WinterFEAT is now done and dusted, FEAT Dip & FEAsT been and gone. So what next..? This is a great question, when we push ourselves through a challenge (such as Winter FEAT) there can sometimes be that post pushing period lul. Apart from summer being around the corner, sometimes the best way to re-motivate yourself is by popping your head up and having a look around. I have spoken about challenges and living outside of your comfort zone is consistent with who we are as human beings. Now is a perfect time for resetting and looking at what you're working towards - who you want to show up as each day as opposed to all the things you feel you're 'meant' to do.
I always see so much value in taking on physical challenges, but in 2020 this has been hard with everything getting cancelled. But this doesn't mean we can find other experiences to challenge us.
I have a theory that these challenges can break you down, shape you and in your rawest state allow you to see who you truly are. Whilst your physical body is going through everything it's going through, regardless of what the challenge is a Marathon or a training session, it is actually your mind that gets you through the challenge. The primary reason for this is our training and physical challenges, in general, teach us to find comfort in being uncomfortable. There are undoubtedly psychological benefits of training and ultimately these benefits transpose into the rest of your life. Essentially, training teaches you to be comfortable being uncomfortable and the way that it can change your whole life. "In a world where comfort is king, arduous physical activity provides a rare opportunity to practice suffering."
I love the way kids perceive the world to be a massive playground in which it is their duty to continually explore and inquire. This is how they are able to learn new skills, build physical strength and social skills, learn to deal with emotions and anything else that they are going to need along the journey to adulthood. I always hold my engagement with FEAT, on all levels, as a true representation of this.
Although you turn up to training sessions because you said you would on Sunday, our aim is to always create an environment for play. I think as we get older we lose the understanding of what play is. As the saying goes - 'we don't stop playing cause we get old; we get old because we stop playing.' For us at FEAT, play is about your true self-expression. To engage in play you have to fully let go of the social expectations and norms around you. It is a time where you are asked to forget about what you 'know' and just go with / react to what is in front of you. The more freedom in your reaction, the more fun the play.
When I am planning sessions, often I think to myself is that 'fun'. You'll notice when people are having fun they can be very serious in concentration or be smiling and happy, but more importantly, they slip into this world of play. In this world they are no longer worried about what is happening around them, the troubles of their lives have disappeared and they are just in the moment. Play has to include an element of challenge, for it is this challenge that takes your mind away from your daily life and brings focus to the present task. When a musician gets lost in their music, it is often a challenging piece that forces them to just be in the moment and ignore what is happening in the rest of their life. Similarly, when a session is really challenging, you don't have time to be thinking about the world around you.
We live in a world where ease and comfort are praised to be the ultimate goal. In this goal, there is no avenue for play, in fact, the aim is to avoid challenge and discomfort which is where the world of play begins. So for this week, our aim is to bring the art of play, back into our training. We started this morning in Rushy with human twister being added back into our training regime.
As you are struggling through a set or feel challenged by a situation, I want you to smile. The smile will remind you that this discomfort is only temporary and your suffering now is enriching the rest of your life. Your smile will also remind those around you that we are taking on these challenges to heighten our experience of now. We are not using anything to dull our experience, rather pushing so that we can feel more in the moment of now. When it hurts you should push yourself to remember that a strong runner isn't created on a flat road, the same as a strong person doesn't come out of a comfortable existence. By pushing yourself you are getting lost in the world of play and believe it or not, this temporary discomfort becomes fun!
As we move forward into Spring, take this time to set that challenge. But don't set it from the place of GOALS or HEALTH and certainly don't just look for something that you know you can easily achieve. The most satisfying part of gaming is when you are playing slightly above your level. The satisfaction of success is addictive when it is that little bit more than you thought we could achieve.
So as you set your Spring targets over the next couple of weeks, don't forget to look at them from a place of fun in the challenge and gamesmanship. I believe you should always try to see more in people than they can see in themselves. That is the key to enrolment, that is the key to inspiration and that is the key to supporting others to achieve results that far surpass what they ever thought was possible.