Sport and competition has always been a constant in my life.  From martial arts, to boxing, skating and climbing, I’m always interested to learn new disciplines, and over the last 6 months I have embarked on a new sporting challenge, to learn Cross Fit.

For those of you who have been living in a cave, Cross Fit has been around for 10 years. Originating from the USA, it is the ultimate fitness programme and a sport consisting of a combination of exercises such as Olympic lifting, carrying large/ heavy objects, jumping over boxes and climbing ropes. There are technical gymnastic elements such as pulling your body weight up to a bar (Kipping) handstand press ups and walking handstands (BTW I have not mastered these yet.)

After a heavy weights session, (for example squatting and deadlifting) the hour ends by mixing a combination of all the exercises together (metabolic conditioning) to squeeze every last drop of sweat out of you. Most sessions end up with participants writhing on the floor – fully fatigued and with a real sense of satisfaction!

If you follow my work, you will know that know I like to translate lessons from sport into business and I help leaders to apply these learning’s with a view to improving performance and effectiveness. Over the past 20 years of supporting people to change, I have learned how physical challenges impact you both physically and mentally, and I firmly believe that sport and exercise can build your resilience and empower you to overcome your greatest challenges. I have worked with clients to help them realise these changes in many different ways. In some cases, for example in a workplace setting, even the most basic increase in movement – where individuals were once habitually sedentary can produce powerful results for energy levels and subsequent productivity.

Improving strength, flexibility and posture can have a positive impact on confidence, leadership and resilience- the research relating to how the body shapes the mind is mounting all the time. Not to be ignored are the actual gains achieved by the process of exercise itself -which boosts brainpower, mood and mindset. Bank some exercise today and you can expect to enjoy improved executive functioning through enhancing your ability to problem solve and organise your thoughts along with a truck load of health benefits (I could go on here but I wont.)

So in light of my recent personal experiences, my next blog will be about my leadership lessons, learned in the most unexpected of places, the Cross Fit box (aka the gym). If you have heard me speak or if you have been to my workshops you will know that I’m all about interaction and bringing ideas to life, so I will also include some additional coaching questions for you to reflect on. You can then extract your own learning’s from your experiences and you will come out with some practical actions to immediately implement.

See you in two weeks.

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