with your eyes closed, but rather, widening your focus and putting more attention on what you feel and sense in your body in the moment?
In what ways can you feel your way into a new way of being, rather than letting what your eyes have seen dictate where you can go?
Think about it and share your experiences in the comments section below!