Bootcamp: n: a military training camp for new recruits, with very harsh discipline

Or : a short, intensive and rigorous form of training…

But my fitness challenge (squat and Push up boot camp) it feels more like the ‘harsh discipline’.

I was almost in tears as I forced myself through the two sets of 13 push-ups last night and I am struggling to face tonight’s quota. It’s the desire to give up that is pushing me to this emotional state: all through the routine negative chatter ran though my mind, mocking me.

I did it though. And I improved upon my PB of 5 full push-ups, completing  7 before having to move to the half-push-ups.

Go me!

In order to face tonight’s challenge, I need to swap my thinking around. It git me thinking about the ideas I share with my students and I thought this would be a good time to share them with you:

1) Be your own cheerleader

A while ago I was teaching a class who were going through a hormonal bickery snipey phase. It wasn’t just in my room: it was all around the school. Armed with a tape-measure and sticky notes, I gathered the students to the front of the class and asked for a volunteer.  I put a sticky note on the floor and told him to stand with his toes touching it. That done, I instructed him to jump forward. The distance was measured. We repeated it twice more: the first time, his colleagues shouted discouragement at him (upon my instructions) and the second time they cheered him on. Guess which one gave him his PB? The class was much kinder to one another after that.

2) Remember why you started

This one I got from a blog on WordPress and it kept me going when I would have given up. When motivation and morale are flagging, take a moment to focus on why it was you started this task in the first place. It’s great to renew your determination.

3) Foster a growth mindset

There are numerous studies on Growth Mindsets (I’d highly recommend the work of Carol Dweck and that of Barry Hymer). The principle is that someone with a fixed mindset is inclined to believe that they have set limitations: when they find something challenging, they often believe they’ve reached the limit of their capacity and tend to back away for fear of failure. Someone with a growth mindset, however, does not believe they have set limitations. They accept that things will challenge them but see it as a fun opportunity. They don’t look around them, see others apparently doing better and say ‘I’m never going to be as good as them.’ or ‘I can’t do that.’ they say: ‘what can I learn from how he or she is doing it?’ or ‘I can’t do it yet.

So there you are folks: my three golden rules for carrying on when the going gets tough!

And now, having completed 2 sets of 25 squats and 13 Push-ups, I’m off to relax and sleep well in the knowledge that I’ve beaten my own PB.


One thought on “Bootcamp: n: a military training camp for new recruits, with very harsh discipline

  1. Growth mindset absolutely critical, I loved that Dweck book. Also, for me a curious mindset helps an “I wonder if.. .” . Am toying today with whether writing the story of your journey also helps as you become the main protagonist and are writing your own success story.

    Liked by 1 person

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