If you were inspired by the strength and abilities of the Olympians, you too can build a powerful, vibrant life with these three gateways to flow.

With the Olympics in full swing, I’ve been glued to my television in rapt attention as people who have spent their lives preparing for a moment of peak performance take their opportunity to shine on the world’s largest stage–and it’s caused me to think about the relationship between these elite athletes and what most of us struggle to accomplish in our own fitness.

If you’re like a lot of people, the thought of working out conjures images of heavyweights, crashing machinery, frantic leaping about, and loud grunting–none of which sounds very palatable, even if, like 85% of Americans, you have New Years fitness goals that you’re pretty sure will be aided by some sort of exercise.

As a matter of fact, the idea of getting ‘fit’ is so horrifying and arduous that my new clients usually laugh when I refer to them as ‘athletes’. Their personal experience in the gym is literally a world removed from what they see happening in Pyeongchang. ‘Athletic’ to them means power, confidence, grace–what we might call ‘flow’. Most people don’t use these words to describe themselves–and that’s why I love what I do.

‘Flow’ is central to athletics, and there are three facets to it that we explore with our clients at Shogun Fitness to help our clients–er, athletes–exceed their own conceptions of what’s possible for their fitness, no matter where they are starting.

1. Performance Flow

Nike co-founder Coach Bill Bowerman famously said, ‘If you have a body, you are an athlete’. The fact is, we are all somewhere on a spectrum between the worst-case scenario of our health and fitness, and the ultimate body and performance we could ever have given limitless time, energy, money–and motivation. We are not ‘fit’ or ‘unfit’; we are simply ‘more fit’ or ‘less fit’ than we could be, and we can take concrete steps to move on that spectrum in a positive direction.

Before we can take those steps, however, we must believe that they can actually be effective, and understanding that even Olympic athletes are not fundamentally different than you and I–they’re just further along the spectrum–can get us excited to embrace that journey and explore new ways of creating a flow of performance and health that moves us in the direction of better fitness.

2. Movement Flow

Lifting heavy weights or running long distances are far more likely to injure you than help you if you haven’t learned to simply move well.

At Shogun Fitness we take a deep dive into what it means to stabilize the core, move with power, and create force and support load in a way that is safe, sustainable, and accelerates all types of fitness results.

We teach movement that flows from one position of stability to another in a manner that is graceful, controlled, and endlessly improving. This lays a strong foundation for any other sport or exercises an athlete might want to do–we pride ourselves on helping people get better, quickly, at anything they do in their recreation, including yoga, rock climbing, skiing, mountain biking, rowing and long-distance outrigger canoe paddling, and running. If we learn to move with flow, we can do everything better, with less risk of injury, immediately.

3. Mental Flow

Success in our fitness depends on small actions repeated regularly over time–and that means we have to develop the skill of flow in a daily life full of unpredictable events.

We help our athletes explore the balance between controlling what we can, and adapting when we must–if we get stuck in traffic or a meeting, or forget to go to the grocery store, or have to attend a business lunch, how do we problem solve to stay on track with our fitness even when circumstances make it a challenge? Like a stream, how do we flow in a way that moves some rocks out of the way with our power, and cuts through others with our persistence?

These three facets of flow help build a powerful, vibrant, energized perspective that allows us to make great strides in many areas of life. Our Shogun Fitness clients use them to begin their own Gold Medal journey for their families and their fitness. I hope you find them helpful for your life as well.

Jef Nelson

Fitness Coach

Jef Nelson is the owner of Shogun Fitness and has a decade of fitness coaching experience. He is passionate about helping all people move, feel, and perform better. He and his wife, Heidi, live in Fremont and love everything this awesome city has to offer.

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