Challenge, don’t push
Saturday, January 30, 2021
I will say up front I refuse to use the Spark People emoticon “Keep Pushing.” I find it triggering and have wanted to explain why in a blog for a while now.
I tense up when a YouTube instructor uses those words as well. I get defensive and resistant. As a victim of severe childhood sexual abuse, I was forced to do things I hated so much, that were so horrifying, I dissociated. My mind simply shut down & went away to protect myself from the trauma. So *anything* that smacks of force or pressure to behave a certain way is anathema to me.
One of the first YouTube instructors I sometimes like—Jessica Smith—said something I really appreciated: “Challenge yourself, but always take care of yourself.” And BodyFit by Amy (a longtime favorite) has several phrases I find motivating: “You be where you are today”; “If you showed up today, you are successful”; “Listen to your body and do what you need to do.”
As Jessica urged, I do enjoy challenging myself. I modify like mad to stay low impact and protect joints, but there are days I relish working up a sweat and reaching that fatigue point. And there are other days I have to back off and stick with gentler workouts. Amy has some great beginner ones, Jessica has a soothing “Under the Weather” routine, and Keoni Tamayo is my latest YouTube gem with his walking workouts & hilarious kitty companions. (He’s had a few duds, but I enjoy most of them; be aware he has all nonverbal cuing.)
Some Sparkers have no trouble with the phrase “push yourself.” But if you are like me and have a negative reaction, consider substituting the verb “challenge” and see if that inspires you too. After all, the words we use in speaking to ourselves and others can have a powerful impact, so choose them wisely.
Blessed Be, Amanda