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Spotting, Guilt-free Living, & A Chance To (win) Experience Life.

Posted Feb 10 2009 11:03am

Hey Miz. I know you are a big weight lifter and I had a story I wanted to share and also ask you about.  I was at the gym the other morning and a guy asked me if I could spot him (Im a woman. I also was pretty flattered because I must look stronger than I think!).  I said no because I wasnt entirely sure what to do.  How do I know how to spot someone.

First? Thanks for calling me a big weight lifter. I’ve no idea what you intended by phrase and am taking it as a tremendous compliment (*flexes quadriceps*).

And back ‘atcha.

I’d imagine that you appear both strong and as if you know your way around the iron (which we all know is a fake it till ya make it game) since someone asked if you’d spot them.

Now to your question:

Spotting is, essentially, when you assist another person during an exercise.

The point of using a spotter or a helper is that the lifter is then able to hoist or push more than she could do safely on her own.

Technically (fingerquote) proper (unFQ) spotting involves knowing when to jump in & offer a little help *during* the lift and when to JUMP IN, grab the weights and help the lifter set them down/rerack them due to fatigue (theirs. not yours. poor sentence structure.)

In my experience (this is where you jump in, oh Bumbling Band), *good* spotting works in the same manner as a placebo effect.

I know when Im struggling on a final repetition or two, if Ren Man just APPEARS as though he’s going to assist me it’s enough to get this stubborn ole broad me to push through a few more reps.

(wait, is that placebo effect or my being a ornery? not sure…but you get my point.)

The mere suggestion of help is often times enough to assist the lifter to push through a perceived plateau.

In my experience it’s also crucial, in order to spot safely, that the spotter has enough strength to be able to CONTROL the weight if the lifter bails, errr, fails.

Notice I said control.  I do spot Ren Man and, while I cant lift the same weights as he, I can help him to control the dumbbell or barbell if his strength suddenly fails.

Now, all that said, spotting is a highly personal thing.  Almost like this.

People like to be spotted in different ways (”help me at the elbows”  “grab my forearms”) and in different manners (”let me get thisclose to failing”  “jump in as soon as I appear to struggle at all!”).

For that reason and because Im always in a freakin hurry because the Toddler is clamoring to get OUT of the gym daycare I rarely say yes to strangers when asked to give them a spot.

Ive had the idea of ditching the guilt stuck in my head since your guest post.  Not in a good way. I enjoyed the post but then felt worse because it isn’t as easy for me as deciding I’m not going to feel guilty any more.  I still feel guilty. any tips or am I just weak?

Ahhh, Guilt.

And her partner-in-crime, BFF: Shame.

This is a tough one, I think, for all of us.

Even if we now claim to roll pretty much guilt-free none of us started out that way.

Or very, very few of us anyway ( FabKate? You reading? You *know* Im looking forward to your opinion here).

Me? I come from a background where guilt is stereotypically our forte.

There are enough Jewish-guilt jokes to fill volumes of books (and movies. You seen Mother? I highly recommend it—Jewish or not) yet I know that we, Jews, definitely don’t have the market cornered on this one.

Me? I think Ive finally aged to a point where I live pretty guilt-free.

100% guilt-free when it comes to food & exercise and, when I feel guilty in other aspects of my life, 99.9% of the time it’s my conscience telling me that I acted in a manner which didnt mesh with my self-definition or personal mission statement.

Healthy guilt lets us know that, in fact, we have done something hurtful or unkind.

BOTTOM LINE: All I can do, oh emailer of ours, is let you know the steps *I* took toward guilt-free living & hope that they spark an ah ha! moment for you as well.

That they might cause you to realized what will work for *you* with regards to releasing the guilt as Ive found no two paths are precisely the same.

* PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (yep. that’s why I chose it as my theme for the entire year.): It was only when I started to own my actions and realized that whatever I did was, indeed, a choice and not an accident was I able to assume responsibility over my life. This idea, as Ive said before, is entirely freeing for me. I control my destiny for the majority of events in my life! *cue confetti*
* Realizing I’m human. Before I was able to live with out feeling guilty about every damn thing— it was crucial for me to acknowledge I felt guilt because what I’d done wasn’t in alignment with how I saw myself/ didnt help me grow closer to achieving my goals. Once I realized that and was able to love myself anyway I was on my way…

* Forgive myself. Two simple words and yet so tough to do. When we feel guilty about something we, essentially, wish we’d made a different choice/feel emotionally ‘bad’ about the choice we made. I needed to  learn it was ok to forgive myself.  It wasn’t that I didnt *acknowledge* the fact I wished I’d behaved differently—I just morphed from GUILT (which to me is selfpunishing) to REGRET (which to me is a feeling/emotion I can learn from). I forgave myself, learned from my actions, & tried to move forward. Which brought me to…

* MOVE FORWARD. I began to realize that, if I didnt release the baggage of guilt, ‘d be stuck in the same place with regards to personal growth for a long time. Not only does guilt bring along the sidekick of shame but the two hanging out together result in that general malaise we all know as low self-esteem/low self-worth. Remember when we talked about how to take a compliment? Do you struggle with that? Are you one who oft carries around guiltbaggage? I thought so…

Ok, my faithful reading Peeps.
Ive rambled at you enough for one day.
here’s where I toss it back at you & lob the potential freebie your way.
Today’s MizFit Turns One freebie is a subscription to Experience Life Magazine.
One glance at the cover or one flip through its pages will be enough to make you realize that it isnt ‘just another fluff fitness mag.’
Check em out.
Comment below to be entered to win (USA only).

Give us some spotting insights.  Some help on mitigating our guilt.  You pick.  We await.

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