smoothness and elegance of movement.
“she moved through the water with effortless grace”
synonyms: elegance, stylishness, poise, finesse, charm;
courteous good will.
“he had the good grace to apologize to her afterwards”
synonyms: courtesy, courteousness, politeness, manners, good manners, mannerliness, civility, decorum, decency, propriety, breeding, respect,
There’s something to be said about grace and how it can affect the way you look, feel and how you make others feel around you. When you add gracefulness to your days not only will you end up with a better and healthier body but you will be more respected by others.
When at the gym perform each movement and each lift with the precision of a scientist mixing dynamite and nitrogen, gracefully. Imagine a row of judges scoring you between one and ten. How graceful is your deadlift?
When you load up weight plates to a bar or pick a kettlebell off the ground are your rounding your back and therefore resembling an old beat-up ape or are you moving about your hips with a straight spine and baring the look of a king or queen gorilla on top of the food chain ready to take on the jungle. And to all your biologist out there, I know gorilla doesn’t have a straight back. Don’t get caught in the details.
Gracefulness throughout your gym career will add longevity to your years of lifting. Don’t do it ungracefully like I did for the first five years as an obnoxious kid learning to lift. I am still paying for it.
So you sprint on a treadmill. How graceful does it look? Would you like to see yourself run on a big screen observed by others? If not, think how you can run more gracefully. It will not only make you more aware of your running technique but is more likely to keep you injury free. You don’t have to run like Usain but do the best you can to have an aura of gracefulness in your stride. Otherwise in ten years you will feel like, well, like you’ve been running with a poor technique for ten years.
This thought about grace goes beyond the movement too, of course. Are you graceful in your interactions with other people throughout the day? Treat everyone the same no matter who they are and what their stature in life is. In other words, don’t be a dickhead. Since you are a reader of my blog it’s highly unlikely that you’re a dickhead. (And you’re obviously very attractive. And incredibly smart too.)
When you walk around the town keep your chest up, have a spring in your step and don’t slouch. Don’t drag your feet (like I sometimes do) or push your chin to your chest. I don’t mean that you should walk, talk and wave like the Queen does. Actually, don’t do that, it makes people think there’s something wrong with you.
Being graceful doesn’t mean that you are above other people. Because you’re not, I don’t care what car you drive, how many celebrity chefs you know or how special the breed of your cat is.
Smile often, even to random people. You might make someone’s day. Make people feel good when they see you. But don’t be creepy. If your presence makes the hair rise on my back you have to re-think this through. And stop complaining and blaming other people about everything. What actions can you take to improve the situation instead of waiting for someone else to change? Life’s better once you realize that you hold the keys to change in almost every situation. There’s a door, use it. Gracefully.
Give your full attention to people who deserve it, be on time and respect other people. Here’s a morbid thought that might work: think what you want people to say about you when you’re not around anymore. Do they talk how positively you affected their days or were you sucking the energy out of the room when you were around? Be the better part of someone’s life. Be the glass half-full instead of half-empty type of guy or a girl. That doesn’t mean that you have to be over-the-top-makes-Jamie-Foxx-look-like-a-wallflower-kind of a person. But have a grace about you and the way you interact.
When someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, admit it. Don’t pull a made-up answer out of a thin air just trying to impress someone. There’s a lot of grace and humility in “I don’t know”. You can always say that you’ll look into it for them. People appreciate honesty.
When you win, whether it be a pub quiz or the Olympics do so with grace and acknowledge those who competed against you. When you lose or make a mistake, gracefully accept it and learn from it. Apologise when it’s necessary. Own it and grow from it. There’s always things to be learned, even in a pub quiz loss. Maybe next time you need to put more effort into studying Zimbabwe’s foreign policy to beat the reigning champions on table #2 near the fireplace.
I am currently immersed in the new book by Dan John, Before We Go: An On-Going Philosophy on Lifting, Living and Learning. As always, I recommend his books to anyone and everyone, whether you’re a fitness professional or a fitness connoisseur.
There’s a chapter in his book where he writes on how one of the two keys to a better physique, better performance and pain-free joints is grace. It is such a brilliant thought that I wanted to expand on it.
Oh, and the other key to a better physique, better performance and pain-free joints? Well, I guess you just have to read his book.
Music I listened to while space-engineering this post
J Mascis – Tied to a Star
If you like guitars and singer-songwriter stuff, you’ll appreciate this guy.
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