Luke got me thinking this morning. No, not Darth Vader’s son, but rather the late Tim Russert’s son, Luke Russert. Seems he is following in dad’s footsteps in the news realm and was guest hosting “Way too Early” on MSNBC this morning.
The show’s regular anchor, Willie Geist, does an excellent job of keeping his viewers awake and engaged. And I must say young Luke (not ready to call him Skywalker yet) did a nice job filling in. He made a comment near the middle of show as they went to break: “And for those of you exercising this morning, go faster during the commercials.” I started to think of framing and how we say things in regards to exercise.
Yesterday I had students in a class I teach complete 20 minutes of high intensity interval training. They had two options: Go hard for 30 seconds, recover for 30 seconds, and repeat 20 times or go hard for 15 seconds, recover for 45 seconds, and repeat 20 times. The difference in the two is the intensity. You can go harder for 15 seconds than you can for 30. I encouraged and challenged them to truly put the pedal down when they were supposed to. Red faces abounded. Some pride showed up too. There was the inevitable “Those were the longest 30 seconds of my life” comments hanging about, but for the most part the students felt good about what they had accomplished.
Rather than framing yesterday’s exercise as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which sounds scary in and of itself, what if I had followed Luke’s advice and said, “Go faster during the commercials.” Classic. Setting the stage and expectations without scaring them. Defining the terms without needless anxiety. I am ready to call Mr. Russert “Skywalker” now. A bit like Occam’s razor, sometimes the best answer is the simplest. Afraid of high intensity exercise? I won’t tell you that you are doing it, I will simply tell you to go faster during the commercials. I won’t tell you that you are doing a good ab workout by acting as if you are putting on a tight pair of pants (sucking in your gut and standing tall) ten times a time, rather I will simply tell you to act like you are putting on a tight pair of jeans ten times a day.
Today is Friday and that means it’s Food Rule Day. Being that Luke set the stage for us so nicely this a.m., let’s go with it:
Go faster through the commercials. A metaphor for life as well. Get past the junk, the difficult stuff, so that you can enjoy the rest. Watch television if you must, but make it worth your while.
Finally, Happy Father’s Day to those dads out there. Nothing is better than being “daddy.” You have my permission to have an extra cookie. Enjoy.