Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What Motivates You?

Why do we do the things we do each day? Or why do we not do certain things? What motivates you?

Why I train with kettlebells is fairly personal for me. I'm an older dad of a young son. I was 42 when my son Alex was born and he is almost 5 now. His birthday is in just a few months.

I wanted to make sure that I had the wind, flexibility and strength to play actively with him as he gets older. I don't want to be the old guy wearing at suit at Little League who isn't playing catch after the game is over.

When he was first born, I was in decent looking shape but wasn't able to move the way that I was used to. I was inflexible and also had lost lots of strength. I wish I could remember exactly how I found Dragon Door. I can't but I did end up at the website in November, 2006. I had never heard of kettlebells but was intrigued enough to begin working with an RKC instructor. I attended a few workshops after that and quickly got addicted to the changes I was making. Yes, I was getting tons stronger but what intrigued me most was how much better I was moving and how much more flexible I was getting. And how my aerobic capacity was really improving without "The dishonor of aerobics," as Pavel so brilliantly puts it. It was the classic "WTH" effect that so many seem to get from "Hard Style" kettlebell training.

My next step was a few workshops. Mike Mahler, Anthony Diluglio and I kept getting better and fitter. Enter David Whitley, Sr. RKC. He and I had an email correspondence going and he wondered why I wouldn't want to learn from the gentleman who really has been the driving force for the popularity of kettlebells in the United States. So I signed up for the October, 2008 RKC in April of last year. Once I knew I was going, then I developed a training map. Each destination in the journey was planned. There was no meandering. I was not going to fail. Simple as that. I was now motivated not only by the desire to be in shape for my son and me but there was no way I was going to the RKC certification and not leaving with my cert. No way no how.

Honestly, when I first learned what the requirements were I thought...."oh I don't know....sounds hard...can I do it? etc etc." Once I committed I just figured it out. Knew what I needed to do. Not everyone does. I mean there was a guy on Team Jones who had NEVER trained with a 24 kg kettlebell. How he was going to pass was a mystery to me and certainly to him as well.

Is there hope for you? It depends what motivates you and how bad you want to achieve your goal(s). For example, the RKC just published new requirements for our certification. Is it harder? Certainly more is being asked of us, especially for women. Most RKC women felt the old standard was too easy so change was implemented.I hate this phrase but it is useful here. "It is what it is." I passed with a different, not sure easier, standard. Will I pass it when I recert? I can guarantee I will no matter what the requirement. I'll plan for it and crush it. I wanted badly to be able to roughhouse and not get my butt kicked by a 5 year old. Pretty motivating. I also found that I really wanted to share with others. Motivating again! When I re-test I will be incredilby motivated.

If there is a better and faster why to reach general fitness goals, I'm not aware of it. You get strong, flexible and really aerobically fit with kettlebell training.

I can't get a wonderful workout done in less time than a drive to the local gym. Nice huh?

Sandy Sommer, RKC

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At April 22, 2009 at 4:16 AM , Blogger mike said...

very nice

At April 22, 2009 at 4:44 AM , Blogger Juan Bacca RKC said...

Sandy,I don't have any children of my own,but I cannot find a better motivation to stay in shape.Great post.Power to you!

At April 22, 2009 at 5:32 AM , Blogger Sandy Sommer, RKC said...

Thanks Mike and Juan. I appreciate it!

At April 22, 2009 at 7:41 AM , Blogger Liz said...

Great post, Sandy! I'm sure you will be more active and vital than many of the younger fathers in your area.

I'd love to say I was motivated by health concerns, but I have always been a pretty healthy person to begin with.

To be completely honest, I was motivated by vanity. I didn't want to look the way I looked anymore. I wanted to look better.

Why? I'm married to a guy who loves me (even as a size 8 or near size 10), but I wanted to look better for ME.

And then, there's the toughness factor. I'm small, petite, and a woman. But I don't like to let people categorize or dismiss me based on that.

So it gives me a rush to be able to do things that bigger women, and even some men can't do. And again, I'll be honest, that's vanity.

The good thing about vanity, though, is it's an excellent motivator, and in this case, it has the side benefit of making me healthier AND happier. Not so bad, right?

And I'm sure I'll still be pretty spry and active when my grandkids come along, 20+ years from now!

At April 22, 2009 at 9:10 AM , Blogger Chris J said...

I don't have one thing that motivates me like you.

I always want to get back down to 180, but to me that's a dream not a goal.

What got me going, was being tired of being 260 and creeping upwards, missing martial arts, and being tired of walking with a limp.

I got rid of the limp, and went back to martial arts in pretty good shape. I was asked by my master where else I had been training when I hadn't been training for 4 years.

Now my motivation is 2 things. 1) not to embarrass myself in June. and 2) being able to meet any requirements thrown down for my next test and my Black Belt test after that.

Number 2 is the bigger motivator, since I'll probably be testing in June.

At April 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM , Blogger Sandy Sommer, RKC said...

Liz and Chris,

Great thoughts from both of you. I love your honesty Liz. Lots of people are motivated by how they look (why shouldn't they be?) but won't admit it. And Chris, the strides you've made would make anyone proud for sure. I'm glad I know you both:)


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