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Are you Flexing the Right Muscles?

In my younger days, when I was a lot fitter (and slimmer) I used to rock up every Sunday morning at the local Swimming Pool for a Masterclass Swimming Session.  The equivalent to circuit training in the pool, this grueling, hour long workout saw me pounding the water at a hefty pace – barely coming up for air. Length, after length of crawl, backstroke, breast stroke and butterfly. 

At the side of the pool (dry as a bone, I might add) was my swimming instructor. Ex-military, complete with a moustache, a very loud, shouty voice and a broom handle that was used to prod those not pounding the water fast enough. I kid you not. But, I must say, this little man with a big voice taught me a lot about swimming and pushed me to achieve more than I have ever done in a pool of water. 

One lesson that will always stick in my mind was how I use my legs. Performing crawl, I thought rather well, I would kick my legs rather haphazardly in the hope that I would be propelled speedily from one end of the pool to the next. 

This didn’t happen and it was quickly pointed out to me by Mr. Shouty that using the smaller of the muscles in my leg to gain power wasn’t sensible. Why not kick from the hip and use that huge and powerful thigh muscle rather than the weedy calf muscles further down my leg? Good point, I thought. And that lesson has stuck with me ever since.

It’s a lesson that we can all translate to our work; which muscles are you flexing? Are you making the most of your strongest muscles? Or struggling under the weight of your workload because you’re using your weaker parts? It’s not necessarily about engaging all your muscles, that’s pretty difficult. It’s instead being clear about what part of you is the greatest, the strongest, and how you maximise that part of you to speed through your work or life with ease and grace.  

I now always make sure I employ those big thigh muscles in the pool. Out of the pool, in my everyday life, I play to my strength and flex my strongest muscles in the best way I know how. And, my weaker muscles are compensated by the people I draw on to help me. I call them my support team. The Trainers, the Marketeers, the IT Consultant – all the people that flex their strongest muscles to help me and make life easier for me so that I can get on with what I’m best at. So, which muscles are you flexing and are they the right ones?

December 16 2016Karen Fleming

Karen Fleming

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