Week 8

Once again I find myself pondering motivation. This week has been a struggle for a lot of reasons, none of which have to do with kettlebells. I found myself getting great news tinged with disappointment and complication and my work life is becoming a relentless grind as I pick up some slack for others while juggling my own demands. All the while the weariness of my body and spirit make lifting the kettlebell for that first swing in the morning feel like a more mammoth task than it should.

This week I was granted Permanent Residency for Australia something that has been in the works for over a year and something that I have been nervously worrying about over that entire time. My nerves were exacerbated by having some of my children, who live on the other side of the World, included. So the PR was granted along with the bombshell that I need the kids to visit Australia within the next 2 months to validate theirs. Failure to do this mean that their applications were in vain. I now need to focus my energy and resources to make this happen while not disturbing their studies.

On top of this my day job has become busier than I can remember with demands coming from every conceivable angle. At the same time I’ve taken on the burden of work from a colleague, a friend, who helped me in a dark time. They are dealing with their own struggle and I owe it to them to shoulder their load, to repay the debt, but some days it pushes me through the floor, like gravity squared.

And through this I keep swinging that kettlebell. Keep building the routine. Keep developing the discipline. And when I ask myself why I keep going I know the answer is “because I can”. To recycle a Marcus Aurelius quote – “ If it’s endurable, endure it” knowing that at the other end I’ll be stronger, not just for me but for everyone around me.

Week 7

A lifetime of poor flexibility and a severe allergy to stretching has left me a little like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. Add to that an issue I’ve had since I was younger; APT, Anterior Pelvic Tilt. That is a tightening of the hip flexors which results in that funny stance where your belly and but stick out at the same time.

Swinging kettlebells involves a lot of hip action and that hip action has seen my hip flexor tighten even more, especially on the left. So now I’m having to learn how to foam roll (which I hate) and try to do some light yoga (which I don’t hate) so that my challenge doesn’t creak to an early finish.

I have so much admiration for the yoga obsessed, leisure wear clad ladies who commit to that physical contortion many times a week. I salute you.

Week 6

Motivation is a funny thing sometimes it comes from the inside or sometimes from without. I am extremely lucky to have family and friends who ask about my challenge and encourage me to keep pushing on. I have a methodical mind and one that loses to count. My dad was a Maths teacher, my first job was in a Bank, I now dissect corporate accounts for a living. When the going gets tough I just keep counting, I was the same when I ran a marathon and a long 20 mile obstacle race. One step, one swing, one day at a time. I love understanding motivation and how people push on. I love hearing people’s stories. I hope you like mine.

Week 5 & Month 1

The early part of any challenge is always hard. They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Making the decision, committing to it, overcoming the self doubt, the self sabotage, procrastination. I should know. I’ve put myself through so many. I‘ve been pretty adept at starting new things. I’m an experience magpie. I love the sensation of the unknown, the adventure of the unseen. And so I started.

There wasn’t really a plan. There was the outline of an intention. I really wanted to see where this would take me. And now I’m a month in, the swings are counting up steadily. My biggest fears were boredom and not nailing the habit, the routine. My biggest victory so far is just that. A daily habit that is good for me, that I’ve stopped thinking about, that I just do.

The tangible benefits have started to show too. A lower maximum heart rate. 2.5kg lost. No real injuries. Blisters and twinges but nothing more.

Now I have to keep pushing on. Tweaking my habit, reducing the rest, pulling bigger sets but not pushing too far too fast. I like to rush and get frustrated when I don’t hit my end goals quickly. So many New Year’s Resolutions lay broken behind me. My Duolingo app has Spanish, French and Italian all half finished. The guitar that I started to learn on is gathering dust in the corner. The great novel I was going to write… Ok that doesn’t exist. This time, this goal is different. The goal is to finish. To complete 250 days of 400 kettlebell swings. I can’t rush, I just need to grind it out. And if there is one thing I am good at is relentlessly grinding out a task. This time I will finish.