Posts Tagged changing your life

Improving Your Tennis Or Your Life

In the last week, my tennis game has jumped to a higher level…in the opinions of those playing with me. I can feel it too.

Among the reasons for my stronger strokes and serve is great advice from a high school classmate I saw recently who has been a tennis coach for decades. Marilyn gave me suggestions that I have been working on for two weeks…and then it all came together during four tennis matches in the third week. I was the best ever. Everyone was surprised and commenting. My net game was also terrific, and I had few unforced errors.

I have always said that Life is a Smorgasbord, and you have to sample all the dishes to find out which ones you like. Marilyn told me to do things that were very different from other instructors I have taken lessons from and watched on video. So I was eager to experiment…anything to hit a harder ball with accuracy. Her techniques work for me…so my game is now at a new and much higher level…this is really fun. Especially when I can startle people who think they are going to dominate me.

Of course I think the same lesson applies off the court and in your everyday life: keep experimenting, don’t ever give up, maintain your enthusiasm, don’t be afraid to change old habits, embrace new ways that might be better. Unfortunately I see that most people are too comfortable with their established routines to risk failing in new efforts.

A Zen parable asks you to assume you only have one arm and hand and are holding a small bit of water in a glass. Now consider reaching for the pitcher that has more water. Most people realize that they have to put down the glass first, AND AT THAT MOMENT THEY HAVE NOTHING. So they hold back and settle for the smaller amount/achievement/standard, etc.

Would you take the chance of losing everything to go for a bigger life? Most of us are very cautious in that situation. It’s scary to try a new way of relating to people or changing careers or making money. That’s way people generally stick with what is familiar and do things the way “they have always been done.” Which is quite difficult in these days of constant and rapid change.

Luckily hitting the tennis ball differently isn’t that big a deal. So I took the chance and seem to be winning the bet. We’ll see how long this peak performance continues…

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Do It For Yourself! By Rob Hunt

These past two years have tried to suck the life out of me, and they were on the way to achieving it. Between pulling my son out of his freshman year of college; a stock /retirement portfolio that was in a tail spin; and a business that was barely turning a profit, I was not happy. No, make that I was Mad, and not much company for either my wife or family.

Forever one to do things for others, and leave myself with the short end of the deal, I did an about face, and decided it was time to do something I wanted to do. I spotted a new sign in a building close to my office: TRAIN WITH SMITH. Tried to Google it, got nothing, finally drove in and then contacted “Smith” by email as I could tell from looking in the window that it was a small private gym studio. PERFECT: Close to my office in New Milford, CT, Small, Private, and I knew I’d have to really make a commitment versus my past failures of merely joining a gym.

I liked the few quick exchanges we had on email, so I set up an appointment to meet. I will be honest, I was slightly taken aback when I met Corey Smith, and she at first scared the hell out of me–an attractive young woman in classic proportion yet with arms so muscular that they are almost the size of my thighs. Yet there I was, setting up an appointment for her to personally guide me into better shape. Little did I know that what she really would guide me towards was a happier, better way to live.

I was not fat. I was not horribly out of shape. However, I knew that turning 60 was glaring me in the face; that I wanted to try to keep it at bay. After my first two training classes with Corey, I knew I was getting so very much more than what I would ever get in a gym. I know from past experiences that it is way too easy to make excuses to not go to the gym, or to go and believe you’re doing a work out. I now see that with the proper form and regimen, you get so very much more out of a private training session. I go four times a week, one hour each visit.
Corey really doesn’t believe in a lot of machines; they hold you up, instead of using your own body weight. What first appeared like some instruments of torture dangling from an overhead bar now support me while doing lower abdomen curls, pull ups, as well as a web with handles, which I plank off of while doing all types of arm and back work.

I next signed up for her CLEAN class where she teaches you how to eat more intelligently. What struck me the most that first evening at CLEAN was that it takes 4 weeks to break a habit….She was giving us the opportunity to break bad habits and create new ones…And I did. I now eat 6 meals a day and have more energy and stamina that I can ever remember having. Every three hours I’m eating another meal, not a snack, but a full meal, in a reverse triangle proportion.

(This means that breakfast is the largest and most heavy carb meal. Each subsequent meal is a little smaller and with less heavy carbs. Each is a full meal, meaning proteins, carbs and fats. But no, not a snack of just a piece of cheese and an apple. For breakfast I’ve been known to have 2 slices of whole grain bread, 3 turkey meatballs with tomato sauce, 2 eggs and a slice of avocado. My last meal might be 4 or 5 shrimp, a small salad with some feta cheese in it. My 2nd meal of the day (10 am) might be a cup of Quinoa with cranberries and toasted pecans. I now stop eating starchy carbs at my 3rd meal, which is lunch.

She also drilled into us P.P.P.P.P.P… Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance….I do a lot of cooking for the week on Sunday, so it’s all there ready to pick up and cart with me to eat at the office again at 10, 1, and 4.)

While I don’t fixate on the number, I show that I’ve dropped 12 lbs. However knowing that I have gained so very much muscle strength who knows (or cares) what that real number might be. I’ve given up drinking my nightly beloved Cosmopolitans except for one on Cheat Night, and my evenings are now shared with my family with a smile, instead of just being sprawled on a sofa scowling and mad at my plight in these upsetting economic times.
I would never have thought that the mix of eating better, and exercise would have had such a positive mental re- adjustment on me. I’ve dropped weight, gone off meds, and reshaped my body. But more importantly: I’M HAPPY AGAIN.

Check out the studio and read some of Corey’s newsletters at this Facebook link.

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