The "F" Word (...and the "C" word)
Updated: Nov 28, 2020
There is a certain word that I find myself repeating over and over again in my sessions my clients. So much so that it has become a bit of a running joke amongst us "Don't make me use the F word again..." is my usual playful response to many questions about how to improve at something. If only I had my own "swear jar" for every time I had to use this word, id be a very rich man!
The F word I'm talking about is actually "FREQUENCY". I cannot stress enough how important a factor this is when trying to make any positive change to your life. The more often you do something the easier and more second nature it becomes. This applies even more so to physical changes in the body, such as improving your strength or flexibility. New things are always going to be the most challenging the first time you do it. Lets say you are working on a new exercise or skill. The first time there might be a lot of concentration required to remember all of the correct cues for what you are trying to do, combined with potential anxiety or self doubt regarding wether or not you will succeed and you will probably get fatigued (mentally or physically) quite quickly. If you leave it a month and come back to it, you will probably just experience all the same things over again as you may have forgotten the cues and need to concentrate to remember them etc. However lets say we instead do the same activity 2 or 3 days after the first attempt, hopefully the cues are still fairly fresh in your memory along with any memories of successes during the previous session, reducing the mental load and self doubt, the only thing that has changed is you are now fully recovered and ready to resume where you left off! All of this has to do with how the brain stores information, its a lot like finding a file in a folder on an old windows computer, where all the files are sorted by date with the newest ones at the top, except for this computer (the brain) has limited storage and therefore automatically deletes files (memories) that fall too far down the list. If you try to remember what you had for dinner last night I'm sure you can remember, but what about if I ask what you ate for dinner 11 days ago? it become a lot harder to recall, the information might not even be there at all. If we keep re-opening and editing the file every few days it will never fall too far down the list and always be easy to access.