words by nerissa

…observations, thoughts and questions

Archive for the category “Inspiration”

Mind over matter: how I lifted 125kg without even knowing it

Our brain is a magnificent organ. Without it, we would die.

The most complex part of our body, it is responsible for every thought and action we have. It can retain and recall information, control voluntary muscles, balance, movement and coordination. It controls bodily functions such as digestion, breathing and blood circulation. It produces hormones that are vital for many systems of our body to work properly, and it controls our core temperature.

On top of all of this, it is estimated that we have anywhere between 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts every day. That’s around 35 to 48 thoughts per minute!

What an incredible machine we have inside our skulls!

But do we use it to its full capacity?

I’d say most of us don’t.

While there are many processes in the brain that we can’t control, we do have control over our thoughts. We can control what we place in there, what we give our attention to, and what we let run rampant.

mind over matter

Negative thoughts are like weeds

Negative thoughts can choke us

Have you ever seen an overgrown garden? Grass grows through the garden beds — sometimes higher than your head. Weeds are the dominant plant, spreading with great ease. These weeds choked and sucked the very life out of the beautiful plants and flowers that once grew there. An overgrown garden is chaotic and serves no purpose at all.

Our minds can become like overgrown gardens if we are not careful.

If we don’t take the time to cut off the negative thoughts that we have, they soon take root inside and hold us captive.

Thoughts like “I can’t”, “I’m not worthy”, “I’m stupid”, “I’m scared”, “I don’t know”.

Some of the most powerful thoughts we have are negative words that someone else uttered to us once years ago, yet we replay it over and over in our heads as if it were truth.

“You’re no good”, “You’re useless”, “No one likes you”, etc. etc.

What we think about (or allow ourselves to think about) pretty much shapes our lives. If you don’t consciously think about anything, then chances are the negative reel of your thoughts is playing in the background anyway.

What we think, we become. What we dwell on, we attract.

Even thinking about what you don’t want to happen causes that very thing to happen.

If I say to you, “don’t think about a red car”, what do you immediately think of?

Yep, a red car.

How can we tame our thoughts?

It’s pretty impossible to stop thinking at all. How many times have you tried meditating and ‘emptying your mind’, only to start thinking about what you have to get done that day, or wondering what you are going to have for dinner? 1 minute, 2 minutes…5 minutes, if you’re lucky? And that’s when you are consciously trying to block them out!

So if we can’t stop thinking, how can we change our thinking?

Dr Wayne Dyer (who sadly passed away this year), was an internationally renowned speaker and author of more than 40 books, in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth, likens our thoughts to the stock market ticker that runs along the bottom of a screen, with each stock price representing a single thought.

With 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts running through our heads on any given day, this ticker is running constantly. We are capable of thinking many opposing thoughts within seconds. Sometimes we can jump from one idea to another and end up feeling fear, ecstasy, joy, worry and sadness, all within moments of each other.

In order to begin to tame our thoughts, Dr Dyer recommends we see our thoughts as things on a conveyer belt, continually running past us in our minds. Take a thought off the conveyer belt and see how it feels. If we don’t like the way we feel, put the thought back and take another one. Keep doing that until we find a thought that makes us feel good. Continually choose thoughts in this fashion, taking note of the ones that leave us feeling good.

If we see ourselves as having the power to pick and choose thoughts, based on how they make us feel, then we take great steps in preventing our minds from being choked out by the negativity that often runs unchecked through there.i get what I think about

Start to choose the right thoughts to dwell on, and our life will change for the better. Start to believe the positive thoughts we place into your mind, and we will start to achieve things we never thought possible.

The power when we believe we can do something

After training today, I realised the power of my mind. It was deadlift day and we are at the end of the program. We have one more week to go before we lift as heavy as we can for 1 rep. Today, my training partner and I were aiming to lift 115kg for up to 4 reps.

I was confident I could get at least 2-3 reps out. The week before, I had lifted 110kg for 4 reps. In my last training block, I managed 1 rep at 115kg before lifting my heaviest at 120kg. So I knew I could lift 115kg.

I went up to the bar, positioned my body, focused my mind and lifted. The bar came up, but not all the way up. I was baffled. Why couldn’t I lift it? I had a break while my partner lifted. He got out his 4 reps. I went back to the bar determined to get my deadlift all the way up, because I knew I could do it.

YES! This time it came up all the way. But I couldn’t do any more than 1 rep. Disappointed, I watched while my partner did his second set. I was determined to get 2 reps out next set. This was my third attempt. I was already tired after a full warm-up, but I knew I could do 115kg. Nope. Nothing left in the tank. I only got it off the floor and back down again.

I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get my full reps out when I knew that I had lifted it before. My partner and I discussed it, and we decided that our warm-up was perhaps too heavy, leaving us tired for our actual working sets. That made a little sense to me, so my disappointment abated.

This morning I took a photo of the weights on the bar, because it looked insane with all those weight plates on it. I’m glad I did.

When I came home, I looked at my photo and did a double-take. I counted the weights. I counted them 6 times. I asked my son to count them. I sent my training partner the photo and got him to count them. After counting 3 times, he confirmed what I had discovered.

We had lifted 125kg instead of 115kg!

That’s 15kg more than last week and 10kg more than we planned. No wonder it was heavy!

IMG_7886

That’s 125kg, not 115kg!

However, if I knew it was 125kg, there would have been doubt in my mind. 125kg is new territory for me. Until today, I’ve never lifted that heavy before. I would have gone up to the bar wondering how heavy it would feel; wondering whether I could lift it properly. I probably would have worried about failing to lift it. Those seeds of doubt would have continued to run through my mind during the lift, ultimately sabotaging my success.

But I lifted it because I ‘knew’ I could. In my mind, it was just 115kg. I had done it before, so why not again?

In the process, I reached a new PB without even being aware.

That’s the power of the mind.

Change your thought process

We have a phrase in our training group — “Don’t think, just lift”. That’s because when we think about how heavy our weights really are, we can freak out a little and seeds of doubt begin to sprout.

Sometimes if we think too much about things, we become overwhelmed with the ‘heaviness’ of the task. It seems to big, too hard, too impossible. We allow the doubt and negative thoughts to come into our heads. We can let great opportunities pass us by because we end up paralysed by fear. In those cases, it’s better not to think, but just get on and do what you need to do.

However, if we can take it a step further and take the time to sow positive thoughts; thoughts of “I can”, “I am capable”, “I am worthy”, “I am courageous”, and really believe we are those things, we will find that we can do a whole lot more than we ever could before.

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Lessons for living

Most parents look out for the lessons we can teach our kids.

We take the opportunity to teach them about fractions when they are helping us bake.

While reading a story we ask them to think of words that rhyme with a word on the page.

When going for a bush walk, we encourage them to look around to see how many different animals they can find.

Yet every now and then, our kids teach us lessons — if we just take the time to watch, listen and learn.

Today was my daughter’s school athletics carnival. It also doubled as selection trials for District Athletics.

For those of you who know my daughter well, she’s not a naturally gifted athlete. She’s always happy to be involved and give it a go, but athletics is not her passion. She’s more at home with a song in her heart, or her hands on the keyboard.

However, today she was more than happy to be involved. In fact, she had entered as many events as she could and was really looking forward to competing.

On the way to school, I asked her if she thought she’d make a District team.

“Maybe,” she said. “We practiced high jump yesterday.”

“How did you go?”

“Really good! I didn’t get out until the second time the rope went up.”

“Oh that’s good,” I said, secretly thinking she didn’t have a chance.

So I asked: “Will you be disappointed if you don’t make a team?”

“Nope!” she said. “I just want to go along, represent my house, have fun, do my best and try to be better than I was last year.”

As I dropped her off at school I promised to see her out on the field.

An hour or so later and we were ready to get underway.

Event number one was the 100m sprint. Ready, set, go! They were off. Down the track she runs, big smile on her face and only just scrapes in at second last.

IMG_6064

Over we go on the high jump

Event number two was high jump. While she’s lining up waiting to jump, she gives me a wave and a big smile. Time to jump. Over she goes. Another big smile. Fast forward a few jumps later and she ends up finishing fourth and wins her very first ribbon for a solo event. She was ecstatic!

Event number three rolls around. 200m sprint. She’s in the last heat with some fast runners. And they’re off. She’s leading initially, but only because she’s in the outside lane (LOL). Overtaken by one, overtaken by two. Soon, she’s running last. The other runners are getting faster and she seems like she’s slowing down. But all I can see is the smile on her face. It was so big it made my heart swell. As she crossed the finish line, the other girls cheer and pat her on the back with a “good job, Laura” or a “well done”. She is beaming. However, the best surprise is yet to come. Based on their times, she finishes 8th out of all the girls. I was shocked!

Event number four is the long jump. Once again she’s ready to compete and gives it her best. She comes away with nothing, not even a PB. Yet the smile doesn’t leave her face.

Event number five is the discus. She’s never thrown a discus before. She enters the cage and asks the teacher “What do I do?” I, (perhaps inappropriately), burst out laughing. She looks at me and laughs too. Then she swings the discus around and lets it fly, feeling very proud that she has done something new. On her second attempt, she betters her distance by more than 2 metres, and ends up finishing around 6th or 7th place!

After a break for lunch, it’s back out onto the field for the shot put. She’s never done that before either so I was interested to see how she’d go. She gets out there and her technique is fantastic for someone who has never thrown it before. Her best distance after three throws was 4 metres. Not good enough to win a ribbon, but her delight in improving with every throw is priceless.

The last event, number seven, is the triple jump. I don’t know if you have watched many kids attempt the triple jump but many of them struggle with the technique. Some kids get it and other kids don’t. Laura did and after three rounds finished with a PB of 4.95m and a fourth place ribbon.

IMG_6071

Throwing the discus for the first time

Two individual ribbons in one day! Neither of us expected that.

As I reflect back on the athletics carnival, there are five key lessons that I learned from my daughter:

LESSON No. 1. Always have a plan and know what you want to achieve. Laura’s goal was to “represent my house, have fun, do my best and try to be better than I was last year.” She wasn’t trying to ‘beat’ anyone. She wasn’t aiming to ‘win’. Those things weren’t important to her, so she focused on what did matter. As well as having fun, she achieved 3 PBs and won 2 individual ribbons.

LESSON No. 2. Don’t compare yourself. How many of us compare ourselves to other people and find ourselves wanting? A number of Laura’s friends are great athletes and usually win ribbons in most events. One of her best friends always cleans up at sports days. Today that girl entered 6 events and achieved 4 firsts, 1 second and 1 third. If Laura compared herself with her friends, she would have come home feeling discouraged and ‘not good enough’. Instead, she came home on a high, being proud of what SHE achieved.

LESSON No. 3. Always smile. One of the best things from today was Laura’s smile. She smiled before her events. She smiled during her events. She smiled when she came last. She smiled when she came fourth. She smiled for the whole day. She didn’t think about how slow she was while running. She didn’t worry about whether she was ‘winning’. She was just happy to be there in the moment, giving it her best.

LESSON No.4. Be proud of what you achieve. Laura is still beaming and is so proud of herself for ‘her best results ever’. On the way home from the carnival, she had to ring several family members to tell them how she went. When her dad came home from work, the first thing she did was show him her ribbons and the scrap piece of paper on which she recorded her PBs. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook our achievements, particularly when we focus on what others have achieved. But today Laura showed me just how happy you can be, by being proud of what YOU achieve.

IMG_6086

So proud of what she had achieved today.

LESSON No. 5. Cheer for others. Sometimes it’s difficult to cheer for other people. Sometimes we feel they don’t need it, or deserve it. Sometimes jealousy causes us to stay silent. However, when someone is cheering for you, it can mean so much. When Laura crossed the finish line of her 200m race, in last place and a long way behind the others, the other girls cheered for her. And I could tell in that moment, it meant the world to her, because the smile that was upon her face became even bigger.

Today was a good day. Actually, today was a great day.

While Laura didn’t qualify for the District athletics team, she taught me that with the right attitude, we can always feel like a winner.

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Dreams and plans

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaWhen I was a girl, I had a dream. It was a very unrealistic dream, but I dreamt it nevertheless.

There was no way that I could ever achieve it — even if I devoted every minute of my life to it, and all of my money.

Would you like to know what it was?

I dreamed of reading every single book that had ever been written.

A silly dream? I know some of you can’t even imagine finishing one book!

However, I was a young, avid reader. I would read the cereal box if there was nothing else to read. I spent all my pocket money on books and my spare time reading them. Reading them was my favourite thing to do. Once I went on a day-trip with our local church. My mum gave me some money to spend on ‘something special’. I came home with two new books. That wasn’t really what she had in mind. But they were special, weren’t they?

I would often read way past bedtime. Sometimes I stayed up until I had read the whole book from start to finish. (Shh. Don’t tell my mum).

I couldn’t imagine anything lovelier than a life of just reading. Reading. Reading. Reading.

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaHowever, as I got older I realised what an unrealistic dream it was. Once I got to high school and had to read set novels that I absolutely hated, it dawned upon me that to achieve my dream, I’d have to read things I hated. When I discovered that new books were published every day, then I quickly realised that time was running out — I’d never have enough time!

Then there was always that pesky question of whether I would have to read books in a different language.

When it came down to it, the dream was too hard and unrealistic, so I let it die.

Sometimes dreams are unrealistic and the best thing to do is to let them die. A life spent chasing the impossible is not only frustrating, but it is a waste. A waste of time, a waste of energy and a waste of other opportunities that are possible.

But what about those dreams that are possible, yet require a lot of hard work and effort? Should we let them die just because they seem impossible?

Or is there something we can do to increase our chances of success?

I believe there is. It’s called a plan.

Planning is something most of us do anyway. We plan our meals. We plan our weekends. We plan our holidays. Why not plan our success too?

Sometimes dreams can take years to fulfil. Sometimes to achieve the ultimate goal, you need to achieve many goals along the way.

Take becoming a brain surgeon for example. There are 13 years of school to complete, then six years studying an undergrad medical degree. After that, a further six years of specialist training. If a little girl starting school this year aspires to be a brain surgeon, she has 25 years of hard work ahead of her, and wouldn’t be qualified until 2040!

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaShould she give up, simply because it is hard and will take a long time?

Everyone has dreams.

“Wouldn’t it be great if…..”

“One day I’m going to…”

“I wish….”

The trouble is that’s what most of them will ever be — dreams and wishes and a life of regretting that you never achieved what you so dearly wished for.

Unless you have a plan, then the chances of achieving success is slim.

Being successful in your life is a little like taking a road trip. You need to know where you are going, you need to know from where you are starting and you need a map. When taking a road trip, we usually look for the milestones along the way — usually a town, a river or a turnoff. By following the map, we don’t get lost. But if we simply get in the car and drive, then who knows where we will end up?

When you have a map, it’s also easy to overcome any roadblocks. You can easily identify another route that will get you to your end destination.

Fear often stops us from success, but so does the lack of a plan.

Planning takes thought. Planning takes work. Yet planning is often the difference between wishing and succeeding.

Do you have a plan?

If so, then you are a step ahead of the dreamers.

If not, you had best get busy making a plan.

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

What makes a champion?

When you think of the term ‘champion’, what or who do you think of?

Usually, it’s a word associated with a sportsperson. Usually that sportsperson has achieved something great. Usually the thing that they have achieved is winning an important game, tournament or match.

Most often, ‘champion’ refers to someone who has won something.

However, if you have kids, you’ve probably called them champions as well, even if they haven’t won or performed well in their chosen sport.

This week, both my kids played in basketball Grand Finals.

My son’s game had some significance attached to it because it was the very last game he would play for his school, as he is heading off to high school next year. You can imagine that all the boys were keen for a win — to go out on a high.

Alas, the game didn’t go to plan and they lost 12-31. Not exactly a close game. While there were no tears, there was a fair bit of disappointment from the boys. Like them, the opposition were keen for a win as it was their last time to play for their school. Put simply, the other team played better on the night and our boys finished runners-up for the season.

Understandably, my son was disappointed. And then my daughter presented him with this note:

IMG_5260

Dear Josh, Congratulations on 6 years of basketball at Yarra Road PS. You have played so well everey match. You have improved so much since you started in Grade 1. You always do your best and that’s what makes you a champion. Well done Joshie!! From Laura

After reading it, my son smiled and said “Thanks, Laura”.

Fast forward to later in the week and it was my daughter’s turn to play in her Grand Final. It was a close game (that involved many ‘dodgy’ calls against our team), but with two seconds to go the score was 6-6. Then the other team was awarded two ‘free throws’. The clock stopped and we held our breath. The first shot missed. Phew! Then, the second shot went in!

We couldn’t believe it. We lost the game by 1 point in the last 2 seconds! Once again, our team was disappointed. But being 9-year old girls, there were tears this time. Oh dear.

Following on from his sister’s lead earlier in the week, my son presented my daughter with a note of her own.

IMG_5297

Well done Laura on your basketball match tonight. I know you might be in pain and sadness, but you played really well. I hope you will be PREMIERS next season. From Josh.

She too smiled when she read it.

While it’s really nice to win, what makes you a champion is how you play the game. Do you give it your best? Are you committed to the team? Do you strive to improve each week? Are you gracious when you win? Can you bounce back when you don’t?

While my two kids didn’t ‘win’ their matches this week, they still earned the right to be called ‘champions’.

If you liked this blog post, you might like to read The rules of winning.

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Give yourself a chance

words by nerissa

Source: VicFit Factory (http://www.vicfitfactory.com/)

If you could do (or have) anything at all, what would it be?

Perhaps you want a new job, a promotion or even a change in your career.

Maybe you really want to travel — see the world and meet new people.

You may even wish to do something daring — like bungee jumping, parachuting or leaving the house without making the bed!

Maybe you are thinking about starting a family, buying a house, selling a house, buying a bigger house?

Perhaps you want to leave a bad relationship or start a new relationship, or deal with something from your past.

Do you have a dream or goal? Or maybe an idea forming in your mind of what your ideal life would be like?

If you do, and you’re not going after it, then what’s stopping you?

The biggest thing that holds people back is FEAR.

What is FEAR?

Fear is a very real feeling. Actually, it is our body’s way of protecting us in the face of life-threatening situations. Fear is a response to a perceived threat — whether it be physical or emotional.

words by nerissaYou may have heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response. This is our body’s inbuilt response mechanism, that prompts us to either fight or flee from perceived harm or threat to us.

The key word in both the above paragraphs is the word ‘perceived’. Perceived doesn’t mean ‘actual’. It means that you have interpreted something as threatening to you.

The trouble is most of us are afraid of things that are not really threats at all. More often than not, the situations that we imagine are more frightening than reality. The situations we imagine are also not likely to happen.

We may be frightened of what people think, of being ‘left out’ or ‘not fitting in’. We might be afraid that we will lose friends.

We may fear losing our money.

We may fear failure and the feeling of disappointment.

Perhaps we are scared about being out of our comfort zone, of feeling uncomfortable in new situations.

Maybe (in the case of bungee jumping), we are fearful of losing our life.

We may worry that the price we need to pay to have what we want will be too great.

We may even fear that when reach our goals, it may still not be enough — we may still feel unsatisfied, unhappy and discontent.

But what we are afraid of is not really the negative outcome — we’re afraid that we won’t be able to deal with it. We don’t trust ourselves enough to say “well, whatever happens, I can handle it’.

Fear is a real feeling, but it’s often based on false evidence.

FEAR can be described as  False Evidence Appearing Real

It can also stand for Face  Everything And Rise.

This week, I was encouraged to give myself a chance. To forget about everything that wasn’t happening, or that may not happen, and instead, focus on steps I need to take, regardless of any outcome.

words by nerissaI was encouraged to give myself a chance.

While we are consumed with fear and worry, we cannot possibly be doing all we can to maximise our chances of success. After all, a head full of fears, has no space to dream.

We have two choices. One, we can either Forget Everything And Run

OR

two, we can Face Everything And Rise.

When was the last time you gave yourself a chance?

Really gave yourself a chance?

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

My greatest inspiration

IMG_4567

My two biggest inspirations.

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you work? Why do you exercise? Why do you run a taxi service to your kids in your spare time? Why do you go to church?

Why do you REALLY do these things?

Maybe you don’t know. Maybe you’ve never taken the time to think about it before. Maybe you think you know, but you really don’t. Maybe you don’t even care.

However, if you don’t know the real reason behind the choices you make every day, then what you are doing is not really a choice. It’s either a habit, something you feel you ‘have to’ or ‘should do’, or something you do because everyone else is doing it.

When you know your real reason — your ‘WHY’ for doing the things you do, then the actual performing of these tasks (no matter how unpleasant/boring/time-wasting they may be), has a little more meaning, and therefore a purpose. It becomes easier to ‘roll with life’, because you are no longer just going through the motions, wondering what it’s all for.

Instead, your life becomes more focused, more meaningful and a lot happier. Because all of a sudden, you’re not just ‘going to work to pay the bills’. Instead, you ‘re ‘working so you can take that overseas trip’, or you’re driving the kids around ‘so they have an opportunity to develop friendships’.

See the difference?

The same goes for taking care of your health. Many of us say we ‘need to lose weight’ or ‘want to get fit’. Why?

If you ‘need to lose weight’ because everyone else is on a diet, then that’s not a good reason. If you ‘want to get fit’ because Cross-fit is the new best thing, then that’s not a reason either. Even a doctor telling you that you need to do something about your health is not a reason, unless it is YOUR reason. You have to own your reason. You have to really understand WHY you do the things you do.

I have recently done this with regard to my health. What started out as ‘wanting to lose weight’ has evolved into something more meaningful. I no longer care about my ‘weight’, because I have learnt that weight is only a small measure of the kind of person I am. Sure, I want to be living in a body that can continue to move as I age. I want to feel healthy and vibrant and enjoy life as I get older. I do want to feel good and happy about who I am. And the vainer part of me wants to look good! But my real reason — my WHY for training and eating and changing my life for the better, is not about me anymore.

It’s about the dream I have for my kids.

I don’t want them to bury me before my time or to watch me die from a disease I can prevent. I don’t want them to spend their adulthood caring for me, because I haven’t taken good care of myself. I don’t want them to spend their time taking me to doctors, hospitals and medical appointments, or worrying about my health. I want to know my grandkids and have a quality relationship with them. I want to do things with my family, rather than just watch from the sidelines. I want our time together on this earth to be of the highest quality it can be, doing things that matter and things that make us happy. Making happy memories instead of sad ones.

I want my kids to be happy. I want them to know what makes them happy. I want them to be strong enough in themselves to be who THEY want to be, not what the world tells them they should be. I want them to follow their own dreams and passions, whatever they are, and regardless of what others may say about it.

I want my kids to love and value themselves, and to see value in everyone they meet. I want them to inspire and encourage others to be better people. I want them to bring joy to the lives of others, simply by being themselves. I want them to respect themselves and those around them.

I want them to develop a love for healthy food and exercise, so they can live healthy lives. I don’t want them fighting disease, illness or depression. Instead, I want them to make the most out of life.

don't tell people your dreamsI want my kids to be the best they can be and know it’s okay to aspire to greatness. I want them to be proud of who they are as people and what they contribute to the world. I want them to value their uniqueness and special gifts they have been blessed with, and to use those gifts to help others.

I want them to be resilient enough to rise above negativity and hate, and know that when they experience that, it is not a reflection of them, but rather the person who is being negative and hateful. I want them to be confident in who they are, and to never, ever let others’ negativity get the better of them, or cause them to think negatively of themselves.

I want them to seize opportunities when they come along, without worrying about whether they are ‘good enough’ to follow through. I want them to be confident in themselves and their abilities. I want them to trust themselves, and know that they will always find a solution to a problem.

I realise that is a pretty big dream I have for my kids. But I believe it is a worthy dream.

While it’s true that none of us can control how our kids’ lives turn out, we do have an opportunity to model to them what we value in life.

I’m not saying that I am all of the above — but I am working on being so.

The interesting thing about all of this is that since writing down WHY I am making positive changes in my life, I find myself reflecting on the above while I am doing other seemingly mundane and meaningless things such as cleaning the bathroom, doing the grocery shopping and taking out the rubbish.

Although I am not fully embracing the less appealing tasks involved in raising kids, every now and then I catch myself thinking “Why am I REALLY doing this?” And it causes me to turn my negative feelings about these jobs into more meaningful ones.

Why do you do what you do?

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

Find your bliss

IMG_0001

My daughter made this for me last year.

As I sit here and write this, I am surrounded by a myriad of things.

There are reminders of my children — photos of them when they were younger, their first drawings, paintings they did for Mother’s Days past, handmade coasters and little notes they leave on my desk from time to time.

There are also books. Lots and lots of books on my desk. Some I have read, some are in the ‘to-read’ category. Some of them are related to my work, and some of them are for pleasure. Books give me a lot of pleasure.

I also have calendars, a diary, planners, paper, journals and lots of pens.  I love to plan and be organised. And being an old-fashioned girl, I like to do it the old-fashioned way — using pen and paper.

My favourite coffee cup sits on my desk, next to my hand cream, a candle and my ipod — things that I use on a daily basis.

Also sitting on my desk is my training program for the next 12 weeks, along with the goals I have set myself.

QUESTION: What do they all have in common?

ANSWER: They all make me happy.

One of my most favourite pictures of my kids, which sits on my desk.

One of my most favourite pictures of my kids, which sits on my desk.

Each day, we have choices to make. Very few of us are free to do whatever we like, whenever we like. We all have responsibilities and things we have to attend to on a daily basis — whether that means going to work to earn our living, raising a family, caring for loved ones, ferrying kids back and forth.

However, there is something that ALL of us can do to bring a little happiness to our days. Even if it is only having a coffee in your favourite cup, or listening to your ipod while you clean toothpaste off every surface in the children’s bathroom.

We all have different things that we love. Things we use, things we do, life choices we make that keep us happy.

We may not always understand why something makes someone else happy, but that’s okay.

For example, I don’t understand what part of bike riding is enjoyable. All I seem to get from it is a very sore backside. However, friends of mine are avid bike riders. They just about live in lycra. It’s their thing, their passion. One of my friends rides “Around the Bay in a Day” every year. That’s 250km in a day ‘for fun’. And he rides his bike from home to the start line, and then home from the finish line. So that’s more like 300km. I don’t get it. I admire him, but I don’t get it.

Just like some people don’t get why I love to lift weights. In some ways I don’t get it either. In my younger days I hated weight training. I would start a program but I would perform it half-heartedly, always having an ‘excuse’ not to do it. As I got older I knew I really should incorporate it into my exercise routine, if I wanted to stay healthy but I kept putting it off. When I was ready to tackle it, I told my trainer that I hated weights and that she would have to make it interesting if I was to stick at it.

IMG_0002

I had to include my son’s art work.

More than two years later, I now lift three times a week (soon to be four – WHOO HOO!) and I love it. In fact, I live for it. I love getting strong. I love feeling my muscles working. I love setting goals and working towards them. I love the place I have to go to in my mind before I lift something heavy. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from lifting something that I thought was too heavy. And the masochist in me loves the sore muscles over the next two days.

(Some of you won’t get it. That’s okay.)

It’s part of my bliss. It’s also something new that I have found that I love.

But it’s not all of my bliss.

There are lots of other things that make me happy, some of which have made me happy for years.

Bliss for me is reading a book while enjoying a good red wine.

It’s a good coffee and some dark chocolate.

It’s planning and making lists and writing with pens and paper.

It’s a day on my own, just for me.

It’s a relaxing massage. Total bliss!

It’s cuddles in the bed with my kids.

It’s a great conversation with a good friend.

It’s sitting at my computer, free to write what I feel like.

My favourite beach.

My favourite beach – Caloundra.

It’s watching the ocean crash on the rocks.

It’s sitting in front of a campfire and laughing with friends.

It’s a warm bath at the end of a busy day.

It’s sitting on the couch, watching a great movie with my husband.

And it’s definitely all the reminders of the two little people in my life.

Bliss can be different things for different people. It’s not our job to judge whether the things that make others happy are good or bad, right or wrong. We just need to accept that sometimes other people do ‘crazy’ things because it makes them happy.

We all have a chance to have bliss in our days, even if it is only for 10 minutes.

The trick is working out what makes you happy, and working it into each day.

Where do you find your bliss?

follow your bliss2

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

The path to success: a leap of faith and a whole lot of trust

leap of faithTrust is something I have been thinking about a lot of late. When you really think about it, all of us exercise varying levels of trust every day. We trust that our train will get us to work without incident.  We trust that the school will take good care of our kids.

Without trust, we would probably spend most of our days incapacitated with worry.

Obviously, there are varying degrees of trust. Yet the ability to trust seems to be related to the consequences of the trust being broken, or the likelihood of something going wrong.

For example, if you trust that a chair will hold your weight, and it doesn’t, then the repercussions are likely to be fairly minor — maybe some bumps and bruises and a bruised ego to boot. So it’s a risk worth taking.

However, one thing that I have realised, is that it can be a lot harder to trust ourselves than to trust other people. Yet in order to begin to trust ourselves, we sometimes need someone to believe in us first.

About seven weeks ago, I completed a 12-week body transformation. It was a fantastic 12-weeks (overall). There were times when I wanted to throw in the towel and just blob on the couch and eat ice-cream. There were times when I really didn’t want to get up at 4.50am to get to the gym for my workout. There were even times when I wanted to quit because I couldn’t see any changes happening, no matter how hard I was working out and how spot on my nutrition was.

So in order to keep going, I began to trust more. I stopped thinking and analysing and began to trust the process. I trusted the advice my trainer Mel, was giving me, especially when it came to nutrition. I trusted my body would respond if I kept following the plan. And during my training sessions, I trusted my partner to ‘spot me’, especially when I was lifting weights where I knew the likelihood of getting out all my reps was low. Trust was becoming more important the further we got into the challenge.

The most important person I had to trust in, was myself.

Trusting in ourselves is sometimes easier said than done. Too often we doubt our abilities and our intuition, only to find that if we trusted in ourselves in the first place, we would have been a lot better off. Often this inability to trust ourselves can render us paralysed with fear, rooted to the spot, afraid to take the next step.

I clearly remember a training session towards the end of the challenge. Six of us were in various stages trying to master three sets of 12 push-ups on our toes. When Mel found out that I could already do a full three sets she told me to get a weight and put it on my back.

“What! A weight?,” I thought. “How much?,” I asked, expecting her to say 1-2kg.

“5 kilos,” she said.

“5 kilos? That’s heavy!” I said in shock.

“There are heavier ones,” she countered.

So off I went to get the 5kg weight plate, pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to do one push-up with that extra weight on my back. After all, push-ups on my toes had taken a while to achieve. Besides, push-ups were always the last thing in our training sessions, and I had already increased my weights for every exercise. I didn’t trust my body’s ability to push much further than I had.

“Even if you only get out three or four,” said Mel. “Just try it!”

So the weight went on my back. And I began to push them out. 1-2-3-4-5-

“Keep going,” said Mel.

6-7

“Keep going”

8-9-10

“keep going”

11-…

And then I collapsed, ecstatic but shocked that I had done so many.

I then went on to do another two sets of 12 push-ups with that 5kg plate on my back.

My trust in myself (and my body) was restored because Mel, whom I trusted when it came to exercise and training, believed that I could do it. She felt it was safe for me to attempt it. She also gave me permission to ‘fail’ at getting the full set out, yet encouraged me to keep going in my attempt to get my push-ups out.

Somewhere along the line, we all need people like that. Someone who can see the potential in us that we often fail to see. Someone to help us believe in ourselves when we find it difficult. Someone to encourage us to ‘have a go’. Someone to be there beside us to support us and cheer us. Someone whom we can rely upon to help us out if things go wrong. Someone to say ‘it’s okay if you fail’. Someone you can trust.

success isn't linearThe road to success is never smooth sailing. It’s a bit like a dance where you take some steps forward and some steps back. Sometimes your steps take you back to the start and sometimes they go way off course. At times your steps may be stumbles and may cause you to fall. And depending upon the dance, you may need to take a giant leap of faith.

However, if you have someone beside you guiding your steps, picking you up when you fall, believing in you and giving you the confidence to take that leap of faith, then your chances of success are that much higher.

The question you need to ask is: “Do I have someone like that in my life?”

If you don’t have someone like that…

I don’t wish this blog to sound like an ad, but if you don’t have someone in your life to help you reach your goals (particularly if they are related to health, fitness and wellness), then I really encourage you to contact Mel Cook.

Not only is she a Lifestyle Transformation Specialist and Director at Run With Life, but she is a friendly, positive and happy person who brings out the best in people. It doesn’t matter if you are young or not-so-young, or whether you are fit or not-so-fit. If you want to become a happier, healthier version of yourself, then take that leap of faith and give her a call.

You can also find out more information about our next 12-week Transformation Challenge.

 

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Life is like….hurdles!

IMG_3512

Sometimes you fly…

Today I attended our school Athletics Day, which also doubles as our District Athletics selection trials. Grades 3 to 6 children compete in up to five events that they select, and the winner of each event goes on to represent our school in the District Athletics competition held each year.

This was the first year that my daughter was old enough to be involved. My son, had participated in previous years and had been selected to represent the school in high jump and triple jump in the past. Being an ‘old hand’ at it, he knew what he wanted to achieve for the day, the events he knew he was good at, and what he enjoyed doing.

My daughter on the other hand is somewhat more hesitant, and is happy to be involved in anything really. However, she’s not particularly gifted when it comes to athletics. I’m not saying she’s hopeless, because she’s not. She’s just happy to stand around and chat to her friends and ‘have a go’, when it’s her turn. She doesn’t have natural talent, and she doesn’t have a passion to improve her skills. And that’s okay, because her talents lie elsewhere. Her goal for the day was ‘to maybe win a ribbon, and not fall over’.

When she told me she had selected hurdles, I couldn’t believe it. She knew my opinion of that particular track event (and it isn’t very favourable, having had a bad experience at high school. But that’s another story).

“Why hurdles?” I asked.

“Because I like jumping,” she said. Fair enough.

It soon became clear that the grade 3 kids were going to jump the same height hurdle as the grade 6 kids. None of these ‘little’ hurdles that they used to trot out. I felt sick to my stomach.

You see, the track they were doing the hurdles on is very unforgiving. In past years, many a child has come to grief doing hurdles, limping off with patches of skin missing from various parts of their bodies. My daughter fell during the 800m on that track about 18 months prior. Not only did she end up with bandages on most parts of her body, including her chin, but there was a visit to the hospital afterwards to make sure she hadn’t broken a finger.

No wonder her goal was to ‘not fall over’.

So as time ticked by, I watched the groups of kids run their hurdles race.

Some of the kids were like gazelles. Running fast, leaping gracefully over hurdle after hurdle. It really was a beautiful thing to watch. I for one, was amazed at their courage and ability.

Then there were others who were a bit more hesitant. They’d run, get to the hurdle, slow down, psych themselves up and go over it. Sometimes they’d take the hurdle with them and sometimes they wouldn’t. There were even children who stopped and walked over them.

And then there were the poor kids who tripped and fell, and lay bleeding and broken on the track.

But the most inspiring were those who tripped, fell and picked themselves up again, only to keep going. They didn’t care that they were last. They didn’t even care that they were bleeding. They just wanted to get up and keep going.

It occurred to me that life is sort of like a hurdles race. We all have hurdles to get over. Sometimes we fly over them, hardly noticing they are there.

Sometimes we need to psych ourselves up because all we see is this barrier between us and where we need to go. However, the hesitating and psyching ourselves up is sometimes what causes us to fall and in hindsight, we’d be better to just run fast and take a leap of faith.

But other times, like those kids today, we fall. We trip and land with a thud. Sometimes the fall is brutal. We may feel like our whole body is bleeding. And the easy thing would be to just lay there and not go on.

But those who do go on, despite their ‘failings’, despite the fall and despite the embarrassment, are the ones who are the true winners. They are the ones who get the most applause and admiration. They are the ones who show us that it’s okay to fall over. They are the ones who bring tears to our eyes as they continue the race, despite the pain they are in. Despite the fear that they may fall again, and again.

For the record, my daughter’s experience of her hurdle race was a combination of the above. She flew over the first hurdle, and just missed tripping over the girl who fell in front of her. She hesitated a moment while she asked the girl if she was okay, and then continued on. She walked over the second hurdle, jumped over the third, and then tripped and fell on the fourth. I watched her, knowing that she would be hurting, yet wondering what she would do next.

She got up, looked at her knee, brushed her hands together, and kept going! She stepped over the next couple of hurdles, taking one down with her, but she finished with a smile on her face!

I was so proud of her.

IMG_3513

…and sometimes you don’t

When I tucked her in bed tonight, I asked her what was the hardest thing about today.

“The hurdles,” she said.

“Why?”

“Because I fell over and it really hurt.”

“So why did you keep going then?”

“Because I wanted to be brave. I like being brave, and when I’m brave, it helps other people be brave. Anyway, lots of people fell over today and some of them kept going, so I knew I could too.”

“Do you think you’ll do hurdles again, next time?” I asked, fully expecting an emphatic ‘no’.

“Well, maybe,” she said.

WHAT?!

I had to ask why she would volunteer to do them again.

“Because I want to get better at them. Because if I’m better at them, I won’t be so scared of them.”

My daughter is 8. They are some wise words from an 8-year old.

So what will you do, next time you fall over your hurdle? Will you lay there and pull out of the race because you’re hurt and afraid? Or will you brush yourself off and finish the race, no matter how far behind the others you are? No matter how scared you are, to carry on?

The choice is yours.

 

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Want to change your life? First you need a support team

surround yourself with peopleAs some of you may know, I am currently participating in a 12-week Transformation Challenge.

What most people think of when they hear the words ‘Transformation Challenge’ is that if you really focus, you can have an amazing body at the end of it.

Well, that’s what we are led to believe with shows such as The Biggest Loser gracing our screens.

While some people do have amazing physical transformations, the biggest transformation you can achieve is that of your mind.

Improving your confidence, learning how to set goals, learning how to step out of your comfort zone and do things you have never done (or didn’t think you could do), is all part of changing your mindset. Part of the mental transformation may involve turning your negative thoughts into positive ones. Sometimes it’s about learning to change unhealthy habits into healthy ones.

I have done a couple of Transformation Challenges and while there have been transformations in my body, they haven’t been as amazing as those that have happened in my mind. I have learnt to be more positive, to set goals (in all areas of my life), and have grown in my confidence and belief that I can achieve my goals — even though some of them will take some time.

One of the most important things you need when undertaking a Transformation Challenge (or when you set out to change any part of your life), is a great support network.

One of the key people who has been supporting me in my quest for a happier, healthier life for over 12 months now, is Mel Cook, founder and owner of Run With Life. She offers personal training, nutrition advice, running coaching and is one of only 30 trainers world-wide who is a Level 4 trainer in Metabolic Precision (MP) — a science-based approach to achieving permanent body transformation.

You could say, that Mel is very knowledgeable when it comes to the world of health and fitness.

One of the most amazing things about Mel is how she has built a community of people who support one another. Her Run With Life community is made up of people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Some of us are super fit. Some of us are working to be super fit. Some of us are part of her running crew and some of us are not. However, the one thing that we all have in common is that we support each other, no matter what our goals are.

I’m pretty luck really, to be part of such a group. So this week, I thought I would introduce you to one of the people in my support group, who inspires me each day to make the right choices in order to reach my goals.

Please meet, Mel Cook.

Why did you become a personal trainer?

Do you know what, I actually never wanted to be a personal trainer. I used to be so shy, it scared me to think I had to talk to and tell people what to do as a trainer.

I went to Uni and did health sciences. In my degree I had the option of following exercise science but I decided to follow health promotion and nutrition. When I finished my degree, I got a desk job in health promotion and that’s when I started running. In my desk job, I always seemed to try and find more ways of challenging myself. Then I came up with the idea that I wanted to educate people on how to start running or start exercising. With my nutrition background, I thought it would be good to put the two together and form my own business.

So off I went, I left a secure, great paying job to take a risk, to challenge myself to see what I could do with my own health and fitness business and for other people

What do you love most about your job?

My clients’ gratitude 🙂

How do you get the best out of your clients?

I develop a great trusting relationship with my clients and get them to be 100% honest and truthful with me. No more ignoring the actual underlying factors that are causing the problems. And of course follow the structure of MP.

What do you think your clients value most about you?

I am not too sure. I have never asked them the question. But if I were my client I would value that I offer them the best program possible, which is Metabolic Precision. Without this program many people fail. On top of this, I would also value how much time and energy I put into each of them. Little do they know how much I think about them and do for them outside of when I actually see or talk to them.

What differentiates you from every other personal trainer out there?

Well, I don’t think there is another trainer with the name Mel Cook who combines the Metabolic Precision system with their running clients at the level 4 level. There are only 30 of us worldwide who have completed level 4, and now another 25 who are completing it this year, so I believe I am in a unique situation. I am not the best trainer out there, and I definitely do not know everything, but I am changing the way people who run view training and nutrition. I am changing the way a lot of people view their training, nutrition and health. I also invest a lot of my time and money into bettering myself so I can deliver the best possible program.

Why is running such a key part of your life?

I am going to keep this answer simple. Having something that you can train for and keep getting better at pushes you to places you will have never been before.

When you have a skill that you can keep training for and achieve goals with, the person you become is amazing and the experiences along the way teach you so much that nothing else can teach you about yourself.

What motivates you?

Life motivates me. Seeing people who have missed or wasted opportunities, or didn’t even realise they had the chance makes me so mad/sad/frustrated. Making the best life for yourself is so important.

What are your goals this year?

Last year my fitness goals were on hold whilst my body decided to work as optimally as I wanted it too, so at the moment I just want to get back into training hard.

I do have goals for later this year. I want to sprint. I want to be an athlete — I have the discipline and motivation to push myself beyond limits and I think I have so much in my tank to give. It will take me a while but I aim to be able to sprint competitively by November this year. If not, then early next year, and then I would like to see what I can accomplish by the time I am 30.

I would also love a sub 40min 10km this year. That would be amazing 🙂

What accomplishments are you most proud of (you can have more than one)

Setting up Run With Life and also running my fastest 10km (40mins 22) and my first marathon (3 hours and 29mins).

In order for someone to accomplish their goals (whether it be fitness or something else), what qualities do they need?

The most important quality is to be willing and able to learn.

The person has to want to be resilient and be able to handle all the ‘nos’, downs and disappointments because that is when we learn, when we get stronger and what helps us achieve our goals.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to make a change in their life?

Mel Cook - a super supportive and knowledgeable trainer

Mel Cook – a super supportive and knowledgeable trainer

Do it now because life is way too short and when you have made the change you will regret not starting earlier.

When you are healthy, feel fit and strong, I can tell you, life doesn’t get any better than this!  And…….please do not give me an excuse 🙂

So if you are looking to make positive changes to your health and fitness, but don’t know where to start, contact Mel at Run With Life. Not only will you have access to a highly educated and dedicated trainer, but you will become part of a group that provides great support, no matter what your goals may be.

And that my friends, is something that money just can’t buy.

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Post Navigation

Write Way to Health

Promoting happy, healthy living

VitaWarrior

“Success isn’t given, it is earned. On the track, on the field, in the gym. With blood, sweat and the occasional tear.” – Nike

Write ... to the Point

- writing tips and tricks

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.

The Eclectic Moose

Occasionally Moose have some interesting ideas; I write them down...

Chocolate Covered Race Medals

Where I race to the chocolate bar

Made by you and I

Cooking -- and photography -- are personalization

NERDSTEAK

Food and Culture Shenanigans

Eli Glasman

Site of author Eli Glasman

exercise oncology australia

Supporting cancer patients through their journey one step at a time

My Journey to Healthy and Happy

Sharing my journey to being healthy and happy.

shirleyshirle

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Reembody

You Are Stronger Than You Think

The Real Me and Life

Finding me without a uniform.

Hart Helps

explore ways to win the wars waged within the mind

words by nerissa

...observations, thoughts and questions