Call Karen at (520) 955-9503. Email: karen@TrueFormCoaching.com. You can learn more at www.TrueFormCoaching.com
I look forward to working with you!
How did you apply your best self in your life in 2016?
What do you want to change going forwards in 2017?
Are you looking to improve the quality of your life or actions as you go forwards into 2017?
Change is inevitable, do you want to be the agent of change in your own life?
What would it take for you to be more ____________ (fill in the blank: happier, satisfied, intimate, loving, successful, faster, stronger, empowered….. keep going).
It's worth asking yourself the question: how can I make myself and my life better? You're as worthy as the next person to have an amazing life.
When we remove the blocks or barriers and/or develop the necessary skills we lack, we can easily generate the life we deeply desire.
Sometimes we want to give the gift of coaching to others, help them to change and if the person desires this, then change is possible. I am having a sale on coaching now through the end of the year.
Take the chance that you can become everything you desire and make it happen for yourself in 2017. A collaboration with a coach, helps become your guide, and accountability mentor keeping you on track, as you make your dreams and resolutions a reality throughout the year.
The world of competitive sport is always on the lookout for the latest clothing, techniques and training to give athletes an edge. As we saw in the recent Rio Olympic Games, team USA focused on cupping for their athletes - a largely unproven technique to aid recovery and one of many fads and phases over the years to be tested on sports stars.
Wearing compression clothing by contrast to cupping isn’t a new technique to be used by sports men and women to aid performance, but it is one of growing usage and prominence. Sports stars as such are now queueing up to wear the latest in tight fitting socks and shirts, and men in tights are just as likely to be congregating on the track as on the streets of Soho. So what is the real science behind compression clothing and does it actually work?
What is It?
Sports compression clothing comes in all shapes and sizes, from socks and tights to sleeves and vests. It works by compressing areas of the body where blood can pool during exercise, improving the flow of blood around the body and the distribution of oxygen through the muscles. This is particularly useful in the extremities such as the lower leg and ankles, where anybody that has suffered from swollen ankles can testify is an area notorious for problems.
So what is the problem? This pooling of blood can lead to aching limbs after exercise, as well as leading to issues such as varicose veins in later life. By wearing compression clothing, this pooling is prevented, leading to lower recovery times and greater endurance.
How Does it Work?
Compression clothing is designed to defy the laws of gravity and give blood a helping hand to flow more smoothly around the body. Valves that are supposed to return blood back to the heart can become ineffective through age and injury, resulting in a slight backflow of blood and weakening of the vein walls.
Compression clothing counteracts this by applying firm, graduated pressure to the muscles and veins, exerting more pressure in problem areas such as the ankles to encourage the blood to flow up the leg, improving performance of the valves and returning blood back to the heart more efficiently.
Does it Actually Work?
A number of studies have been undertaken to determine the effects of compression clothing on athletes. A recent study by the National Institutes of Health focused on the effects of compression clothing on runners. In the study, compression clothing including socks, calf sleeves, shorts and tights were assessed to understand the effect both on performance and recovery over a number of different disciplines including half marathons, trail running, 5 & 10km runs and 400m sprints.
The study found that although there was no noticeable effect on performance times over the range of disciplines, positive effects were found for the calculated time to exhaustion, perceived exertion and peak leg muscle power. It also found that there were large positive effects for post-exercise soreness and a delay in onset of muscle fatigue.
While the sporting world might feel immune to yet another perceived fad, the science shows that compression clothing is far from this. While timed performance may not be improved from wearing it, studies have shown that by wearing compression clothing there is an improvement in endurance performance, running economy, biomechanical variables, perception and muscle temperature.
So what does this mean in English? Simply put, compression clothing has been shown to increase the time to exhaustion and greatly improve recovery times after exercise, as well as benefits in reduced muscle pain, damage and inflammation.
As with any addition to sporting equipment, it should be considered what the user wishes to get from it before purchasing it. While it might not help you to run a sub 3 hour marathon, compression clothing will help with endurance and improve the time of recovery, as well as making the walk down the stairs feel slightly more comfortable the following morning.
For more information on sports compression clothing, you can visit The Leg Care Company.
Written by Charlotte Waller
How many times in life do we need to learn the same lesson? I suppose until the lesson is fully mastered, and then we may move on to another life lesson.
Since 2011 I have not enjoyed the open water triathlon swim. Each time I find myself again in the competitive swim environment I question my motives: why I do keep signing up for Xterra Triathlons? My mental mantra had been “I do this because it allows me to get to the bike and run.” Biking and running are two events that I quite enjoy.
A couple weeks ago, I participated at the Rock hopper Xterra, a pre-season 2017 race, in Tempe, AZ. For the first time ever, I experienced enjoyment in an open water competitive swim. My previous lack of enjoyment never stopped me from competing, but I envied friends who actually found this part fun.
There was nothing factually different about this swim from all other triathlon competitive open water swim events; I got elbowed, kicked, grabbed and edged out by larger competitors. I did some feet grabbing and nearly pulled out my water polo flip over the back of a competitor maneuver, not yet used in competition. However, what was completely different this day was that I felt at peace in the water. I had a sense of ease with the waves and the other bodies thrashing around me. Simply, nothing bothered me. I felt calm, protected, safe and in the moment. I flowed with the currents and enjoyed the feel of the water.
I made my way to transition. I felt strange, I had a new experience, “fun” in the swim. I shook off the odd strangeness and refocused myself for the bike event.
Once on the bike, I used my pacing strategies, drafted off a competitor into a head wind, and took each obstacle as it came. I have dreamed of passing competitors up hills, for years, and trained on hills, but typically this was where I got crushed. On this day, my dream came true! I felt astounded, and it occurred not just once but several times.
I passed four girls and held my lead on the downhills. I made solid advances. Quickly I found myself riding with only men. I know this is an excellent sign of a solid lead and a potential podium. I felt excited about that possibility. Thinking about results, in the moment of a sport performance, will make those results more elusive. I refocused my thoughts to the moment and put results thinking aside. “Just have a fun, solid ride,” I told myself. I’m an auditory person and mantras work better for me than visual images. “Be here, now,” “ride and have fun.”
I was alone out on the course during my second lap. This was unusual and I argued with myself internally about whether or not it was a two lap course. Doubt, started to creep into my mind. Doubt is cancerous to a solid sport performance. It is completely self-destructive and many athletes attack and destroy themselves when they allow doubtful thoughts to drag them down. Clients call this, “the spiral of death,” “the black hole,” “the dark side of the force,” I’ve heard all sorts of names for it. I do not typically fight with doubt, but there it was. I decided it was time to get it out of my head.
I used lyrics of a modern pop song my teenagers listen to, ”My name is NO, my number is NO, No, No, No,” I sang to myself to stop the mental argument and return to the moment. I decided if I did an extra lap, I could be proud of myself for a longer workout. It’s my job to know the course. It was a two lap course two years ago, but I didn’t check, I assumed the course would be two laps again. This assumption opened the door for doubt to grow and deteriorate my confidence.
I rode into transition, and I knew I had a very solid lead on my competitors. Turns out it was a two lap course and doubt was gone—for the moment. But like cancer it can go into remission and return to rear it’s ugly head when you least expect it.
It was time to pace my run at 85% up until the last half mile and then go full out. This course is a sprint distance and counts towards Xterra Points for the 2017 season, a course that works towards my strengths. I enjoy running, but it’s not my best of the three events. I had not been training for speed leading into this race, I settled myself with “just do the best I can, it’s a pre-season race, plenty of time for speed workouts before next season.”
The most amazing thing happened, again for the first time ever, I passed a girl running uphill. I used to lie to myself and say, “I am a strong uphill runner,” something I wanted to be true. It helped ward off hopelessness, doubt and depression about giving up the lead I had from the bike while I was passed by competitors on the run. However, this day, I actually was a strong uphill runner. I ran down, not just one girl going uphill, but I overtook two more. This was truly unbelievable! How I have longed for this experience, and there it was! I could hardly believe both the bike and the run, I must have gotten stronger this year—finally. I felt proud, stunned, strong and pleased with my progress.
I was solidly in qualifying position for a slot to World Championships.
I stayed focused in the moment and was a half mile from the finish. It was time to kick it into full gear and give my 100%, making certain to leave everything out on the course. I’m having the best race of my life, I’m running at full effort, I was .3 miles from the finish line when I saw the trail turn off to the right and on some deep level I knew it was the right way to go, but I would have been alone, again.
A large pack of male competitors I had been trying to chase down, all went straight onto the concrete, missing the trail. I did not hesitate long enough. The cancerous doubt returned, corroded my confidence, and I abdicated my deep inner truth to follow the crowd. I have always been more of a follower than a leader, valuing my easy-going nature, yet in this moment…. I did myself a disservice. And it’s not the first time that following a crowd has gotten me in trouble.
Shooting pain in my hamstring stopped me dead in my tracks, a cramp. I paused to walk, gripped my hamstring with my hand and waited for it to release. The group of men turned back and passed me as I stood frozen breathing through pain. I never cramp, luckily the pain was subsiding. I could run again and I took off, only this time I decided I would not make the same mistake twice, and I would not follow the men again. And that was my second major mistake. I took off running towards the trail, up the sidewalk where I thought I could get back to the trail, but it turned out to be a dead end, the sidewalk was fenced off for construction and I was stuck, off course, lost and walking. Dazed and confused I walked an extra mile. Struggling with subsiding hamstring pain, mental confusion and heart ache. I slowly made my way back towards the finish line. I threw away my position for Worlds. Disbelief and curiosity filled me as I slowly found my way to the finish line. Why haven’t I completely mastered this life lesson?
This is what I love about athletics, and why I continue to sign up for races. I grow as a human being through my sports. If we look closely at our life themes, they will cross multiple areas of our lives. I can assure you I have been learning to trust myself, risk following my own path, not abdicating my power to others in multiple areas of my life, for many years. This life lesson is by no means isolated only to my athletics.
Am I upset? Not anymore, but of course I felt upset, particularly at myself for not trusting myself in a crucial, defining moment. Will the discomfort I feel be enough to teach me to listen deeply, to trust my inner voice and to be willing to go against the direction of a crowd next time? If it is not, I will be presented with another opportunity in the future, to learn this same lesson. It is often our pain and discomfort that are our biggest teachers, not our successes.
People who know me, know that I often talk about focus being a choice. I stand at a crossroads. I can focus on how I threw my qualifying spot with three tenths of a mile from the finish line or I can focus on the amazing zen-like swim, which I have longed for, the personal progress of actually passing people uphill on both the bike and the run.
Where I place my focus greatly influences my experiences in life, and focus is a choice. I find this choice empowering and freeing. It’s like a secrete key to success. I always thought that where I lacked in athletic talent, I made up for with a solid mental game. I have developed my mental game mainly by choosing where to place my focus.
Feelings come and go, and I have had a lot of feelings about this race over the last couple weeks. One friends suggested I allow myself to be upset, angry, disappointed and hurt for 24 hours and then let it go. I liked her idea of giving myself a time-frame. I felt so conflicted initially and for the remainder of the day.
How could I stay upset? I had one of the best races of my life! I felt proud, amazed, astounded and my progress was so apparent; And yet I don’t have the results to show for it. Ultimately I stand at the cross roads ready to make a choice, how do I want to feel about this event? Since my focus is a choice, I allowed myself to feel upset and then after 24 hours, I moved towards acceptance and let go of all negative feelings. I could nurse my grudge towards myself, but to what end? It will only hurt my personal progress and block me from important personal growth. Wouldn’t it be more valuable to spend my energy wondering how I generated that blissful, fun swim experience? If I created it once, I can do it again. If I choose to focus on the lessons learned, I will solidify my progress and personal growth.
There will be more races in the future and more opportunities to qualify. The more important question truthfully is, how many more opportunities will I need, in the future to learn to trust myself, or have I fully learned this lesson, such that I can move on to mastering the next one?
Want to grow personally through your athletics? Not an athlete but want to work with Karen Quigley? She is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, a life coach and sport psychology consultant in private practice. Karen@TrueFormCoaching.com 520-955-9503. Define yourself!
Bullying hurts our children and we want it to end immediately. Despite this desire, the reality is that we all have only limited control over the world and how our children are treated by it. Love and Logic places an emphasis on empowering children to become victors rather than victims.
As parents it's our job to guide our children through challenging times and teach them to respond to their world in ways that are effective.
When we respond to our children with compassion while helping our kids develop the skills required to protect themselves, we open the door for learning to occur.
When we react, get excited, angry and take over the situation, we steal important growth opportunities from our children.
Rescue only when necessary.
We must rescue our children when they experience bullying so severe that it overwhelms their ability to cope physically or emotionally. That’s what good parents do.
Unnecessary rescuing creates weak kids who become more popular targets for bullies. Children feel helpless and perpetuate being the victim.
Listen with an open heart.
When our children are hurting, the most important thing we can do is listen with empathy, allowing them to express their full range of emotions. It is our job to tolerate their emotions, validate their feelings and teach them the skills to handle behaving properly for the situation. Of course, this can become difficult when we, too, are flooded with feelings over the issue.
Isn’t it true that when we know how much other people care, it makes the struggles we are facing seem more manageable? We often find that we too can handle challenging situations, when we know we are supported by those who love us, children experience strength from our love and compassion in the same capacity.
Empower them with the belief that they can cope.
Down deep, children feel empowered when we ask, “What do you think you might do to solve this problem?” While they may lack answers to this question, asking it demonstrates that we believe in their abilities.
Give them some practical experiments.
Learning to deal effectively with bullies hinges on our child’s ability to remain calm, or even use a bit of humor, when the bully tries to upset or provoke them.
People who learn how to handle bullying when they are kids, learn how to handle the bullies they will occasionally encounter as adults.
If you're not certain how to teach these skills to develop resilient children, who are capable of handling their challenges attend Love and Logic Parent Education on 10/18, 10/25, 11/1.
Perhaps you know someone who doesn’t feel whole…doesn’t experience happiness…unless they are receiving acknowledgment from the outside?
How do we coach our children to be accountable, to live from internal values and become delightful young people who are fun to be around?
We certainly recognize if we are always pointing out a persons faults or tearing them down, their self-esteem will go down too.
But do we want our kids dependent upon the praise of others, or do we want them guided by a voice of personal responsibility residing in their hearts and their heads?
Far too many parenting and school discipline approaches rely on changing behavior by consistently providing praise and tangible goodies. Will it work, sure, in the short-term, but will it develop them to eventually live from their internal values, not necessarily.
While occasional praise is fine, do we set our kids up for difficulties when we overdo it?
Of course we can over-do it! Typically, this is not the parent who walks into my practice telling me they are over-positive towards their children, always pointing out their successes. When parents are not genuine, children know it and see through it.
A life guided by an internal set of principles…and a strong understanding of cause and effect…is far more likely to produce confidence and joy than a life dependent upon the fickle opinions of others.
Take the following quiz to see whether you are creating responsibly independent kids…or praiseaholics:
1. When my kids succeed on a task, I recognize their effort and their good feelings…rather than telling them how happy it makes me.
2. I demonstrate that I love them, even when I don’t necessarily love their behavior.
3. I allow my kids to see me resisting peer pressure…rather than always trying to project a perfect image.
4. I provide praise, only when they have done something truly praiseworthy, and I can be genuine.
5. My kids often overhear me talking about how I make my decisions based on my own beliefs...rather than seeing me make decisions based on what “everybody else is doing.”
6. I allow my kids to make mistakes and learn from their choices…rather than constantly telling them what to do.
7. I provide learning opportunities that help develop my children's internal sense of values.
The more “yes” answers you gave, the more likely your kids will learn to resist peer pressure and lead lives where their happiness is based on doing the right thing rather than trying to please everyone.
Need Help Parenting?
Attend a Love and Logic Parent Education Course because when kids are able to keep going when the going gets tough, they will see themselves as winners.
It is said that the first ninety percent of a task takes ninety percent of the time, and the last ten percent takes the other ninety percent. This can be applied to any task in life, especially athletics. Every athlete has been there: the last mile of a race, the final sprint to the finish line, the last minute of a game. It is the part that lasts the shortest time, yet seems to be the longest trial of an athlete’s determination and strength.
Why is it the case that what should be the final push to the end seems to be the most mentally and physically draining portion of an athletic endeavor? Simply put, it is because the end is near. When we can visualize the finish, we can mentally picture the relief of completion. Although this can be the boost some athlete’s need to push themselves to the next level of effort, for many athletes this metal lapse in focus transfers to a physical decrease in performance. It is the maintained focus of the last ten percent that can differentiate the consistent athlete from the constantly improving athlete.
To maintain focus and drive in the last ten percent of a workout or race is not easy. However the ability to do so will build not only mental strength but physical strength as well. Studies have shown that strength and endurance are both increased once your muscles have reached the point of exhaustion, which normally occurs in the last ten percent of a workout. By fighting the urge to let up and go easy, you are actually building strength and endurance that will increase your threshold for your next workout. It is in this crucial time that athletes grow and improve. The first 90 percent of effort is ruined by a lack of effort in the last ten percent.
Is it competition season?
What exactly is feeling under pressure?
Athletes with whom I coach tell me that pressure is a combination of their own expectations, the expectations of others expressed towards them and their feelings of anxiety. Sometimes athletes feel pressure to perform to protect themselves against fears of failure or public humiliation.
Believe it or not, the sporting event or competition actually holds no innate pressure… that’s right….. zero pressure. So, what’s the deal?
The feeling of pressure is an experience that is created by the athlete in response to the particular event or competition.
Your perception, your viewpoint, your beliefs and the meanings you attach to the event are what generate your experiences.
Free Tips to Remove Pressure:
1. Accept the reality that you are the one creating this sense of “pressure,” and that you are fully capable of dismantling it.
2.Learn to be in the moment. Stay focused on the process (avoid outcome thinking). Ask yourself what is your job right now, then achieve this goal. Avoid thinking about the whole competition.
3. Recall why you participate in your sport. Athletes have different motives that drive them, but knowing clearly why you are involved is key.
4. Keep it fun. Relaxed athletes perform better than athletes who pressure themselves.
If you need guidance getting there call coach Karen 520-955-9503. Karen@trueformcoaching.com www.TrueFormCoaching.com
What are the underpinnings of motivation?
When people are motivated by external rewards such as money, prizes this is called extrinsic motivation.
Self-Determination Theory, created by Dr. Deci & Dr. Ryan suggests that the longer lasting intrinsic motivation has three main sources:
1. Competence: people need to gain mastery over tasks and learn skills for growth.
2. Connection and relatedness: People need to experience a sense of belonging and attachment to others. 3. Autonomy: people need to feel in control of their own behaviors, goals and destiny.
Self-determination theory suggests that when the above needs are met, people will be more internally driven to reach their goals. However, research has discovered that this does not necessarily happen automatically.
A person who desires to maintain sustained motivation must put forth a conscious effort to sustain the underlying needs that drive motivation.
Here are a few tips on how to do that:
1. Sign up for a race or competition, once your money is paid you can definitely not step down. You will be more motivated. (Autonomy)
2. Get Support: join a club or group, train with a friend, hire a coach. You can even ask a friend to hold you to your commitments. (Connection)
3. Gain competence, learn new mental skills or perfect your biomechanics and gain mastery over maintaining and holding different paces. (competence)
4. Get an energizing music play list with beats per minuet that match your exercises or the cadence you desire. (Autonomy)
5. Choose the right equipment for you. Each person is different and finding what works best for you is important and empowering. (Autonomy)
6. Come up with your own ways to stay connected, gain mastery over new skills and remain in control of your destiny.
Need Help? Email Karen@TrueFormCoaching.com. Www.trueformcoaching.com. Call 520-955-9503
Many of us set goals for the future. Goals can be an excellent motivator or an excuse to completely stop forward progress.
Possibly your goal is to run a mile, lose 10 pounds, or set a personal record at your next race. The problem for many people is they put off starting their goal accomplishment, and this becomes the habit making the goal seem more daunting.
Many people fall off their plan of action and then throw the whole endeavor away completely; or they put off starting again until some date in the future. This all or nothing thinking will only contribute feelings of guilt, regret, doubt and feeling badly yourself.
When working towards a goal, make a plan for the possibility that you get off track. This will help you get back on track sooner. You will waste less time and avoid an unhelpful round of self-criticism.
Consider the fact that we all have the same 24 hours in each day. What we choose to put in our day is up to us. Of course we all have responsibilities and obligations, yet we still have lots of opportunities to make choices. Each day we are faced with the opportunity to make thousands of micro-decisions. These might be as simple as choosing to drink water or tea instead of soda or coffee. These micro-decisions effect our wellbeing and either support us reaching our goals or can work against our reaching our goals.
How can our small daily decision affect us reaching our goals? The answer is in our energy. Energy is a limited resource for all of us. Frequently our mico-decisions affect our ability to stay energized and reach our goals. We all know that 8 hours of sleep is recommended and yet many of us function on significantly less sleep per night. When we are tired, we are more apt to make compensatory decisions for sugar and caffeine in attempt to manage our energy.
It is never too late to start over. In each moment, you can make a new choice. Ask yourself, “What can I do today to make at least one right choice towards reaching my goals?” How about 3-5 micro-decisions each day that will support yourself reaching your larger goals?
Acknowledge the action steps you take each day and do not discount it as not being good enough, or being too small. It was likely more than you did the day before when you were putting off reaching your goals entirely.
Once you have decided on your daily action step or steps—just do it. When you begin to align your daily actions with your values, in order to achieve your goals, you will live a more fulfilling life. You’ll feel proud of yourself for taking the action and working towards accomplishing your goals.
If you happen to forget a day, or several days, and you find yourself off track, remember to treat yourself like a good friend, with care and kindness. Then, make a new choice and go forwards.
Need assistance managing your energy and making supportive choices towards your goals--call coach Karen 520-955-9503 or email Karen@trueformcoaching.com. Check out my website at www.TrueFormCoaching.com