Athletic Performance: Getting into the "Swing" of the Holidays

By: Jason Harrel

‘Tis the season for hustling, sprinting through the cold, shuffling through the crowds, lifting the holiday party booze to our faces, multitasking holiday cards and wrapping gifts, catching planes, trains, and automobiles to our loved ones, all while we reflect on another year as it comes quickly to a close. 

 

While reflecting, we might ask ourselves the following: “Did I accomplish all of my goals this year? Did I make more time for myself? Am I better than I was in 2015? Depending on the nature of the answers to these questions, the holidays may feeldaunting, cold, and unforgiving as both our year and our gifts are wrapped up into a neat, shiny and finished package. As we continue to check off our “To-do” lists for the last few weeks of the year, wrap gifts (and unwrap gifts!), while dealing with seemingly impossible schedules,  it can feel overwhelming to find time to train and maintain our health. Enter the kettlebell. 

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As our lives become overwhelming, especially this time of year, try to stay the course by swinging through the season. It may sound trite, but the kettlebell is a metaphor for continued growth, no matter what stage we are at, In the kettlebell swing, as in life, we can always go back to the basics. I maintain that the difference between the elite achievers of the world and the rest of us normal people is that the Michael Jordans and Steve Jobs’ of the world have perfected the basics of their craft, and they continually strive to maintain that perfection. The basics of the two handed swing translate over to everything that we work on to stay the course in our training program: generating ground force, building dynamic tension, strengthening the hip hinge, strengthening postural alignment, improving breathing mechanics, improving inter abdominal strength, and simply just being your own superhero. Practicing the basics doesn’t have to be time consuming or an easy workout. Focus and practicing with intent is challenging in it’s own right. So warm up, practice the basics with the intent to progress, enjoy your holiday season, and start the new year strong. 

 

Happy swinging. Happy holidays. 

 

Strength is a journey. Enjoy the ride. 

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