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How Momentum Affects Working Out

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of April 9, 2007

Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2

This Week's Questions

[posed by David A.]
  • Since my periods of successfully working out ultimately end, are they "Momentum Learning"?
  • When I quit working out and don’t start again, is this Learner's Block (dead stop)?
  • Would admitting I am over weight "jump start" me out of Learner's Block?

Do you know?

[Question 1] When I quit working out and don’t start again, is this Learner's Block (dead stop)?
David, there are several possibilities. And yes, Learner's Block is one. However, you may also be experiencing one or more psycho physical wounds. As well as experiencing the directive resistance underlying all of human nature, the thing which tells us whenever we connect then disconnect to never go back there again. Mostly, we feel this as resistance to return to some particular good connection.

Now allow me to elaborate.

Let's say you are in a good period regarding working out. You feel better, more hopeful, and more alive. You also see your weight going down and your body compacting. In other words, since muscle takes up less space than fat, your clothes fit better. Okay. So are you riding the momentum of Momentum Learning? Yes and in fact, one of the biggest downsides to Momentum Learning is that you'll eventually forget what it feels like and at some point, have to relearn it again. Whenever you return to this activity.

In some ways then, knowing that this always happens can be a big incentive to keep going. If you use it as such. What I'm saying is, it is so much easier to maintain momentum than to regain it. And if you keep this in mind when you are in the momentum, it can help you to keep going in times when you want to quit.

As for your question as to whether you stop working out because you hit Learner's Block, to be honest, I do not think so. At least most times. Unless, of course, you make learning new ways to work out the ongoing focus of your workouts. In which case then this may indeed be the what happens to you. For most people though, what happens to them can more be attributed to that they simply lose momentum and falling backwards rather than to Learner's Block. In other words, no learning, no Learner's Block.

[Question 2] Would my honest admission that I am getting overweight be the "jump start" that gets me going again?
Yes, indeed, this would probably do it, although the real trick is to make this honest admission at a time wherein it is possible for you to do a workout.

In other words, say you get out of bed not having worked out for several weeks. Or for several months. Then say, as you shower, you experience the early morning clarity of a shower talk. You know. The kinds of talks you have with yourself wherein you process the urges to better yourself still ringing in your head from sleep.

During this pep talk with yourself then, say you hear your mental mind telling you how much you want to get back to your fitness routine. Of course, then you might hear your physical mind saying, ugh, I know. I should, but . . . blah, blah, blah. After which your mental mind chimes in with, "where would I possibly find the time to workout anyway." Body / mind connection at it's finest, eh?

On the other hand, these kinds of mind / body arguments can often be the momentum-building spring boards which can return you to a healthy mind / body life. Not only to a healthy fitness plan mind you, but also to just about any segment of life wherein you've lost your momentum. Education. Time with your kids. Hobbies. Whatever. All can be helped by a positive shower talk.

My point here is though that if you have this shower talk with yourself and then go directly from your shower to a workout, you may indeed succeed. Yes, your mind will tell you, you are crazy. However, if it works, don't fix it. Just do it.

The thing to keep in mind then is to "strike while the iron is hot." And this is true for all things, but especially true for attempts to regain momentum in stressful activities such as working out.

[Question 3] Since my periods of successfully working out ultimately end, are they "Momentum Learning"?
As I said in the previous answer, if you make learning a regular part of your workouts, then yes, to a large part, they are. However if, during the course of your normal routine, you also actively try to turn this Momentum Learning into Emergent Learning, your urges to stop may also come in part from something else. Something I call, " resistive motive."

What is "resistive motive?" It is the urges we feel each time we connect to anyone and to anything. Essentially, these urges remind us that when we end these connections, it hurts. Thus it is built into our nature to avoid these situations, so as to avoid feeling the pain of the disconnect again. Which is something we all feel each and every time we connect to someone or to something. Inevitably.

Where does this part of our nature come from? From the Birth Separation Moment. The moment wherein we physically separated from our mothers. In this moment, we experienced first, the profound blackness of our first disconnect, and next, our first experience of profound neediness. The neediness of we all felt as newborn babies.

Why didn't we intuitively try to return to the paradise from whence we came? Because after feeling the pain of this first separation, we do not want to chance that we'll ever feel the black emptiness of that kind of disconnect again. Unfortunately, we do. When? Each time we, for whatever reason, reconnect. Which then leads us to the inevitable pain of the disconnect once more.

Is there a way we can connect without feeling the pain of the disconnect? No. Not a chance. Although, the older we get, the less in touch most of us are with this feeling. Even so, being less in touch does not mean we do not feel this pain. It means simply that we do not stay in it long enough to suffer.

By adulthood then we mostly live in our Layer 2 logical reasoning minds. Which happens to be the main strategy with with we distancing ourselves form the pain of disconnects.

All this said, yes, knowing you, you probably are experiencing the loss of Momentum Learning when your successful periods of working out end. Especially when you find yourself having to relearn your routines. However if, when you go back, you find yourself still in love with some part of your workout, then this part of your workout has been Learned by Emergence. Including that each time you redo it, you will first, [1] feel great; the connected part of the activity, second, [2] feel blank; the disconnecting part of the activity, and third, [3] feel intense neediness as you respond to your minds requests that you either reconnect (work out again) or distance yourself from the pain of Personality Layer 8; the Layer of Disconnects.

[Question 4] If I were to have an Emergence about the beauty of regularly working out, would the cycle of starting and stopping end?
No. And hearing me this can indeed be disheartening for many folks. To see why, consider how this desire to end this cycle of starting and stopping parallels our desire to find a soul mate. And our desire to find a "right career."

Right partners and right careers are only a myth. In truth, the "right" anything is always the person, place, or thing we are currently drawn to. This thing is, in order to see the health in these often painful situations, you must understand human nature and why it is natural for us to be attracted to these situations. Many of which will cause us pain.

Take for instance the idea that many of us, including you, are drawn to physically work out. At least, mentally drawn to it anyway. Thus just about everyone knows now that to have a good life, you need to work out.

On the other hand, just about everybody hates having to find it in them to go do this, again and again. Why? Because we all have physical injuries which bias us against working out. What kind of injuries? Well, consider this.

Several years back, I trained to climb a mile high mountain near Canada. I was climbing with five other men, all significantly younger than I was and I was fifty seven at the time. Thus I wanted to at least not hold them back too much. Thus my motive to train.

During this training then, I realized while on a tread mill, that I felt afraid each and every time I put my right foot down. Not my left foot. Only my right foot. Long story short what that I had stepped on a nail at about age nine. A rusty nail which had punctured my sneaker and injured my foot. After which I never felt the same confidence about putting my full weight on my right foot. Thus, the reluctance I observed on the tread mill.

What's the big deal? Simply this. That in stressful situations, like when we are exercising and climbing a mountain, this kind of injury can generate a heck of big but unconscious reluctance to train and work out.

It can also create an attraction of similar strength, in that we are programmed to be attracted to the only places wherein we can emerge from our injuries; the places which resemble the scene of the crime. And if the scene of the crime is that you steeped on a rusty nail, then you will be drawn back to activities wherein you need to put all your weight on this foot.

Now to answer your question, if you were to have an emergence about the beauty of working out regularly, would the cycle of starting and quitting end? My answer again is no. It would not. Just as healing my right foot injury did not end my reluctance to work out on a tread mill.

It did, however, permanently alter my reaction to steeping on my right foot. I now love it. When I can will myself past my lack of momentum and remaining injuries. The point? Working out will always involve resistance. Both from the urge to avoid disconnects and the reluctance to relive injuries.

[Question 5] Can being in the momentum of working out increase the odds I'll have an emergence about working out?
Yes. Absolutely. And in fact, it is hard to have an emergence while working out (or in any situation, for that matter) without being in the warm flow of momentum.

The thing is, momentum has a feel to it. An internal sensation wherein you feel your consciousness increasing. Or decreasing. Thus, if you forcibly push yourself through your exercise program, you will feel as much resistance to exercising as you feel encouraged to keep doing it. The result? In the end, one feeling will pretty much cancel out the other.

In other words, while pushing yourself to exercise is a good and most times necessary thing, pushing yourself against high internal resistance will negate most of the potential for increased momentum.

How can you better deal with your resistance then? By not resisting your urges to not exercise. How? By consciously choosing times wherein you will not exercise. The more deliberately you chose these times, the more your resistance will decrease.

Strangely, by consciously choosing to not exercise, you satisfy the part of you that does not want to exercise. Then, when you do push yourself to exercise, you'll feel an internal balance between having to exercise and honoring your resistance.

As for your original question; can being in the momentum of working out increase the odds I'll have an emergence about working out? The answer is, yes. Definitely. But only if you have successfully dealt with your internal resistance.

[Question 6] Are cool down exercises done at a gym an example of exiting from momentum or sustaining it? Do warm up exercises waste momentum which may better directed elsewhere? For instance, on full blown exercising? Are warm ups and cool downs the most fruitful part of the exercise, as in, they are done the most consciously?
Actually, I could not emphasize enough the importance of warm up and cool down exercises. Both are necessary parts of gaining momentum and thereby increase the benefit of any and all exercise.

Now let's look at why.

Consider your state of being just before, during, and just after exercise. Now consider how these three states mirror in some way Mohammed Ali's idea that the judges in boxing see three separate minutes in each three minute round. How does this apply to working out? We too see three separate parts to our workouts. Three separate "minutes." Just before; during; and just after.

Now consider how the just before minute and the just after minute comprise the whole of how we transition from and back into our normal life. Thus, is we shock ourselves into a workout, we will be in shock during this workout. And if we abruptly shift gears at the end of the workout, by suddenly stopping, we'll kill the beneficial momentum and go into shock in a different way.

How does this all affect the benefit of working out? My best guess? These beginning and ending transitions can increase, or decrease, the benefit of a workout by as much as 85%. How? By honoring, or not honoring, our body mind requests for conscious transitions between normal levels of life activity and working out levels of life activity.

Thus if you jump right onto a tread mill right after having sat for hours, you will benefit much less that if you warm up for two minutes before you go to full speed. Of course, if you have a programmable treadmill, this is easy as most tread mills include programs wherein you warm up and cool down.

The main idea here though is that the body and mind must both know they are working out in order to gain the full benefit. Thus abruptly slamming into exercise mode kills a lot of our body's awareness. As well as our mind's awareness. Which is why watching television or doing some other distracting activity during a workout is detrimental too.

In essence you want to drive your body and mind, just before, during, and right after workouts, similarly to how you would drive a standard shift car; gently and gradually changing gears. This, in fact, is one of the best metaphors for safely driving yourself during workouts.

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