Four Habits of Highly Energetic People
February 2, 2022 @ 3:00pm
We’ve made it through January, the spike of another Covid-19 variant, snowstorms, freezing temps, and January 19 — a day dubbed “Quitter’s Day” by fitness tech company Strava to mark the day most people quit their fitness resolutions.
If you’re still grinding, congratulations. If the wheels are starting to fall off the bus, don’t be so hard on yourself. We tapped two of D.C.’s leading fitness coaches to share habits and advice for how to stay motivated, moving and mindful when the challenging winter doldrums knock at your door.
Here, Rumble Boxing DC founding instructor and private trainer Sharon Kim as well as Lululemon ambassador and Equinox instructor CG Green get nostalgic, vulnerable and real.
Give Yourself Grace
“I remember walking in [to my first group fitness class] trying to play it cool but on the inside I was dying,” Green says. “I told myself to give it my best shot and if it didn’t work out, I didn’t have to come back. But I did come back. Then at the next class, I felt a little more comfortable. I remembered where the weights were. These building blocks led me to be really comfortable and ultimately committed.”
In addition to running, Green leads group fitness classes at Equinox as well as small group and private training where you’ll experience this same sense of step-by-step enthusiasm, understanding and hands-on motivation. His three rules? Listen to your body (if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it), don’t compare yourself to others and give yourself grace if you don’t get it right the first few times — a philosophy passed down from his father who encouraged bravery and courage in attempting something you’re not initially good at.
Rest, Because Working Out is Stress on Your Body
This idea of grace is common among athletes, high performers and coaches. Sharon Kim puts a strong focus on remembering to have grace, re-charging and resting as part of her clients’ fitness regimen.
“I think the age of ‘pain is power’ is something we’re done with. I push my clients but I also meet them where they are. If you’re burnt out, you’re decreasing your chances of sticking with something. People forget a huge part of fitness is your nutrition, sleep and rest.”
Speaking of rest — and since this is a story on staying motivated in the darkest days of winter — how can you tell if you’re demotivated or depleted? Sharon uses the metaphor of an “energy debit card.” Figure out what takes away and what adds to it and ask yourself why your body needs so much (instead of asking yourself why you’re feeling so lazy). If you think you’re truly procrastinating, try getting out to move for a fraction of whatever your goal might be. Chances are you’ll find the motivation to continue once you’re moving. And if you don’t that’s ok, too.
“People tend to forget, scientifically, when you work out you’re putting your body under more stress,” Kim explains.
Take Things Day by Day
Like many of us who seemingly lack a routine (or are still searching for one left behind in 2020), Green is trying to find his. After several attempts to journal and meditate proved unsuccessful, he took some of his own advice to step back and start small. He now starts each day with one positive affirmation.
“I now don’t have to think about it as much. I lay in bed, say it and get moving. Even if the morning doesn’t go well, at least I’ve done that.”
Kim encourages using routines not as a restriction, but as an indicator to temperature check what’s going on if you have fallen out of one.
“We’re human and we’re living in weird times. If I see I’m falling out of my routine, it helps me to look at why and what else might be going on,” she says (as she also laughs at the fact water and vitamins have the power to knock her off her proverbial horse should her day begin without either).
Though Green and Kim have slightly different areas of focus and disciplines, the old adage of taking things day by day is a recurring theme for them both. Kim’s mantra is “focus on the stair in front of you, not the whole staircase.”
Same for Green, who reflects on the first time he attended a class.
He says, “It was about taking things one at a time, not tackling my whole fitness journey in that first workout,” a concept to get behind whether you are completely new to a fitness routine or a seasoned pro.
Find the Right Class and Movement For You
The sentiment that fitness is a personal journey is one both Green and Kim echo.
Green is a runner and has been since he played soccer as a kid, but you probably won’t find him in a local race anytime soon. Instead, he creates his own finish lines.
“I like to run wherever and whenever. If I want to stop, I’ll stop. I’ve completed a few races, but I run for autonomy — being able to go where I want. We’re all in our own race. Do what you love.”
Similarly, if working out with people you know isn’t for you, take another cue from Green’s book.
“I like taking classes where no one knows who I am. Sometimes it’s nice to have an outsider who you don’t know who can push you.”
“In this industry, you have to find the ones you resonate with and align with,” Kim tells me as she shares some of the classes she takes when she has time (they’re Katie Collard’s, by the way).
“Katie’s philosophy is similar to mine — fitness is so much more than just weight, body fat, calories. Her classes make me feel like a high school athlete again.”
The nostalgic flitter of joy in Kim’s voice does not go unnoticed. There is joy in this act of movement she does for herself.
However, she cautions: “The work itself isn’t always fun, the discipline isn’t fun. The struggle isn’t fun. The feeling after and the results? That’s the driver.”
Sharon Kim is a private trainer, boxer and D.C. founding trainer at Rumble. She can be reached and booked via Instagram @thesharonkim.
CG Green offers small group and personal training and teaches at Equinox. He can be reached and booked via Instagram @forever_cg.
Rumble: 2001 M St. NW Suite 120, DC; rumbleboxinggym.com // @doyourrumble
Equinox: 1170 22nd St. NW, DC; equinox.com // @equinox
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