Repetition Penalty

It pays to be a winner. This has been a phrase used by Bernard. He has utilized it the entire time we have worked together. With many aspects going into the phrase. It helps activate one of the most important concepts needed in training, focus. When the mind begins to wonder inside the gym or inside of an exercise. Having so many exterior things going on in our lives. Sometimes it can be challenging not to look at the workout as one more thing. Another item inside of the week to check of the list. So, often with our exercise ball movement he will add this penalty. If the ball is not caught off the trampoline. The repetition has to be done again. When using one of the lighter weight exercise balls, this aspect didn’t feel like trouble. However, as the ball being used increased in weight, it became a thing. I wasn’t crazy about doing anymore of the throws than was required. He has often asked me to do ten repetitions in these situations. Especially when working with the 20-pound ball, ten was challenging enough. There have been times when the penalty has been greater. In certain instances, the entire set has been required to redo. If anyone of the ten is missed. The penalty has been to redo all ten repetitions. This type of incentive usually comes when working with lighter weight. Bernard has always been good about understanding my energy level. Which, most likely plays a large role in determining these penalties. 

The heightening of my concentration during these penalty sets is surprising. I have learned over time the joy of incentive. There is no doubt, the consequences can also strike some fear. Especially when talking about doing the entire set again, instead of just the repetition. These situations can teach someone how to channel emotion. The anxiety of working on any kind of movement can be high. When adding the things, cerebral palsy brings into the picture. Those uncertain emotions around a movement get elevated. Even the most basic of thoughts over whether I could fall over. The likelihood of hurting myself during a movement always enters the minds. Not only when a new movement gets introduced, but on those exercises, I have become familiar. One interesting thing about cerebral palsy is the unpredictability of my body. There are days where I experience more spasticity in my body. When there seems to be less control over the movements and balance. While it has always been challenging to understand the reasons for the variations. They can add anxiety to any kind of task. Moving my concentration from accomplishing the movement, to simply trying to survive the exercise. It seems a headspace Bernard would like me to get away from. Because, the more fear going on in me, the less we have the ability to accomplish.     

Moving my mind away from the added fear being felt is important. Though, when exercising I probably don’t want to be totally void of apprehension. Cerebral palsy can find me questioning my ability. The falls as a child, with unsteady balance, take a mental toll. When being placed in challenging positions. Those feelings of insecurity around physical ability toy with the mind. At times, it seems the anxious emotions can go a bit too far. Where they are becoming irrational. In the sense that my ability is greater than the credit it is being given. When Bernard places the penalty on a movement. The irrational fear has a chance to truly be held under control. By moving my focus away from the cerebral palsy instability. Along with the negative outcomes the disability impact could have. My mind becomes more hyper focused on the task. If I’m overly nervous about completing ten without something going sideways. Think about my anxious energy when imagining doing twenty repetitions of the movement. His consequences set me up for success by relieving some of the emotional turmoil. While, proving in no uncertain terms my capability has grown. Hopefully, giving added confidence as physical tasks are taken on in daily life. Where the situation may truly require accuracy the first time it’s being done. I can reflect back on these situations. Giving me the feeling of concentrating to the point of success. The same thing can be felt even when the penalty is reduced.

Like many other things in life. The stress of working out in the gym can take place on a continuum. The heavier the weight being moved, or more complicated the movement, the added toll on the body. That toll only becomes amplified when a disability is involved. So, when all of these levels get increased, the penalty may be reduced. However, the feeling of missing the catch could remain the same. If the execution of the movement is more challenging. The idea of being required to even do one repetition again carries heavy consequences. Like rebounding with the 20-pound ball instead of the 10-pounder. The rebounding of repetitions six through ten with the heavier ball are brutal. By the time, I reached the completion of ten reps, I don’t want to do even one more. Where doing twenty reps with the 10-pounder wouldn’t be delightful, but could be executed without too much anxiety. The penalties, though drastically different, with one penalty being one rep and the other being ten reps. They can almost carry the same impact depending on the challenge of the movement. The understanding of how cerebral palsy plays in also appears important. The taxation of each exercise might be greater. Making the penalty, in need of monitoring and adjustment. Bernard does excellent with the consideration of those variables. Allowing me to get much more out of the workout. I would have little idea on how to make the incentives accurate for my ability. He has the understanding of how to push the envelope just the correct amount.

The structure of these penalties work great for motivation. They bring my focus from anxiety into concentration. While, providing the understanding of Bernard’s attention to detail. His drive to help me find ways of getting better. As I spoke with him during our session the other day. We discussed the writing of this blog post. Looking for anymore background he might be able to impart on the subject. We talked about how this tactic of consequence relates to life outside our sessions. The things in life you might only have one chance to get correct. An example was driving a car. We only get one chance to stay in our lane without getting into an accident. One of my biggest challenges is carrying a glass of water. Or moving something hot around the kitchen. Doing it correctly the first time saves a lot of time, mess, and frustration. But, in order to execute correctly in those moments, we need to learn the skill. Learn how to move our thoughts from stressors into focus on the task. Bernard talked about the process relating to self-discipline. The process related to me as the basics of self-discipline. Where we break the skill down to its roots. Learning to focus for short amounts of time, while under stress. I thought of this penalty process as a building block. Once we learn to focus in the gym and attain positive results. The skill can be taken out into the world and through better focus, we become winners. 


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