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Is This My Edge Or Am I Being An Idiot?

How do you truly know your edge or if you’re being a f*cking idiot? This question came up when a client shared the article, As Workouts Intensify, a Harmful Side Effect Grows More Common, published by the NYTimes.

The statements below from the linked article are two very important reasons why I believe you want to know how to connect and communicate with YOUR Inner Athlete. What’s does this mean? I share a few ideas with you here, but I have a process that helps you listen and respond to YOUR Inner Athlete specifically. Let’s dive in.

1). “But the most important advice is to know your limits: don’t be afraid to leave class or to say no to a trainer if you are struggling.”

I’ll take this further and say… if it’s not your jam, don’t be afraid to leave the class OR to ask the trainer for a progression that fits your particular needs. This is the trainers job! Don’t sheepishly endure something that doesn’t feel right for the sake of making it though. You have options!

2). “One thing I’ve noticed when people tell me they’ve gotten rhabdo in the gym is that they GAVE UP their PERSONAL POWER, said Mr. Cannon, author of “Rhabdo: The Scary Side Effect of Exercise You’ve Never Heard Of.” “They kept doing what the instructor told them to do because they did not want to look weak.”

YOUR Inner Athlete maintains personal power. You may trust another to guide you appropriately and safely while providing a challenging workout, yet not lead you blindly without maintaining a connection to your body.

So how do you figure out “what’s my edge” vs “am I just being a f*cking idiot”?

Here’s How I See It…
I’ll use yoga as an example. In yoga you flex and flow with the movements and positions, you never force the movement or posture. Your edge is your flex for the day/training session {your edge is always shifting, it’s a throttle you’re in control of based on various factors – sleep, hydration, yesterdays workout, etc.}.  The flow is where you push your limits in increments without allowing ego to take over {notice forcing is different than pushing}. Ego is usually what gets us into “f*cking idiot mode.” This is where we often want to prove something to ourselves or someone else. It’s where we’re not listening to self or our body.
 
I allow myself be surprised by my performance during each training session. Some days are amazing, some days aren’t as good, and that’s okay because it’s part of the process of improving. You can’t be superb every time. There’s always something to learn about your limits.
 
Here’s another thought for you to consider… I know I can do plyo lunges for days. But do I want to do plyo lunges for days? No. Right now jump lunges seize up my inner thigh and quad like they never have before, so why am I going to put myself through that when there are so many alternatives that yield the same result? Especially just because someone programmed a workout that way. 
 
My edge has me aware, connected and pushing limits with support. It’s being smart, efficient and allowing myself to make gains over time.  Pull ups are a good example… some days I can do 1,2,3 on my own with really good form, and I like having a partner to assist with the remaining reps. Instead of assuming that I need an assist starting at rep one. And some days I may not need an assist until rep five. There’s play here. Experimentation. Surprise. 
 
As for being an IDIOT… Well… Ya Know… being an idiot feels different. Force. Ego. Proving. Putting self/body at risk, and for what? Allow yourself permission to experience your edge on any given day!

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