11 12 2007

copy-of-dscn3169.jpgOkay, so after all that talk about making more out of our workouts than just physical exercise, it’s my turn:)

Over the course of the year, mostly during the hikes, there was a lot of conversation about life, where we were each at and the general firing back and forth of challenges or obstacles we were going thru, just bouncing our reflections off a sounding board. As we continued, the hikes really began to take the shape of a metaphor for the challenges we would face or even the solution to them. It became a very natural association. An association which carried over, without any particular intention, into our quest to “300”. Only this time it evolved to the next step. It was the specific identification of a quality we wanted a greater grasp on and using the workouts to develop it. And I’ll be honest, although we both adhered to this and saw this as the generating force behind what we were doing, Chris was the first to actually do it (and the only one for the duration of our 6 months to “300”). Chris had identified his reason for striving towards our end goal…….it was Discipline. Here are a couple of his posts where he discusses this: Alone, Back to Circuts.

I had never actually identified anything for myself. But as we were nearing the final “300” test, I began really wanting to dig deep, to find the quality that I need to develop at this time (and to make it the focus of whatever the next “round” was going to be). So I started thinking about it and came to a conclusion.

A fews years ago, I’d really come to recognize that I have two distinct sides to me. One is this huge appetite for life and learning, with many interests and things I want to do. The other is this part of me that yearns to really zero in on just one thing, focus precisely and get reeeaaally good at it. As it happened, for a good 10 yrs (my teens and early adult life), the “do it all” side was the strongest force. Now this is not to say I was scattered, stressed and all over the place. Everything I did, I put a great deal of focus, time, effort and energy into it all and loved doing it. I just did alot of it. Which limited to what lengths I could become proficient in any given activity. I especially felt this with regards to my martial arts practice. Yet it didn’t change anything and I still did everything under the sun. I eventually came to realize that I had this unconscious association that quantity = living each day to the fullest (even though it was quality that I was trying to live by).

So the last few years have been about actively slowing down, prioritizing and spending more time within the activity I’ve chosen (and this isn’t just personal interests, but expands to family and work as well). In the last few months, qualities like simplicity, contentment, detachment have been reverberating strongly within me. Yet in trying to find the “quality” to work on, those just didn’t seem to quite fit the bill. Then it hit me: Excellence. It is time to take that final step, to allow that other side of me to come forward and have it’s turn (along with all the challenges and learning, but ultimately deeper levels of understanding that I will gain from being focused at such a level).

For the next year (which started Dec 01/07) I will strive for Excellence in Kettlebell Lifting (which means the triathlon I wanted to do in the spring is out…..as is the getting started in parkour……not to mention……oh never mind…..you get the point:0). And I’m in no rush to get to a certain level by the end of this one year period. I’m just putting in my time, being present with each day, each moment and continuing to get to know the Bell much better, ……and me along with it:)





9 responses

15 12 2007

I love hearing about your process. It’s really helped me so much in trying to figure out what I want to focus on. I’ve decided that this next year for me is going to be all about peacefulness.

17 12 2007

You know this is really great. When I was in Singapore last year I did this workshop on transformation. In the end I asked everyone to pick one quality to work on for the year, ie, to give themselves a year to develop it. When I did a new workshop this year with some of the same people from Singapore, none of them could remember the quality that they had chosen. So I think that developing the quality in your life by focusing on a physical task may be one of the best ways to release the energy. I wonder what would happen to people if they used this model. I think that the quality that I am going to go after this year is that of really enjoying what I am doing. Oh, by the way, Amy me invited me and some others to go rock climbing at Batu Caves and she asked about you guys hoping you were coming so you could go.

18 12 2007

Your ideas have been quite thought-provoking for me. They have inspired me to work on the virtue of COMMITMENT this next year. In the last year health problems and low energy have made me stop doing regular exercise. Then of course I feel worse. So I have decided that for my health and well-being exercise is the most important thing right now. I am committed!

5 01 2008

I found your website through a friend who linked me through. A wonderful concept (I’ve been following Gym Jones for a while), and I love both of your writing! It’s a great, thoughtful, and very insightful look into fitness and athleticism.

I was wondering – do you possibly have a mailing list, a newsfeed, or RSS that I could simply subscribe to? It makes it so much easier to get regular updates (instead of having to check occasionally only to find missed posts or no posts at all!). If there is a newsfeed, could you please let me know how to add myself to it? I can’t find a link anywhere on the site.

Work hard!

5 01 2008

Hi all, Allen asked if we have a RSS feed and we do. It is: feed://gymjane.wordpress.com/feed/.

You can bookmark the feed or use it in your RSS reader to keep up to date with Gym Jane.

Thanks for the comment Allen.


10 01 2008

Erika, that’s so great! I think peacefulness is something we could all make stronger in our lives. That’s awesome you were able to identify it as the quality for the year. Thanks for leading the way:)


10 01 2008

Richard, what a choice! It seems to happen far too often, as we become adults, all of a sudden we feel like we need to get “serious”. And all to often we see daily examples around us of Joy going out the window, with the introduction of that “seriousness”. Then YEARS go by, and we haven’t been able to take in this amazing gift (our lives) and truly enjoy the blessings it has to offer. And it’s too bad, because it doesn’t last that long, in the whole scheme of things (this physical existence anyway;).
Joy it up big guy! You are definitely in a place and time where it would be a shame to miss it all:)

Please say hi to Amy for us, we would have loved to have gone.


10 01 2008

Debby, way to make that commitment for yourself!
That interconnectedness, when one thing is too far out of balance, it throws the rest of ourselves off (or is getting thrown off to tell us that, in fact, it’s another aspect of ourselves that is out of that balance). And I think this is one of the reasons why I like approaching it from this aspect of finding the physical activity that correlates with what we need, to get plugged into the rest of it. We are , right now, living this physical existence. It is what we know and see and manipulate. The tangible results are far clearer to us. We all need to take care of ourselves physically. And so why not use it as the channel to tap into the other aspects of ourselves that we also need to take care of. The ones that, for most of us, are much more difficult to get a grasp on. Those qualities that we need to develop appear to be manifested all around us (as I know you are very well aware of:). It’s just about tapping into them to go to those greater depths.
All the best with your health and to your commitment to bringing yourself back to center:)


16 08 2008
Re-Capping the “Year of Excellence” « Gym Jane!

[…] Re-Capping the “Year of Excellence” 16 08 2008 The year of “Excellence” began for me on Dec 01 of 2007. It was the “theme” I’d chosen for the year as a result of the quality I recognized I needed to face and take to new depths. The partner or complementary quality that came along with that was “slowing down, not rushing thru the process”. The physical endeavor I’d chosen to coincide with and use as a vehicle to drive this development was kettlebell lifting as taught by the American Kettlebell Club (AKC). For this background in greater detail visit “Excellence”. […]

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