On Your Mark, Set, Go!

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“On your mark, set, go!”

Last Wednesday, my best friend and I did something different, something out of the usual, something we do not usually do. We went to Flycatchers Studio to join in their “circuit training.”

Two days before we dared to go, I asked Fitness & Yoga Teacher Bernadette (who is also a fellow Toastmaster) if a beginner (like me) can participate in that so-called “circuit training.”

To me, it sounded sophisticated and I thought it is meant for experienced and seasoned athletes only. But she said, “Yes, of course. Anybody can join.” I don’t remember if she said it exactly like that, but it seemed so casual and regular to her. Oh well, I forgot that she is an experienced and seasoned fitness coach.

When we arrived at the studio, Bernadette and her students were having a yoga class. As we sat down in the waiting area, I was thinking, “Should we proceed or not?” I whispered to my best friend, “Should we proceed or not?” She grinned and said, “We are already here. Why not?” I smiled back and said, “You’re right!”

I was trying to straighten my back while a middle age looking man entered. He sat down and looked at us, “Are you joining the circuit training, the one for runners?” I was puzzled. I replied, “Yes, we will try. Is that for runners?” He smiled and said, “Yes, it is good for runners.”

“Oh, so you are a runner?”

“Yes, I also do biking. It’s good.”

I was laughing inside my head as I thought, “What did I get myself into?”

You see, I joined a 21km fun run eight years ago, but I am not really an athlete. I do some simple exercises every now and then, but not as regular, rigid, and disciplined as serious athletes do. I am just a regular guy who does simple, light physical activities.

“Come on! Let’s begin!” shouted Bernadette. I realized that those who had yoga class were staying for the circuit training.

We entered in and tried to blend in. Proceeded to the corner, put down our bags, and appeared to be prepared.

“We will have 10 stations.” She explained as she demonstrated how to perform the routines in Stations 9 and 10.

“For Station 1, it is like this,” Coach Dan continued as he demonstrated the routines up to Station 8.

“I think I can do it.” I whispered. I looked at my best friend and asked, “Are you ready?” She smiled and gave me a high five!

“You have one minute per station. After that, we will have one-minute rest. Then we proceed to the next station. And on and on,” he concluded.

“Let’s go!”

Each of us picked a station to start. “On your mark, set, go!”

With a little hesitation, I moved my legs to the right and to the left performing the routine that was demonstrated minutes ago. It was simple. It was easy at first. Then here comes my breathing. I can hear it. Faster and faster. Faster and faster.

“Half-way there!”

Oh no, I thought one minute is up. I went on. And on. And on.

“Well done! One-minute rest…”

I breathed in and breathed out, breathed in, breathed out, breathed in, breathed out.

“…And, next station. On your mark, set, go!”

I was on the next station. I put my legs together. Jumped. And jumped. And jumped again. Onwards. And then back. And back again.

“Go faster. Go for speed!”

Oh really, I thought I was going fast.

“Half-way there!”

Oh no, I thought one minute is up. I went on. And on. And on.

“Well done! One-minute rest…”

I breathed in and breathed out, breathed in, breathed out, breathed in, breathed out.

“…And, next station. On your mark, set, go!”

I was on the next station. I put my right foot in, and my left foot in. Then my right foot out and my left foot out. Right in. Left in. Right out. Left out. In. Out. In. Out.

“Go faster. Go for speed!”

Oh really, I thought I was going fast.

“Half-way there!”

Oh no, I thought one minute is up. I went on. And on. And on.

“Well done! One-minute rest…”

I breathed in and breathed out, breathed in, breathed out, breathed in, breathed out.

“…And, next station. On your mark, set, go!”

Repeat those drills for seven times more. After the set, I was breathing profusely. After normalizing a bit, I looked at my best friend and gave her a high five. I couldn’t even speak until after two minutes and said, “This is awesome! So good. I’m okay. I’m done.”

“Yes, sir. Nice one. That’s the first round. We have two more rounds!” said Coach Dan.

“What? Is he serious?” I thought to myself.

“…And, go to your station. Ready. On your mark, set, go!”

And there, we picked ourselves up and performed the crazy drills once again.

It was my first time to join such circuit training. The routines were simple. But put in the elements of time, pattern, and discipline – and the challenge comes in. The magic begins! Developing agility, speed, and endurance.

As a trainer on leadership, public speaking, and growth in general, I see how this parallels to building our soft skills, our life skills. The routines are pretty simple. But if we want to challenge and grow ourselves, let us put in the elements of time, pattern, and discipline – plus a coach or mentor to guide you, cheer for you, and support you.

And in your journey of growth, you will move from the first station, to the next station, and on and on and on. In due time, you will see how you have grown.

So now, pick your station. And with the time given to you, perform the required routines. “Ready. On your mark, set, go!”

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM gives talks and trainings on leadership, public speaking, and growth. He is an author of 4 books including ‘SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation with Competence and Confidence’. The book is available at Soledad Religious Store, Porta Vaga Mall, Baguio City and at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Yangco St, Baguio City. Invite him to speak at your events or train your team by emailing info@chrisdaoanis.com.)

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