DeAnna Dimmitt Mind Body Fitness


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What Are You Doing?

Consider this: In any group of people, the person who dictates the response of others exerts the most influence and therefore becomes the leader.

Stick that in the back of your pocket for a second.

During my Saturday morning Dynamic Body Sculpt class at Snap Fitness ABQ Tramway, there was an interesting exchange between myself and one of my students.  We were doing an exercise called Surrenders.  It’s quite a challenging move as it requires holding the weights overhead with arms that are already fatigued whilst kneeling down and standing back up about 10 times.  I mean really, what’s not to love about that?  Anyway, Surrenders are a killer move and it takes a certain mindset to get through them.  It’s not uncommon to see people become paralyzed with tension and stop altogether.

I said to my class, “The reason these are called Surrenders is not because you give up. It’s because you don’t resist.  Relax, breathe, and complete the task at hand.  Think about that, if you can’t stay calm in here, how will you ever stay calm out there? And I’m not even the hard part of your life, I’m just a nice person who’s trying to help you.”

At this point one of my regular students piped up and said, half to me and half to everyone, “Don’t be fooled by that “nice person”, there’s a fierce warrior in there.” And the rest of the class immediately voiced their agreement.  Admittedly, I got a little warm fuzzy from that but I’m not repeating the story to complement myself.  I’m repeating the story because it takes one to know one.  I can only assume that if someone recognizes the warrior in me, it is because the warrior in them has sat up to take notice.

Segue 

Yesterday, there was a stabbing at St. Jude Thaddeus church here in Albuquerque. Rather, there were several stabbings and four people were sent to the hospital.  The aggressor, 24 year old Lawrence Capener is in police custody.

Right now, before you have a reaction to this, or anything else that you hear on the news, I want you to go back and re-read the first sentence.  Yes, the one I said to stick in the back of your pocket.

On what will you base your response? Will you take your cues from the evening news? Will you stand with the sheep and allow yourself to be provoked into an outrage and to feel afraid? Surely you’ll want someone or something to blame?

Before you thump your chest and say “Hellz to the yeah!”, answer me this:  Will you become paralyzed with tension and render yourself impotent?

Rhetorical as this may sound, the human condition only mirrors the human condition.  What you feel, you spread like a contagion, be it good or bad.

So while it may seem righteous to feel outraged and afraid and to look for somewhere to place blame, I ask you to consider what motivates someone to commit a crime like a public stabbing, shooting, or bombing? Why in the world would anyone do something like that unless they themselves were outraged and afraid and looking for someone to blame?

The Law Of Attraction says like attracts like.  I don’t need to illustrate the truth of this statement.

Maybe it’s time to question if what’s wrong out there is not actually what’s wrong in here.

It takes a certain mindset to make it through the Surrenders and it takes the same mindset to wake up and see what you are doing.

What are you doing?

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Relax. Breathe. DO IT!

I want to tell you guys a little story in a largely uncensored way. So, for those of you that don’t know me, or have overly delicate sensibilities, consider yourself warned.

Last night I was having a conversation with a personal trainer friend of mine who was expressing the frustration he feels when people placate his message. I understood completely what he was saying and have experienced the same thing many times myself. What I’m talking about is when someone comes to us for help but then won’t help themselves. They tell us things like “I can’t drink water because it doesn’t taste like soda. I won’t eat vegetables because they don’t taste like Mac N Cheese. I won’t dig deep for the workout because I don’t like to be sweaty and out of breath.” Basically, it is impossible to help someone who is not willing to change their behavior.

I understood him very well, not just from a personal trainer point of view, but also because I, just like everyone else, have stumbling blocks and challenges and issues that persist because I just don’t feel like putting in the effort to change them and/or because I see them as bigger and badder than they really are.

This story has a few parts, by the way.

This morning, during a particularly challenging round of Dynamic Body Sculpt, I could see people starting to run out of gas so, to fire up what was left of their motivation, I said in my most fiery voice, “Successful people do what other people will not do. So relax and breathe and DO IT!”

After class, I was standing outside the gym talking with one of my students. She’s been with me a long time and we’ve developed a good friendship. She was telling me about about how she’s going to spend the afternoon visiting her friend who is barely 36 years old and in the hospital dying of cancer. As she started to relay the various horrors of the situation (and, trust me, there are many), I was taken back to when I woke up this morning. I woke up feeling heavy, thinking that the (comparatively minor) troubles and obstacles in my own life were very big and very complicated and probably the center of the whole entire universe and, you know, boo-hoo and stuff.

Every now and then, I believe that the universe taps me on the shoulder (or just straight up kicks me in the ass) and tells me something important. Often times, after toning it down a little, I share these things here on my blog.

So, my friend is telling me this story when I feel a little tap on my shoulder and the universe hands me a proverbial telegram that says, “quit your fucking whining and get your shit together.”

Whoa there, Nellie, that’s a little harsh, don’t you think?

Well guys, I never said this was diplomatic. And while I would never suggest that anyone engage in negative self talk, I am suggesting in the plainest way I know how that if you are lucky enough to be both, A. alive and, B. not suffering with a terminal illness, that you get serious about rooting out and identifying any and everything that is in your way. If something is preventing you from reaching your full potential, it’s gotta go. Shine a light on it, give it a name, take it apart, tear it down.

Start today.

Relax.

Breathe.

DO IT!


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Be The Screen Door

My classes have a way of, well, testing people.

“Hey guys, this ain’t a funeral. It’s ok to cheer up.”

It’s not like a test that you have to study for, with a bunch of different questions covering a broad range of topics.  There is actually only one question: if you can’t stay calm in here, how will you stay calm out there?

“You kids are looking awfully serious…”

What is this mind body mumbo jumbo anyway? Isn’t it like supervised nap time?

Emphatically, no, it is not.

You will not find a time during any of my classes when your mind is free to dwell on something that upset you yesterday or to worry about what might happen tomorrow.  We work in the now, the right now, the only time that there is.

Stay with me…

Being present in the moment creates a sense of flow and ease.  The path of least resistance is not necessarily the easiest path, on the flattest ground, with the fewest obstacles, it’s the one we travel without trying to grab on to every single thing that enters our consciousness.

Somewhere along the line we’ve mistaken working out for stressing out. Consider this: the way you do one thing is the way you do everything.  Do you spend your days stressing out about time, money, your appearance, your social status? Is your #1 concern: Am I good enough? And your #2 concern: how will I get the things that will make me good enough?  Let me ask you this: how will you know when you’ve arrived at good enough? Will your biceps be as big as your head? Will you drive a car that can go 3x the legal speed limit? How much energy is allocated to the stress and worry at the expense of the actual doing?  Is the quality of the work diminished if you go about it calmly?

With our highly competitive and stress inducing culture, it’s not the least bit surprising that we’ve turned exercise into a competitive and stressful activity.  No wonder so many people don’t enjoy it; they’re stressed out at home, they’re stressed out at work and the last thing they want to be is stressed out at the gym.

But is it really the gym that creates the stress?

I’ll be the first to admit that I teach the hardest yoga class I’ve ever been to, and Dynamic Body Sculpt – oh baby, we’re not messin’ around! But here’s the thing, I will not let you sink into that shroud of anxiety that most people wear like an iron mask.  I can see it coming on, the way too serious expressions, the shoulders creeping up by the ears, the lack of breathing.  As the level of difficulty increases, the body starts to experience stress.  The heart rate increases, lactic acid accumulates in the muscles creating the feeling of “burn”, the mind is scrambling to coordinate the limbs and maintain balance.  Suddenly we experience a feeling of turbulence and our knee jerk reaction is to hold on, to grab on to something, thinking that the only way to make it through, to survive, is to let our fight or flight reflexes take over and go into stress out mode.

Guess what happens in stress out mode? The workout is harder. You accomplish less and leave the gym with more anxiety than when you arrived.

If you’re trying to take your workout to the next level and are frustrated by a lack of progress, I have three words for you: let it go.  When the stress comes, and it will, don’t grab on to it, let it go.  Breathe through the moment.  Fall out of a pose? That’s alright, don’t get mad. Take inventory of where the tension is accumulating, where the flow of chi is being blocked, and relax. Focus and breathe and try again.  When the waves of tension start to rise up, be the screen door and let them pass through you without the need to hold on. Your mind and body will thank you. 🙂