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Speech of the Week: Mowing the lawn while your house is on fire

If we are honest, we know there are lots of things that could be working better in our bodies, minds, and lives in general. We know we have a lot to work on.

You can hear this come out of anyone’s mouth if you talk to them for more than thirty seconds,

“I really need to start…”

"I really have to..”

“I should be lifting…”

“I really need to work on…

” You get the idea. 

Our modern society is awash with hacks, tips, tricks, gimmicks, and self help literature.

“Just do these three things two minutes a day, and your life will be magically fixed.”

We love a good hack, because, truth be told, we don’t really want to put that much effort into fixing things. Or, we are looking for instant gratification. I don’t want to have to wait months on end to see some results, I want it now.

So, with all these tips, tricks, and hacks, why are we still such a mess? 

The thing that trips us up so much of the time is misaligned priorities. All too often, we get fixated on secondary or even tertiary details or issues to the neglect of much bigger problems. It is the fitness and nutritional equivalent of mowing the lawn while your house is on fire.

You might think that you must be able to bench press 200lbs. However, if your core is all wibbly wobbly when you try to stand straight up, focusing on loading your bench press should not be the first priority. You might spend hours and hours researching and picking out the best of the best branch chain amino acids with which to supplement, all the while eating nutritionally thin super processed foods, and a lot of them. BCAAs are great, but they won’t help you much if the rest of your house is still on fire. 

C.S. Lewis once said very aptly “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in. Put second things first, and we lose both first and second things.” If you try to bench your 200lbs without first addressing core stability, you will hurt yourself and not be able to lift anything. You’ll lose both first and second things. The key to making the kind of progress we desire to make, and start fixing, bit by bit, those things that can be working better in our life is to prioritize appropriately. 

When a new client starts training with me, I take them through what I like to call a go-slow-to-go-fast period. A period of 3-6 weeks where we deal with foundational movements, form, mobility and stability, and corrective exercises that allow us to build on a very firm foundation. Once we have this foundation, we look at appropriate goals, and identify foundational elements that need to be addressed to progress toward the goal. 

Similarly, when addressing lifestyle habits such as nutrition, we need to first build foundational habits such as mindfulness and define our some red-light and green-light foods before we ever dive into supplementation. If you’d like to know more about these kinds of habits, reach out to us about nutrition and lifestyle habit coaching!

Let’s forget the hacks and gimmicks and put first things first: put out the house fire, then we can focus on the yardwork. 

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