A couple of Fridays ago I was travelling towards Rathowen wondering what I had gotten myself  into and having been up since 5.30am that morning, absolutely dying for my bed.

Upon arriving to the hotel around 10.30pm I met a few of the people who I was going to be doing a charity walk with and having agreed to “1 beer” I headed for my bed at 1am still wondering what I had gotten myself into. My roommate who I hadn’t met before was great craic. Until he went to sleep and started snoring. Very loudly.

Lying there my mind started racing through how busy I had been for the week and wondering how the hell I was going to get through the following day of 8 to 9 hours walking. That was my first fitness lesson/reminder of many over the weekend including

1.GETTING OVER OURSELVES: When I was lying in the hotel bed wondering if my roomie would ever stop snoring, I was being a total whinge bag in my head and offering up excuses for why I wouldn’t be able to get the walk done. Truth was I was more than able for the day ahead I had just gotten into my head about things. This is the state so many people get into about their workouts/workout regimes and as a result don’t get as much benefit as they could out of themselves. I’m all for proper rest and recovery but something a mentor said to me when I was beginning my PT career was along the lines of; “Very few people will willingly get out of their comfort zone and push themselves towards better results.” In other words getting out of our heads and seeing what we could actually achieve beyond our comfort zones is something most of us could benefit from.

2. THINGS REALLY START WITH THE FIRST STEP: Biggest cliché ever I know. But it’s true. When I started walking on Saturday am I was struggling to get my head around the fact that I would be covering around 40k that day. So I just did my best not to think about it too much and started breaking the journey into much more manageable sets in my head. Like the next 10 minutes/next 40 steps and so on. Ultimately we all knew the destination we were headed for and trusted the process of consistently putting one foot in front of another to get us there. If you’re starting a new fitness regime or are in one and feel like your progress is not happening quickly enough for you, remember that it is the consistent actions over time that will get you where you want to go. Not quick fixes or taking different directions, stopping then going back and trying to start again. Remember that every positive habit that you develop can be like a step which is taking you closer to your health and fitness goals and whether they are cutting out a bar of chocolate or increasing your water intake daily, they all add up.

3. GOOD WHY’S CAN OVER COME SO, SO MUCH: One lady who did the walk was in her early 60’s and at times didn’t seem too confident that she would make it the whole way. She did. She also mentioned at one stage that it would probably be quite emotional for her to get to the end. One of the charities the walk was for was a cancer one which looked after her sister very well during a recent Cancer battle. As a result Brenda was determined to get through the walk and play a real part in fundraising for the charity. She did and seeing her embrace her sister at the end it was easy to know why she did. We keep saying it but if you can create an exciting/motivating enough “why” then everything else will look after itself.

4. ENJOY THE JOURNEY: I’m not going to lie and be all like “walking the distance we did was a total breeze”. It was hard work. But I will say it was great fun from start to finish for me. Making new friends, laughing at each other (and ourselves), hitting targets, pushing outside comfort zones, moving forward and feeling a cool sense of achievement when the targets were hit. Exactly how all the successful fitness regimes are when done properly…

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Shane is a Coach (and Owner) at the Christchurch Fitness Centre. An experienced fitness professional who has helped numerous people lose weight, tone up and develop their confidence, Shane has a strong interest in continuous education and is doing /has completed mentorships/courses with (among others), the Irish Strength Institute, Body Development, Training for Warriors (level 2), Precision Nutrition, Steve Maxwell, Sigma Nutrition, Zuu, Darby Training Systems and Mike Mahler, TRX, and the Advanced Coaching Academy.

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