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Breathe... 24.7

I LOVE this new shirt I got at Old Navy this weekend! BREATHE!! 24.7! I was just having a conversation with my son about how I use my breath during workouts to get through some of the toughest moments. Those who know me well know that I am always working on breath control and that I do my best and perform my best when I am calm and centered. It perhaps seems obvious that when you are working hard you should focus on your breath but when you are in it and you are trying to push yourself ... sometimes you may just forget. OR, you default to a panicked, fast-paced breathing because you are "supposed" to be breathing hard. I give the example often that, in the beginning of my breath control journey, I was doing some sprint work on the treadmill. I believe I was doing 10 sets of 30 seconds on / 30 seconds off intervals. I remember getting to the 5th set or so jumping off to the sides of the treadmill after my sprint. I was breathing so hard when all of the sudden I stopped myself and had a moment of clarity and awareness. I felt into my body and thought, "Am I really THAT tired?" After a quick body scan I realized I actually was NOT! My breathing immediately calmed down and I laughed at myself thinking... "I guess I thought I was SUPPOSED to be breathing hard because I am doing sprints!" SO crazy how your mind can mess with you like that! How conditioning can take over if you are not being consciously aware of your behavior! So, Sunday, I was doing some seal lid walks - (In a push-up [hollow] position, put your feet on something that will slide across the floor, and pull yourself with your arms, like a seal, across the floor. It's abalicious! :P) and oh my gosh, my abs were, not just on fire, but nearly cramping! I had to stop many times just to make it the 50 meters in that first set. Just like in my sprinting example above, in the next set I decided to be very aware and keep in close touch with my body. Do I REALLY need to stop or can I use my breath to move through this without stopping? So, I began the set and not too far into it I felt that burning, cramping feeling coming on again. I used my mind to go INTO my abs and I pictured my breath going into my muscles. I was breathing deeply and deliberately and keeping my mind super calm and present. It only took a few seconds for the pain to literally subside and I finished that set without stopping. I am always amazed at how well it works. I am ALSO amazed at how tough it can be to stay in that place when you are in the moment. It took quite a bit of effort to stay present and not allow my mind to take over telling me that what I was doing was difficult and should be making me tired. But, having done so I felt like a rock star! lol! See, there are SO many gifts to working out besides just seeing how fast you can do something or how much weight you can lift. I want to tap into my greatest potential - body, mind and spirit - in every workout. I made a little bit of progress that day toward taking control of my monkey mind and squeezing out some more of my potential. Try it next time you go workout and let me know how it goes!! #strongereveryday

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