MEET THE AUTHOR
DR. ANNE LARSON, Founder/Owner
Anne is a kinesiology professor with a life-long love for all things related to physical activity: playing, competing, coaching, teaching, and motivating others. Dr. Larson’s backyard ball roots propelled her to compete in sports through college and continue as an adult. Growing up in Minnesota, she considered being at bat with no outs on a long summer evening as the best, a sentiment even stronger today living in Los Angeles. “Nothing better than knowing that after the gym is softball then a bike ride then…”
THE BACKSTORY, FROM THE FOUNDER
Physical activity is my vocation, but mostly it’s my love and me at my best. Yet like many, I get that motivation to engage can fluctuate and I’ve experienced the highs and lows of participation. I’ve hit game winners and made errors that caused a loss, I’ve won running road races and thrown up after finishing dead last in others, I’ve held powerlifting records and done panic dieting to lose weight for special events, and for the record I miserably failed the gym class rope climb…
Through my teens I was a competitive swimmer. Good—not great. Never close to hitting elite times, but I sure loved the how the process fed my sense of accomplishment. At the suggestion of a coach, I kept a notebook of each day’s workout. What a kick—indelible accomplishment. One notebook turned into two, turned into several, also turned into separate ones for my other sports, and yet another for my ‘best-ofs.’ At first I used my ‘best-ofs’ to track my fastest times for events or game statistics but then it became fun to make up ‘events’ to track like fastest time around the block and most combination sit ups – push ups in one minute.
Though with less detail, I continue to keep an eye on my ‘performance,’ and through the years amid moving across the country and back with stops in-between my notebooks are among the few keepsakes that have avoided the trash. Considering their meaning, I can’t see parting with them, for especially during phases where my motivation ebbed due to hitting a performance plateau or batting slump, etc., capturing something about the process – it wasn’t fast but I did swim a total of 8000 yards at practice – meant I could still enjoy a sense of accomplishment. The disappointment of lousy times or fielding errors aside, the process of notching was a rock to my motivation. At the least it was a distraction to poor performance in my ‘formal’ events–I can’t seem to go faster in the 100 freestyle but I improved my combination sit-ups – push-ups by 12–that gave me hope all was not lost.
My nephew and niece have followed in the swimming footsteps of their parents (and their proud aunt) and I passed along the suggestion of keeping a notebook, which prompted me to dig my swimming ones out of the closet. As if each entry had just occurred, instantly my senses filled with the sights and sounds of being back at the pool. And, I admit, my pride boosted from reliving challenging practices and remembering races won.
Which made me wonder.
Sometimes it’s harder to get motivated to be active than the activity/workout itself because we get discouraged thinking we are not making gains, or have such a narrow view of what activity achievement is we hardly give ourselves a chance to realize success, or get dulled by a monotonous routine that has become ‘too routine.’ Maybe others would benefit as I have by tracking their activity and being able to ‘see’ all their success? Further, maybe this is how we ought to approach physical activity? Think about all the ways we can achieve, organize our engagement accordingly, then capture and showcase our achievement in a portfolio to help sustain our motivation to engage in our activity routine.
Which reminded me that many of you have been so poorly served in activity it’s no surprise your motivation suffers.
I don’t take it for granted that I have been lucky with opportunity, support and encouragement because it’s been the polar opposite for so many of you. Not to presume, but none of us is motivated to do that in which we have realized limited success or feel incompetent. It’s no surprise that so many have a pattern of re-starting an activity program more so than sustaining one.
Which inspired the idea of Iron Footprint Fitness®.
Iron Footprint Fitness® is an innovative approach to physical activity that introduces a platform to foster resilient motivation by showcasing achievement within the engagement dimensions of FitBASE, FitBUBBLES, and FitBESTS.
Iron Footprint Fitness® transforms the dangerously narrow measure that typically gauges activity success by revealing ALL the dimensions of achievement, and describing how to capture it for display. The approach is universally adaptable to anyone regardless of previous experience in physical activity or level of proficiency, and free-of cost to adopt, but it isn’t a gimmick or miracle. It won’t take exertion’s burn away, but it can ease the effort required to get to the gym or go for a run or play basketball at the park, then do the same the next day.
For those of you who struggle to stick to a physical activity routine or have felt only limited success, I hope you can use the approach to realize all that you DO achieve and grow your physical activity portfolio. For those of you who have experienced success, I hope it will inspire even greater achievement. Mostly I’m hoping Iron Footprint Fitness® will foster your resilient motivation to sustain regular engagement. Your well-being matters! Notch on …