Commitment. How many of you are truly committed? What does it really mean to make a commitment? Are you afraid about becoming committed? What does this represent or mean to you? What does commitment have to do with sports and our physical activities?
I invite you to take a look about how commitment shows up in your life, work, marriage/relationships, sports, activities and health. More than ever, society is losing site of what it means to be committed. Why? We are faced with instant change in our daily lives and environment. As technology continues to grow on a daily basis, we are constantly challenged to stay focused, satisfied and committed.
Lets back up for a moment. To have a clear understanding about commitment, the relationship to technology and why our ability to be committed is losing its place in the world, we need to review how we lived our lives decades ago and how we are living now.
Decades ago, we did not have this level of technology, and thus, all of these distractions – including cell phones, computers, iPads, and electronic games. These devices capture our attention while giving us instant gratification.
It’s the instant gratification that is causing or creating several problems for all of us. When we can have instant gratification, we forget what it means to work hard for something. In the past, when we wanted something, it usually took time for us to achieve it. It was a satisfying process. In fact, in many ways the end goal often became less important as we traveled along the road of process and progress.
It can be difficult to understand the down side of receiving things instantly, but there is a downside. As children, we use to go outside to play and physically move, engaging with the environment and other children. As adults, we learned to take care of ourselves, to find a job and/or career to work to earn an income to be able to support a family and to enjoy time together at the end of the day. Most of our day was spent in the environment in which we live. There was a deep involvement with the environment around us. The environment is constructed of the people and the places around us.
Something to ponder: How has your life changed since the world of technology has changed? Have you ever noticed going to a Starbucks and see everyone sitting alone typing on phones or computers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for technology, growth and change. In fact our survival of our species is and has been dependent on growth and change since the beginning of time. (Refer to past article; Running good for the Body and the Brain), explaining how running greatly affected the size and development or our brain more than any other species on the planet. However, it is important to reflect over time during the process of growth to remember and consider what is truly important to maintain in our lives, and what we can let go of.
So how would/does technology effect our level of commitment? Think about it for a minute. What does it mean to be committed? Is this something that takes place in an instant? Could you consider a commitment to be a decision? A thought and or idea that takes some mental time to ponder? Here are some places I have and continue to have commitments in my life. Perhaps you can take a few minutes today to make your list of how you stay committed in your life.
1) Being physically active on a daily basis.
2) Feeding my body nutritiously to have a healthy body and a healthy mind.
3) Being a responsible pro-active mother and parent for my daughter.
4) Being a responsible adult managing my work, and job on a daily basis to take care of my daughter and myself.
5) Being in an adult committed relationship that takes a mental commitment, communication, willingness to give and take and openness to change, growth and differences.
Many of these commitments we are not writing down daily, but we are aware we are in an ongoing process with them. It is being in the process continuously that makes it a commitment. Now take a look at being physically active. This can be training for your first 10k, or half marathon, of first triathlon. Once you decide to make a commitment, ask yourself what are your next steps to ensure a successful outcome:
1) Make sure you are feeling positive about the commitment you have set for yourself. Is it obtainable, does it generate a positive feeling for you, and does it provide a sense of pleasure, accomplishment, determination, and satisfaction for you?
2) Develop a time-frame in which to achieve or check in with your commitment. Make sure your time-frame is reasonable. Often we can set ourselves up for failure by setting to high of a standard and/or goal with unreasonable time to achieve it.
3) Set up a routine/workout and have it written it down on a calendar or use a calendar developed by some online sites to use as your daily guide. Review your calendar daily logging in your workout/activity, time, distance, etc. By following a calendar, it will keep you accountable for your daily workout and moving towards your goal.
4) If you miss a day, or a workout, don’t let yourself down the following day. It is okay to miss a day, but keep in mind your goal and get back on track.
5) Acknowledge yourself for being committed. Notice how it makes yu feel. Notice how being committed to an activity effects the rest of your life. Are you more positive? How do you feel about yourself? How do you treat others?
I see the growth in our current world as exciting and challenging at the same time. I know for myself that commitment, especially with my sports, has been a very big part of my life and has helped shape the other aspects of my life in a very positive way. However, I do see our younger generations struggling more than ever with school, holding down a job, careers, relationships, etc.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to bring commitment back into your life, or the loved ones around you, is finding a sport and or activity to begin. Perhaps for you it means signing up for a Triathlon. Perhaps for your significant other, it is joining a gym. Or for your child it is joining a team sport at school or outside of the school. I believe being active is one of the best ways to learn and experience commitment. Being able to establish a commitment with a sport and or an activity will allow you to naturally develop commitments in the other areas of your life.
The ‘C’ word, what does it mean to you?
Sharon Starika is a runner and triathlete with over 20 years of competitive racing experience. She is a Guild Feldenkrais Practitioner and lives in Park City, Utah where she has a private practice. She teaches classes and clinics around the country and offers instructional online workshops so people interested can practice her methods anywhere. For contact information, go to: www.sharonstarika.com or Sharon@sharonstarika.com