Body Pump Aim 1 Take Out: the content is more interesting than the title I promise

This weekend I re-did my Body Pump Aim 1.

If you aren’t a Les Mills instructor – Aim 1 is effectively a one day upskill where we look to improve our own technique and our coaching. We also teach a track twice during the day and get feedback.

Normally one of the UK trainer team takes the course and there are around 5-15 people in attendance. This one was a bit different because the Creative Director for the programme, Kylie Gates, had travelled over from New Zealand to lead the day along with several UK trainers and there was over 100 people in attendance who has travelled to Woking (Surrey apparently!) from all over the country.

There are so many things from the day I could write about so I may revisit the day in more depth again in future blogs when I’ve had more time to process the information, but I wanted to touch briefly on a few of the things I took from the day.

Body Pumper or not these things apply to everyday life.

Own your Strengths

We tend to be very quick to look to our faults. When we review our performance in most things in life we look to what we could have done better or where we need improvement. That self awareness is great for self improvement but we also need to look at what we do well, the skills where we own it, our strengths; because when we work towards these strengths we can get the best results possible.

This isn’t being vain and thinking we are better than others or have no faults, just being aware of what we do contribute and do well. I have recently been working with someone who’s strength are very different to mine – I would say we are both aware of each others strengths and we work accordingly – as a result we get more done and we get it done well.

Know you purpose

Why do you do whatever you do? What do you want to get out of it? What do you contribute to the world?

When you know this it can shape how you approach your work and your interactions with people. Until recently I didn’t really know – I kind of just bobbed along. Now I have a clear vision of what I would like to do ultimately and why I want to do it.

Placing that at the centre of how you interact with others can both enhance your relationships, create meaningful connections with people and make it easier to start working towards your goals.

Be present

We generally aren’t great at hearing. There is a difference between listening to someone and hearing what they are saying, making an effort to understand what they are saying and where they are coming from.

One of my pet hates is when someone asks you a question then ignores the answer. Either interact with my response or don’t ask to start with – because asking me a question but not listening to the answer makes me feel irrelevant to you. Whether it is a personal or professional relationship, nobody likes to feel irrelevant.

Yet we all do it to varying degrees – we are busy and feel like we don’t have time to focus on the person we are talking to. When you say it like that it actually sounds as crap as it can make people feel!

We did an exercise where we had to listen to our partner speak for 60 seconds without responding or interjecting – do you know how hard that is!?

I’m taking away from the day that I need to get better at this – if I’m talking to someone they are to be my focus and I need to be present in that conversation rather than mentally multitasking. One thing I noted from talking to Kylie was that when she spoke to you it felt like she was focused on that conversation – like it was important- and that makes you feel more positive. I want people to feel more positive from talking to me.

When you have passion for what you do it’s easy to find your ‘people’

This is possibly the cheesiest thing I’ve ever written (I’ve almost made myself throw up a little) but it’s actually very true.

When the tickets for this event were put on sale I wanted to go but was aware that the distance from Manchester meant it would be expensive. A friend of a friend who also teaches Pump was in the same position – we had come across each other in Facebook groups but never met – so we decided to share a hotel room to reduce the costs.

Some people thought the idea of sharing a room with, effectively, a stranger was weird, and I think we would both admit that we were a little nervous beforehand. In the end it didn’t feel strange at all. We slipped easily into conversation and it felt like we had known each other for ages.

It shows that when you share the same interests and goals with people, it’s easier to feel comfortable with them and like you belong.

Motivation (and the weather)

I struggled to put my thoughts on paper today, so I recorded it instead.

This is just my opinion and some may disagree but hopefully you still find it a little interesting.

I’d like to stress that people train and eat certain foods for all sorts of reasons and I understand for some dissatisfaction is an excellent motivator – in which case why not stick with what works.

But i think positive motivators and choosing activities that you actually enjoy and fit into your life can have such an impact on physical and mental health.

It did for me.

Your What and Your Why

Hands up if you’ve ever heard people talk about their ‘Why’ and done a little eye roll?

I’d put a little hands up emoji here except I haven’t worked out how to do that on here yet.

I always found memes and Facebook posts or inspirational lines about motivation a bit cheesy. Generally speaking the only cheese I have time for is the type I put in my mouth or the type produced musically by the likes of Busted or McFly.

That is until recently.

I’ve come to realise that the reason I felt like understanding what your Why is was pointless was because I didn’t really have a ‘What’.

I’d done the same job for over twelve years and did what I really enjoy (teaching) on the side and kind of thought that I had left it too late to look into making any big changes and to be honest didn’t really know what changes I’d make anyway. When people talked about being passionate about what they do I always felt a bit bemused.

I realise this makes me sound quite shallow.

I probably am.

Over the last few months however, with a bit (ok maybe a lot) of prodding, I’ve started to get an idea of what I’d like to do going forward.

I’ve worked out where my passion lies, what I believe is worthwhile doing.

I know the changes I can make now to work towards those goals and I have an idea of how I can get to where I’d ultimately like to be. How I can wok my own passions into my work life.

Once I worked this out I returned to the idea of my ‘Why’. The truth is once you know what you are working towards finding the Why is actually pretty easy. The Why is also the thing that motivates you to get stuff done now – even when you’re tired and it’s hard – because you know you need to do it to get to where you want to be.

So I’m still a ‘just get shit done type of person’. I can’t really stand fanfare. Those who need to know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it do, and for everyone else the chances are you won’t know I’ve been working towards something until I decide to write something sarcastic on Facebook!

That being said I’ve come to appreciate the power of knowing your own aims / goals / passions in your head because it’s only when you understand them that you will start to work towards them with any kind of focus.