Hard/Easy, Which Will You Choose?
In a previous article I wrote about the benefits of playing more and changing the name of “Work Out” to Playtime or something else that puts a vision of ease and laughter in your mind as you enter into your time for movement and exercise.
But what happens when that just isn’t working and there needs to be more or an incentive for you to get that exercise done?
Just recently I was listening to a webinar from a gentleman called Steve D’Annunzio the topic he was speaking about was the Hard/ Easy Model. It was very interesting and he made so many great points all of which became very useful to me in the weeks afterwards.
This is where I share a very personal story and how I had to and are having to use the Hard/Easy model on a daily basis . I hope that you can gain the lesson behind this and I hope in inspires you to take the Hard road a little more often when it comes to taking care of your health and fitness.
So here goes, I have 2 kids one a boy Matty, aged 9 and a girl Samantha aged 5, both are very normal and healthy kids, very typical children who will get away with what they can and love exploring life.
At least this is what we thought until Samantha one evening became very lethargic and really wasn’t interested in dinner or anything else. As she sat on my husband Jarrod’s lap he noticed that he could see her heart literally beating so hard that it looked like it was trying to jump out of her chest. Jarrod is a triathlon coach so he does have some understanding on how fast hearts are supposed to race and when he took a rough measurement of her pulse it was around the 180 bpm mark, way too high for anyone just sitting there let alone a 5 year old little girl.
To cut a long story a little shorter that heart beat eventuated in a very fast ambulance trip to the next major hospital, and after a very nervous and terrifying 7 hours and loads of medication later to calm her heart down, we were able to watch her sleeping peacefully. I will be ever grateful to the paramedics and the pediatrician on call that night. They were absolutely amazing.
But how does that equate to Hard/Easy? It was when we brought her home that we had to make some Hard choices to make it Easy for her later… see where I’m going?
What did we do with a little girl on medication to stop her heart racing as if she had just come off a massive session in a spin class? Our first goal was to get her back into some normal routine. Everything we did or got her to now to do had a potential consequence. It was like nothing had changed yet everything was different.
The first step was back to school, explaining what had happened and that we had no answers and that it call happen again, however even with this we wanted her treated normally. That was the Hard option, as a mother I had to trust in the Dr’s, I had to trust the Teachers and the School to do what I asked and to take care of my Sammy. The easy option would have been to let her stay at home more using the excuse that she needed to rest, that way I could be the one keeping a close eye on her. Easy yes but the best for her No, certainly not in my opinion.
The second Hard/Easy was physical activity. Did we slow her down? Was physical activity going to do more harm? What were the risks of not doing any exercise, what were the risks of doing exercise? This one was exceptionally hard as we were working with so many unknowns at that point. We had a little girl who was rightly scared that her heart would take off again and who was not a big fan of sport in the first place (Sammy is a very smart 5 year old and will work the system to get to do what she wants, just like any 5 year old). So what did we do? Again we had to take the Hard, we had to encourage her to participate at school and to still do Dance and to sign up for soccer. It was tough allowing all these things still to continue and it took Sammy a little while to gain some confidence back, but she did and loved doing everything again. It was some of the adults around her that would have taken the Easy had we not pushed for the Hard to happen.
Imagine in the future on this if we had have taken the Easy, children nowadays have more and more excuses not to exercise, to sit in front of the television and play games. What would Sammy’s future look like if we had allowed this to happen because it was Easy? Would it have been easy to get her moving again at 15 or later, would she be having more health challenges then? Possibly, these are all challenges I’m not prepared to face because we couldn’t do what was Hard.
The way things have worked Sammy will need a couple of operations for her heart and it is my belief that it will be all the Hard decisions that we have made over the last few weeks that will bring her through the operations with ease and health. Better to be Hard now so that the next 90+ years of her life can be Easy.
I really hope that you take the message behind this story to heart, yes it can be tough to do the extra gym session, to get out of bed earlier so you can meditate before the kids get up, or to watch a little less television to go for a walk of a evening. I’m not saying these things aren’t Hard, they ARE with the busyness of life today, but if you do what is Easy now, what will you have to do that is HARD later?
So if you can’t fit Playtime into your day, look in to your future. Will it be Easy thanks to the Hard decisions you’ve made or will it be Hard thanks to the Easy decisions you’ve made.