"'Cause you never give up what you've already gained." Lashaun Dale
In this particular case the idea of never giving ground came not from a struggle and battle it out perspective, but a gentler, supportive, self-growth perspective created while practicing on the yoga mat during one of her classes, an evening class where I felt as though I was really battling for every inch of my practice when her words caught my attention. She was referring to a flow we were working through.
However, it struck me on a slightly deeper cord and has been a thought I've been playing with and started bringing to my clients. Never give ground. Where have I been giving ground and what does this mean?
For me as a bodybuilder and working hard toward getting healthy it means making better choices everyday. Making sure to avoid the food which upsets my body, getting enough sleep pushing my weights hard, but also doing the fun things which help to renew my soul. Yoga. Poi spinning. Biking. Reading.
What else does this mean?
It means taking those positive changes you've made in your life, no matter how small, and guarding them fiercely. For instance, maybe today the best decision you made was not opening the second can of cola which you usually drink as an afternoon pick me up, that's ground gained. Maybe instead of flopping onto the couch you took the dog for a walk, that's ground gained. Maybe you just made a healthy swap at dinner, spoke to a personal trainer, wandered through the self-growth books, subscribed to SHAPE, or began putting money back to save for a gym membership. All those choices, any positive choice, is ground gained, and once you've gained ground, pushed yourself (no matter how hard or how easy it was) it's still ground gained and you never give up ground gained.
I means if you managed to do a shoulder press in good form with a set of 20s (even if it was for only 3 reps) you keep the ground and drop set as needed while you build strength and work the strength curve. It means taking the initiative to carve out self-care, even for five minutes once a week, you guard it fiercely, keeping your commitment to yourself on a regular basis and mindfully watching and being prepared to step forward and gain more ground as needed, even if it's slightly uncomfortable.
So, my question to you is, where have you been gaining then giving up ground? And if you find these areas, seize them again, but make the decision to hold them. You've earned them, possibly fought for them, now keep them by making those moments of growth insanely important in your ever day life until they are natural.
To sum it up, basically, once you've thrown the 8lb medicine ball for reps, don't give ground, not matter how tired, bored, or empty you're feeling, hold your ground and dig for it, even though dropping to the 6lb medicine ball would be easier. Life happens, things happen, and the body changes with our emotional and mental state, but if we run back into our comfort zone, or refuse to hold what's been preciously gained, the growth and lessons we learned and battled for only manage to leave us slightly beat up and bruised without understanding why.
Never give ground.