How To Be A Conscious Competitor

This time last year, I was crippled with a back issue called sciatica. For three weeks, I could barely get out of bed — which was physically excruciating and emotionally incomprehensible. I’ve been down before, suffering from viral meningitis in 2006 and it was humbling both times. I vowed I would take better care of my body to keep illness and injury at bay.

But it hasn’t been easy. Once I could finally function again last Spring, my physical movement was limited for several months because I couldn’t risk a relapse. I had been walking three miles daily before my condition so I was super frustrated that my body wasn’t able to keep the pace. I moved timidly, testing my capacity but not really going for it again, afraid and frustrated.

In February, I got an Apple Watch, and one of my client/friends quickly connected with me through the health app that comes with the watch. Now, when she has fitness activity, I get an alert — and she gets one when I am active.

I recommitted to taking Murphy, my eighty-five pound chocolate lab for our daily walk. I started slowly and gradually increased to my prior distance and pace, before my back condition.

There have been days I haven’t ‘felt like’ doing my walk. I have a good excuse, right? My sciatica could return when I least expect it! But because I get her alerts, and her encouragement, I do it anyway.

For the past 33 days I’ve met my fitness goals every day and it feels amazing to be moving again.

And yes, because I know someone is watching, I’m more prone to push through the resistance. This is conscious competition, as I’m as interested in her keeping her commitments to herself as I am in keeping my own. We lift each other up just by knowing the other is there, doing the work.

We both win.