In 2009, I found myself carrying almost 25 pounds more than normal and having to go shopping (yet again) because my clothes were too tight.
I knew it was bad when Mom began to give me her hand-me-downs because they were too big for her.
I needed to do something. My weight had been stable until I had major surgery in 2005. Before that time, I could eat what I wanted and work out when I got a wild hair to move around. By the time 2009 came along, my half-hearted attempts at exercise had quit working. I also knew that dieting wasn’t the answer.
On my commutes, I noticed a new Crossfit gym and a woman lifting heavy weights in the window.
I thought that looked like fun.
For the next 2 years, exercise became a priority. It wasn’t the ONLY thing I did – I still had to work and nurture my relationships – but I prioritized my time and activities around the
Just prioritizing exercise led me to
Within the focus on exercise, I focused on specific skills for extended periods of time. My first 6 months focused on pull-ups. The next 6 months – running and push-ups. The next 6 months – strength.
What I found most interesting was that as I focused on a new skill, the skill I had worked on remained “improved.” Heck, even after being away from Crossfit for 6 years, I can still do a pull-up and my weight still hovers at a comfortable range.
You never really “lose” the skills you build. Or, if you do, it’s much easier to get those skills back since you’ve done it before.
Building those skills in the first place, however, requires concentration and focus.
Those periods of focus and the tangible, measurable results I received as a result of that focus served as an incredible lesson.
I’ve been applying the power of periodization since then, to my life and my work with others.
Right now, I am in a “reskilling” period as I shape the next phase of my career and restructure my business to reflect my new interests.
Starting a business (especially if you do NOT come from an entrepreneurial family and didn’t harbor dreams of being an entrepreneur) requires tremendous focus. RE-STARTING a business as a result of discovering that your previous business model is not sustainable requires even more focus.
At this writing, I’m about 2.5 years into my entrepreneurial journey and about 1 year into my revamp.
Starting and running a business, much like Crossfit, has a list of seemingly unrelated skills to master. Strategy, planning, accounting, sales, marketing, design, stress management…the list feels endless sometimes.
I found that dividing these skills into smaller focus chunks, much like I did in Crossfit, has helped tremendously.
For me, 2018 focused on learning basic sales and marketing. I prioritized my educational and practice activities around that. This included the “getting over myself” portion of that program, learning what will and won’t work for me, and refining what I bring to the table.
2019 is about developing the skills to provide what I think is the most important things we can do for each other – provide safe space and deep listening.
By thinking about this time as a “period” – I can make choices around what activities are important. It also makes it easier to let go of some things that I would like to do right now. I can always schedule that for a later “period.”
I know the fitness focus will return again sometime in the next 5 years. Even without a specific focus on fitness, I was able to experiment with paddleboarding, aerial acrobatics, gymnastics, ice climbing, and other activities. During
For now – I know my priorities.