NINJA CODE OF HONOR # 1: A Ninja embraces challenges as the best way to grow stronger and sees a setback as merely a setup for a comeback.
As with anything, along the highway of health & fitness, stuff happens!
We may be cruising along, having developed a great routine of carving out time for training. We are feeling great, making progress with a goal that we have written on the goal board, perhaps the numbers on the scale are moving in the direction we want them to go, we can see one of our fitness destinations, it’s getting closer!
Then “BAM!”, out of the blue we are suddenly at a road block.
We have all been there. Whether it be an injury, sickness, a change in schedule, a move, etc… it happens. Life happens, but how does a Ninja view a sudden road block?
Well a road block doesn’t mean the end of the road!
With a road block you will have a detour. Maybe not the exact route you had planned, and it may even mean getting to your initial destination will take a little more time.
However you are still on the right path, just traveling a slightly different way to get there. You still have your goal in mind. Would it then make sense to throw your hands up, turn around, and go back all because of a detour?
Of course not!
Your destination still remains the same. The same is true when we face challenges along our health & fitness journey.
Our goals of being the healthiest Ninja versions of ourselves don’t change right?
However, our initial reaction may be anger, frustration, or sadness. We may feel like we’ve been stopped in our tracks. So, how do we overcome those feelings and get back on a path leading to our goals?
Mindset. A detour is simply an alternate route.
The mental challenges that may come with a setback can surpass the physical challenges.
Be realistic with yourself, do what you can, take it day by day, and focus on the positive.
There may be times that we might not be able to do what we could do before, or what we think we “should” be doing.
We may be experiencing a temporary setback. All that means is that we may have to find a different route to get to where we want to go, but rather than letting that stop us in our tracks and turning around, a Ninja embraces those moments as opportunities to develop invaluable mental strength as well as growing stronger in other areas.
During challenging times we must look at what we CAN do.
Challenges and setbacks can offer us the chance to focus on other aspects of our training and help us to discover things about ourselves that we never knew.
When we don’t allow life’s detours to stop us, when we simply find our alternate route, we will find that along the way we become even stronger both mentally and physically than we were before!
Those are identifying marks of a Raw Fitness Ninja.
You just missed that Black Belt deadlift or didn’t finish the last round in a class on a high note?
Everyone has that feeling of a bad or failed workout from time to time,but your ability to put it behind you and crush it next time is crucial to your success.
The important question after one of these workouts is what really brings you back the next session ready to conquer the gym?
Are you able to take a step back and see that it was not a failure at all, but merely a lesson in how to make yourself stronger, both physically and mentally?
The ability to quickly turn around from a “failed” workout does not come easy to everyone. With the motivation and a few key mental steps, you can gain the ability to quickly turn a defeating workout into a positive and motivating learning experience.
The next time some of these feelings of failure creep into your mind after an extremely tough workout, redirect your thinking and ask yourself these questions.
Was I physically prepared for what I set out to do? Are you battling an injury or illness that may be affecting your limits of your physical exertion? Or maybe you didn’t stretch enough from the day before. We are all humans, and even the fittest people on the planet are not going to always hit their marks when they are sick or injured. Don’t let an injury keep you down, work around it and concentrate on what you can do confidently.
Are the goals you have placed ahead of yourself obtainable for where you are in your training? Take a step back and look at the goal you have set. Was it realistic at this time? Have I been training properly? Am I at a point in my training that would allow me to conquer this obstacle? If not, what can I do to master that skill next time. Make sure you visualize your success and set appropriate goals for yourself. If you always seem to just be chasing your own personal goals, set smaller, more frequent goals to allow you to feel that satisfaction or reaching a milestone.
Was I mentally prepared today? We all have craziness in our lives and some days it can show up in our workouts. Were you up too late? Stressed or overworked? Maybe today was just not your day. We all have those days and they can impact our workouts more than you think. Take the rest of the day to reward yourself for showing up. Don’t let one day keep you in a funk for a week. We are blessed to have the ability to sleep it off and have a fresh day to excel.
Are you at a point in your training that would realistically allow you to accomplish what you set out to do today? Physical fitness is one of the most rewarding things you will experience in your life. However, there will be ups and downs, it’s just going to be how you manage them that makes the journey easier and more enjoyable.
And lastly remember success that isn’t easily earned is all that sweeter. All that sweat, hard work and determinations feels feels like nothing when you nail that lift, or finish that class on a high note. It’s better to try your best and fail than not to try at all.
So if you’re disappointed by failure, keep your head up. A failed workout can lead to growth,redirection and ultimately a sweeter success not only in the gym, but also in life.
Ninja Code of Honor #6: Ninjas realize that though their journey may involve, inspire, and be inspired by other Ninjas, they do not get hung up on negatively comparing their accomplishments to others and are content to walk their individual path.
When you look at a group photo with you in it, where do you focus first? Yourself. That’s right. “Is my hair ok? How is my smile? Did the camera get my better side?” and we go on and on judging ourselves. It’s human.
When it comes to achievements at the gym we have a tendency to measure our success against the successes of others. There is such a thing as healthy competition and is encouraged. It produces positive results. It pushes us to our limits, it makes us stronger, and it brings us closer as a Raw Fitness family. I love seeing class members laugh and high-five each other after the class.
But if you come home feeling inadequate because you couldn’t lift as much weight as someone else in class, or you had to stop because you ran out of breath, pause and think about this:
“You are walking YOUR own path, at YOUR own pace, trying to hit YOUR goal.”
Just like Code of Honor #2 states “Ninjas celebrates the successes of others” … celebrate successes of your friends. But don’t forget to celebrate your own success no matter how small it may seem to you.
Code of Honor #2 Ninjas celebrates the successes of others. Ninja clan unity is very important.
It’s a familiar scene: a person at the gym continues to lose weight while you’ve been plateaued for months, you’re still trying to figure out how to do a darn Turkish get up while the new person in class has already mastered the form, and you compare yourself to others in the gym thinking you should be in better shape than them since you put in more hard work.
Next time these thoughts creep in your mind pause and think about this: “We discover greatness within once we learn to cultivate it and celebrate it in others”.
Everyone is on the same path looking to achieve their God-given best through health, and choosing to celebrate with those around you creates community and builds relationships. Here are two ways to begin celebrating not just your success, but also others’ success:
Celebrate your hard work and those around you. Without hard work there is no progress. Take the time to acknowledge the work you are putting in, but also that of others. Praise their efforts and encourage them with kind words.
Celebrate inspiration. Leading by example and celebrating achievements in a positive way encourages others to learn from your reactions and join in the celebration.
Remember, a ninja celebrates the success of others and knows the value in clan unity. So next time someone achieves something awesome, high five them, tell them great job, and ring the bell so they know just how much you care.
My name is Kevin Lafone and I’m from the Eastern NC town of Kinston. I graduated from UNC Wilmington in 1998, and from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 2002. I currently own and practice as an optometrist at Carolina Eye Care on Catawba Avenue in Cornelius.
I was first introduced to RAW Fitness when Mike asked me to lunch, and wanted to talk about visual dysfunction that can occur following brain injury or concussion in athletes. We discussed the topic, but we also discussed my fitness goals. I had become frustrated because a nagging injury had left me unable to run, and I really wasn’t doing anything. Mike helped me with managing the injury, and also introduced me to the RAW fitness way of doing things – which just started with getting off my butt! Since that time, I’ve found a great fit at RAW. I’ve also realized that no matter how busy work gets, I have to make time for the gym. Management of my job and life’s stresses are so much easier when you’re physically healthier! RAW helps me achieve that.
When did you join Raw Fitness?
Tell us a little bit about what brought you to Raw Fitness in the first place:
See #2 above
Pull ups, because they used to be impossible for me.
Least favorite exercise:
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
Favorite cheat meal:
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I’m a competitive BBQ cook, and love to cook in general.
What have you enjoyed most about your training?
Anytime I PR or just accomplish anything in the gym that I couldn’t do before.
Do you have any goals for 2017? Either in the gym or out.
I just want to see myself and everyone around me enjoy life to the fullest without having to face the stresses that often drag us down.
We asked Kevin’s trainer Kym to say a few words to help us get to know Kevin better and this is what she said:
“Kevin is a fantastic client and so much fun to work with. Every week he comes in with a positive attitude looking to be challenged. No matter how crazy an exercise may seem he is always excited to give it a try and will strive for excellence while doing it. He is one of the many reasons I love being part of the Raw Fitness team!”
Thanks for being a part of our small fitness family Kevin. We are the better for having you here!