This post may be a bit late in coming. I kept thinking surely these restrictions will be lifted soon & things will open up. Yet here we are 3 months later still stuck in this unbelievable situation. We all are waiting for this quarantine to be over, and instead of things feeling hopeful as the threat of the virus declines rapidly, we are getting hit with another round of chaos as violence erupts all over the country.
How are we supposed to deal with this? We can't keep putting our lives on pause while we're affected by the negativity in the world. At the same time, how can we focus on such "luxury problems" as refining our dance technique and improving our body composition when we are in survival mode?
It’s easy to say "keep your chin up" and "just stay positive" and all the other one-liners that are meant to make you feel better in a situation like this. But how do you actually do that? With so much terror, manipulation, and negativity surrounding you, it’s too easy to get discouraged and dragged down by the rabble.
So, here’s a simple game plan for keeping yourself healthy and ensuring you do what you can to rise up despite this chaos. If you can check in with these 3 vital pillars every day, you’ll not only know you are doing your best to be primed for performance when studios and companies start up again…but you’ll be reminded of your personal power and that your actions every day will either build you up or break you down.
You can't control the people around you or the hate & deception running rampant in the world. But you can control whether you add to the pain...or inspire happiness with your actions. You can control whether you focus on the evil...or the good. You can control whether you fuel your rage...or your love.
Sometimes when you feel the most helpless for the state of the world, you have to remember that the only world you actually have control over is your own little personal existence. It may seem impossible to make a difference that way. And yet, if every single person just took responsibility for their own actions, we wouldn't have any of this chaos we are surrounded by.
You can take on that responsibility right now. Govern yourself with dignity, honesty, authenticity & respect...and let that inspire change around you. Each morning when you wake up, simply ask yourself what you can do today to add to the good in this world. Then remind yourself you are the only one with the power to make that happen. And let that power guide your choices for the day.
Especially during a quarantine situation where you don’t have access to abundant resources and food selection, now is NOT the time to get vicious with yourself about eating “perfectly” and maintaining a rigid diet. Austerity is not the way to go in an already stressful situation. This will disrupt your hormones & frazzle your emotional state even further. Adhering to a strict diet will not make you healthier in the end. Instead it will leave you stressed, anxious, and miserable. Not exactly what you were going for with all those hardcore efforts, right?
In situations like this where we don’t have the luxury of focusing solely on our first-world problems of peaking for a photo shoot or performance but are all a bit in survival mode, it’s much better for your health to just role with your food choices a bit.
- Can’t get grass-fed meat at the store? No problem…this “regular” beef will do the trick.
- No organic produce? No sweat…this spinach looks green…good enough.
- Can't find your favorite brand of almond milk? Guess I'll drink good ole fashioned milk for a change.
The more casual and laid back you can be about your eating, the less chaos you will create in your body which has already been on too intense of an emotional roller coaster lately. And if you still find yourself freaking out about the food choices available - just remind yourself you used to eat most of this stuff when you were a kid before you worried about fancy labeling like organic, grass-fed, non-GMO, free-range and did just fine with it back then.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn't aim to get quality nutrients into your body to support your immune system, aesthetics, and performance goals when you can. Of course you should eat what you can to feel healthy when you can (in case you’ve missed it, I’ve been posting a bunch of new recipes for my FAT LOSS GAME PLAN on my YouTube channel. Try 'em out for fun!). Just be aware that the second that desire to eat healthy turns into an obsession that stresses you out, recognize you are doing more harm than good for your health and take a chill pill.
This is your chance to be a rebel in the fitness world. This is your chance to stop and analyze what you’ve been doing with your workouts…verses what you should be doing with them. This is your chance to train differently. Stop following along with what’s popular and start listening to your body and what it needs.
Everyone is used to doing fitness classes, whether in person or online these days. I’ve gotten plenty of requests to teach these follow-along-workout videos and classes. But I refuse to. Not because I don't want to give you what you want…but because I want to give you what you need. Here's the downside to the traditional follow-along system - if you’re paying attention to what I'm doing, chances are you’re not paying attention to what you're doing. If you're focusing on a screen or an instructor at the front of a room, you're not feeling your own body.
Transformation from the inside out is the most powerful way to transform. It nurtures changes that stick, changes you believe in, changes you feel. That's why my Bulletproof Ballerina method is not about following along to a video or teacher in the front of the class, but about coaching your own transformation from within.
By focusing on and understanding your body and how it works, you learn to put motive power in the right places while stabilizing others. This gives you strength, power, coordination, durability, and the ability to sculpt your unique body beyond what anyone else could show you. It puts the power to optimize your body in your own hands.
This is the difference between copying what looks like fitness on the outside...and nurturing a real transformation from within. True fitness shouldn't be reliant on the exercises themselves. It’s the way you do the exercises that gives you your power – mentally and physically. Your intentions behind the movement is what makes you stronger, enhances your coordination, fosters an understanding of your body and how it works. This is fitness that nurtures body appreciation and respect.
One final note - be gentle with yourself right now. Don't make the mistake of holding yourself to the same standards as when life is swimming along easily. Comparing your pre-quarantine body with your post-quarantine body is not useful. When you don't have the same food, movement, opportunities available, it's not fair to hold yourself to the same standards. Your job is to do the best you can in the situation you are in. We are talking survival-mode-standards here, guys. But, if you can hone in on these 3 pillars every day, you can be confident you are doing your part to build yourself up even when the world is trying to drag you down.
If you want to talk or work with me one-on-one over Zoom, let me know. I love working with dancers (and Normals!) to find the power in their bodies while nurturing them. Most coaches bark at you to work harder...I help tone down those demons already barking in your head so you can find your appreciation in your body.