A favorite childhood memory is of dredging channels in the sandbox then running the hose to float toys through all the twists and turns. Of course, once the water started most of the channels just collapsed, but then it was especially gratifying to redirect the water by building new channels. Even better was watching the toys actually float from the ‘mouth’ to the ‘basin’ after making the necessary engineering adjustments. Good times!…until the neighbors called because the continuous flow of water was flooding their yard.

Fast-forward about four decades and wouldn’t it be nice if in times of a funk redirection could be so clearly visioned, not to mention simply executed with but a shovel from the garage…

Being ‘Off’ is annoying…lonely…empty…cold… Out of the blue the client puts the account up for review or your assistant quits or your proposal is booted during the first round of review or your team’s overt lack of responsiveness to your leadership is as if you are communicating in gibberish. Oh but it doesn’t stop at work, the fun of ‘Off just snowballs into a clustered string. Clothes don’t feel right, the line at the grocery is 10-deep, but whatever because the ATM machine ate your card, and now the new 10-deep in line are staring/glaring. Then, the car door jams causing bags to tear during transfer into the car, which makes you drop your phone when you bend down to pick up the escaping apples… Good times!… If only the solve was as easy as turning off the sandbox river water.

Mostly, being Off is frustrating because you know you DO have the skills to lead your team to a successful end, you DO have the answers, you AREN’T a klutz, you CAN do it, [email protected]# it.

But like running downhill unable to catch up to your legs, some celestial anchor, some freak force of nature, something from the dark side has pulled you into this ‘Off funk, and of all people, you! The permanent chair of the ‘one to call’ committee, the one who actually remembers the details the new policy’s procedures and how to clear a copier jam. Now THIS?

It only takes being human to be susceptible to the ebbs of flows. So if you happened to dribble a few spots of blood after nicking yourself shaving (add that to the list, too!), well, you are human. @#$%^ funks @#$%^ suck! Yep, and with that let’s move to a solve.

First, understand ‘Off is temporary. Of course I can no more guarantee that for me than you but based upon my years of experience helping women de-funk, it CLEARLY is temporary.

Second, accept/be open to the other side of funk being a new normal. In fact, expect a new life-per-usual. Without apology to our tendency of habit, when a groove becomes a rut it’s time for the ‘C’ word—change. Rest assured though, the process is only as difficult as you make it – read in reverse, it’s in your power to just MAKE adjustments, rather than get caught up in the paralyzing emotion of having to make them! I know, it sounds so neat and tidy on paper, but, pause for dramatic effect – Trust the Process!, because there is a way.

Bottom line, you need some wins. You need to experience the satisfaction of using the shovel to re-dredge channels, symbolically speaking, to regain what it is to cause a productive effect. Winning can be a by-product of momentum. Most often talked about as it pertains to sports, it’s an intangible that just happens to be THE factor that determines a competition’s outcome. It’s also immeasurable and subjective. Great, right? This one powerball thing is like a faceless amoeba that has no contour.

But if you played or play sports or are a sports fan you KNOW it. Things are going well for your team until bam something happens and all of a sudden, things are going well for the other team. The kicker is the cause of that something is usually undetectable to the naked eye, which is the same for ‘Off. In sports, momentum-gone-wild is best countered by taking a time-out and switching strategy on offense or defense to choke its energy source and redirect its swing.

So here we are along the sideline of a court in a proverbial time out. Ready to get your legs back under you? And, regain your swagger bigger than ever?

The mechanism to change your momentum and GET YOU SOME WINS is physical activity, specifically an approach to physical activity that reveals all the ways you CAN achieve and how to display all the ways your DO achieve.

Why physical activity/exercise?

 It uniquely and profoundly gifts wellness, perhaps more necessary in lean than fat times.
 The cognitive clarity that aerobic exercise induces can inspire a new/different perspective.
 Organized events (e.g., community running or cycling races) are opportunistic for meeting new people – opening new avenues for socializing and networking. (Organized activity clubs offer on-going opportunities.)
 Sports offer avenues for professional growth/networking, e.g., golf with clients, play on the company softball team to enhance your presence.
 Sports offer the venue to hone your competitiveness and capacity to manage competition’s emotions. Participate in organized races and leagues to practice ‘being on the line’ and realizing you can deal with a process that can be unpredictable and has an unknown outcome.
And
 Hone your familiarity with ‘performance emotions,’ which enhance your capacity to lead teams by understanding how to respond to their reactions to performance outcomes – e.g., winning/losing business, frustration-discouragement-elation.
 Exercise/sport offers the means to see a process through to an end – e.g., training for, then completing a race; playing a sport season.
 The release of endorphins catalyzes an immediate and sustained ‘high’.
 The release of adrenaline heightens senses that can sharpen the quality of your work.
 Exercise allows you to exert control – you design then execute your routine
 Exercise/sport adds structure/routine to your day – attending group fitness class at X on X days, working with your personal trainer at X on X days, playing league sports on X day.
 Different types of activity nourish our soul in different ways. Hiking, surfing, the rhythmic music of group fitness class, cycling, dancing – each offers a different sensory experience.
 Physical activity uniquely and profoundly fosters physical/emotional/cognitive vigor; physical stamina to endure working long hours, reduced stress, sense of calmness, cognitive sharpness.

For these reasons and more, physical activity is a momentum-changer with an unprecedented capacity to GET YOU SOME WINS! But many of you are skeptical because you have only realized limited satisfaction doing physical activity, if not sheer disappointment that has led to avoidance for the sake of self-protection from further disappointment. The main culprit is not realizing the radical body transformation that is virtually guaranteed, and quickly and easily! ‘6-weeks to a new body’ just doesn’t happen, because radical change for how it’s presented is unrealistic. Weight loss and/or muscle growth, yes, but not to the degree of radical change – like your arms looking like a celebrity’s (no more than theirs looking like yours).

Motivation to sustain engagement can be low at best, fully eroded at worst, and here I am advocating you to embrace it. I get it and am on your side. So the next step is to introduce you to an innovative approach to physical activity that transforms the concept of achievement and delivers a solution to low/inconsistent motivation by revealing all the ways you CAN achieve and how to display all the ways you DO achieve.

Sadly, many of us miss the gains we make by looking for the gains we are not going to find…but not anymore. According to Iron Footprint Fitness, physical activity consists of three different dimensions of engagement—your daily workout, activity separate from your daily workout and the quality of your engagement—and achievement unique to each dimension can be tracked, then displayed as your ‘Iron Footprint’.

Winning/achieving in physical activity is:
1. Completing your daily workout,
2. Hitting a benchmark personal record in a physical activity event,
3. Attempting a new activity or doing daily activity separately from your workout.

Every time you engage in physical activity you can realize achievement—you can WIN! For example, achievement is completing a health-related workout, doing more push-ups this week than last week, joining a new fitness class you have been reluctant to try, and taking a bike ride separate from your daily workout – See all the gains you can make when you know what to look for!

I promised you wins, and the Iron Footprint Fitness approach delivers the opportunity for you to notch them – lots of them. It’s satisfying to see you have strung together more consecutive workout days than ever, or can now bench press 20 more pounds, or have deepened your ‘Footprint by adding new activities to your repertoire.

Circling back to ‘Off. Self-reflection can lead to enlightenment but during the process use Iron Footprint Fitness to change your momentum. Go get some wins, Sport, you can do it. Hello self-confidence!