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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Kwoka

... Or Panic!

Hey #fitfam, I hope you've had a great start to your week... and if not, you should join me online on Mondays at 10am EST for a 30 minute stretch and strength session to start your week off great!!! #shamelessplug

The past two weeks I have been consistently trying things that scare me a little bit... or a lotta bit. I've been trying to reflect on, become aware of, and ultimately learn to master my responses and mindset. Sometimes when I get scared or nervous, I walk around. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I panic. Now, when I'm reflecting, I can easily understand why out of the three I just named, I wouldn't want to pick the last one. It's definitely the least fun. But in the moment, I am genuinely fearful. Take for example, this Acro session:

I had two really strong, experienced, and fun bases throwing me around. (Thanks Edward and Jay!) They hold each others wrists and I get to jump like I'm on a trampoline. Yay!! But also, when you get up there- ahhh!

When you're up there, if you panic about anything in the future happening, you aren't currently thinking about the present, and there does come a time when you need to be present to control what your body is doing! The moment of panic also becomes the moment of mistake. And in a act like this, you could get hurt, you could hurt someone else, and also, you won't do the trick properly!

In no way does panicking serve me. Except that I am allowed to give in to my emotions. Big mistake on this. It feels good to lean into the panic but the consequences are quite harsh. Gravity doesn't care about my emotions! In the same vein, you also earn every level up, and that's something I love about movement!

Thinking back to the session, there was a point where I could feel that my body is doing these things but my mindset was just not in it. My awesome partners Edward and Jay talked with me about the difference between respect and fear. Respecting the difficulty and understanding the risk but not being afraid. And it was nice to be reminded of that by the people who would be catching/saving me! We did have some great reps but I let panic takeover towards the end. My head just wasn't right. Thankfully, I had some great partners because we still had so much fun!!

It's such a funny thing, being presently aware. Because it can be humbling. Understanding the way that you are feeling after a particular stimulus is really hard. But also, incredibly empowering. But still really hard. The times when I successfully navigate a stressful situation and do not let my emotions dictate my actions, I feel so good. I feel strong and confident and it makes me feel good about myself. That's whether or not I stick the trick. It's more about the control and over my mind and the expression of my best. During this session, I couldn't get a hold of my headspace towards the end. I was scared and I lost my courage. Which then of course frustrated me.

I swear I'm actually smiling lol just slightly embarrassed!

Either I needed to tell them that I was finished, or I needed to commit to it 100%. I chose neither; which was a choice. I chose panic. And I paid for that choice (multiple times)! hahaha! And so did they- sorry guys!!!

Big shoutout to Edward and Jay for letting me climb, stand, sit, jump, sweat and fall all over you and of course, big thanks to a new home at Forge with the Stunt Collective!


Although this directly applied to my play time, this idea of controlling your mind through triggering stimulus can be helpful in other ways. And isn't it true that when you think on something, you tend to find it more? So I've been noticing this panic culture in many different realms. Let's take another (favorite) example.

When a child falls down and scrapes their knee, they often turn directly to the caretaker. To me, they almost always look like they are turning to understand what to do next. If the guardian panics over the scraped knee, the child may very well erupt into tears and full blown hysteria. However, there are many times that I have seen, when the child flings around to see what to do, if you take a breath, they take a breath.

With being presently aware actually comes a stillness. Panic and hysteria (distress) increases heart rate and induces shallow breathing, which restricts oxygen to the muscles and brain, thus clouding the mind even further. So much of the panic comes from the breathing! My favorite topic! If during your moments of panic, you can bring yourself to your breathing, you can get control over your mindset 'manually'. With increased heart rate, maybe you can take your present awareness to your pulse. Maybe you've also started sweating. (I probably did.) Noticing these things helps bring you to present and then be able to manage and tackle the obstacles/fears in the way. Phew, the human is pretty cool.

Well, I think I have an idea for November's focus! ;) But here I go again, getting ahead of myself. Moving forward, I will spend these last two weeks of October CELEBRATING OUR WINS!! I worked with some great people in these last couple weeks and have been training hard and having fun! 3 solid wins for me. And just trying to be more presently aware for one more rep, or one more day!

I hope you find moments of stillness and have a great rest of your week!!

<3 Coach Kwo

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