A tool we don't think to use
When we think about entertainment that gives us an unforgettable experience, we probably all agree that there's one element that the best shows, movies, music and performers have, it’s the ability to take us through an emotional experience.
Recently I had this experience when Jo and I went to see Tom Hanks’ latest movie, Captain Phillips. Rotten Tomatoes, one of the world’s leading movie review websites, scored this film at 94% out of 100% and there is already Oscar buzz for Hanks’ performance and after seeing the movie I couldn’t agree more. In the final 20 minutes of the film Hanks lead me through an emotional experience which started the tears rolling down my cheeks and what was fascinating about this performance was that the emotion I was feeling wasn’t the type of emotion that would normally associate with tears. I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to ruin the film for you but Hanks definitely took me to a highly emotional place.
This wasn’t the first time that I had experienced an emotional high that day, earlier on I headed out on my bike for a couple of hours. It was a perfect day for training, the sky was clear, the sun was out and there wasn’t a breath of wind. I was riding on the flat for a while and then I hit the bottom of one of Christchurch’s tougher hill climbs, Coopers Knob. Just before I started the climb up this classic cyclist route I stopped for a second, grabbed a drink and decided to put my favourite song on repeat, this was David Dallas’ latest hit ‘Running’. Once the music was pumping in my ears my legs started rolling and I was moving up the hill. I was instantly feeling good so I decided to push the tempo and try to maintain a hard intensity, my head was down and my heart was working at a fast pace. When I got over the top of one of the many climbs I was hit with the most amazing view, Canterbury was stunning and showing all it’s glory. There was something special about this moment, it was like all of the factors that create magic in exercise came together. I was in the most amazing surroundings, I was feeling strong and fast, and David Dallas was driving me to an emotional place that enhanced this experience to the next level. I jumped on this emotion and felt amazing as I worked hard to the top of the peak. I was buzzing!
There’s something about emotional experiences that enrich our lives, most of us know this but sometimes we need to be reminded that we can use these emotions as a tool to take us to a higher place. Often when you think about heading out the door to exercise you are confronted with resistance, the internal battle begins which is trying to convince you that you can do it tomorrow. Imagine that at that time you decided to use emotional tools to make you feel charged and excited about the exercise you are about to do. You may start by jumping on Youtube and watching an inspirational clip that fires you up, you then consciously put emotionally driven words in your head and change your posture so you feel ready to face a challenge. From there you put your favourite song on, that song that almost gives you goosebumps and visualise what you are going to do during your session. You are amped and ready for the challenge.
When we understand that we can consciously create our own emotional experiences we can look at it as a tool that we can use to help move us towards what we are aiming for. This can help you in overcoming resistance but more importantly it can make exercise a more rewarding experience which makes it more appealing for you to move towards. This will help you to start to actively seek it out - which has to be a good thing.
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