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Internal Fitness First, External Verify Second

Recently a client, now great friend, was proud to report that she had passed on the opportunity to have a GPS watch. This was big; she was once a distracted with music pushing through type of runner, disconnected and a thirst for more *validating* data.

But now she has transformed herself into someone who is “happy being in tune and listening to my own body“. Interesting choice of words … in “tune” and “listening” … which implies she is now creating her own music. As she listens she can adjust the notes (form elements) based on what she hears. It is an opportunity for continuous improvement to see just how sweet the music can sound. This includes the sound at the end of a run. The body and mind can say “ouch” or it can say “ahhh” depending upon how much attention you give it.

But is it not necessarily the watch and data that creates a disconnect. It is usually the receiver processing it. Every moment of every day we are bombarded with information. We focus on some bits, notice others, and discard others based on our individual filters. The question is which is which for you.

My focus bits:

  • Principles, they define how I “move” through each moment
  • Thoughts, they maintain or create habits consistent with my principles
  • Body Senses, they provide feedback on how I am doing and guide my thoughts

My notice bits:

  • External feedback points, they provide “input” I can use to *verify* my progress. This information; whether it be a distance, a pace, an image, a video, a comment, is all just information. It can inform or it can validate/devastate depending on its perceived importance.

My (notice then) discard bits:

  • Negative comments, incongruent or absolutist statements, scarcity mentalities, etc. The act of noticing these before discarding them provides a valuable reminder.

As a coach, moments like the above when someone steps back from a risky edge of mind over matter are priceless. When I first stepped back from this edge 6 years ago I ran for over a year focusing on quality practice time with little focus on distance or pace. About a year ago I added a non-GPS foot pod watch (Garmin FR60) that gives me feedback for cadence, heart rate and approximate distance (and pace). It is just enough information to *verify* my progress. But the techie in me is now considering that GPS watch. I go back and forth daily wondering if this will be too much precise information? Will my tendencies for seeking *validation* be challenged? Or will my internal focus clearly remain the priority?

Given my past tendencies, it is a little scary. Which makes it a real good test of … Internal Fitness First, External Verify Second.

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David Stretanski is a holistic health, fitness and wellness coach and Certified ChiRunning®/ChiWalking® Instructor. For more information on David, please see his About MeContact page or his website at http://www.eChiFitness.com.

ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® are registered trademarks of ChiLiving, Inc.

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Posted on Thursday, Feb. 2nd 2012 2:43 PM | by echifitness | in All, ChiRunning | No Comments »

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