It’s been hot, right?! And it looks like the warm weather is sticking around. So what happens to our motivation to keep active, not only in this heat, but during the fast-approaching summer holidays? Enter our expert for the month of June, Dwight Vlijter, founder and owner of Strong Coaching, who sat down with me last week to discuss this very topic.
The military, a furniture company, burnout, and teleshopping
What do these things have in common? Well, for Dwight, they led him to the path that he’s on today. After ten years in the military, he landed a job with a large company, and spent his spare time at the gym. However, things started to go downhill. He knew something was wrong, but with responsibilities – his family, paying the bills – he ignored his symptoms and pushed on. Things came to a head, he parted ways with the company, and then everything bubbled to the surface. Burnout. Sitting at home, flicking through the tv, Dwight was captured by a teleshopping channel. Tony Robbins was speaking and everything clicked. He ordered his 30 day development plan and hasn’t looked back.
Motivated and motivating
Dwight took the leap to pursue what he loved, despite feeling trepidation. Initially working for another fitness company as a bootcamp instructor, he decided that he had the skills to go out on his own, and two years ago, Strong Coaching was born.
“I help people to move lighter in life, and hopefully make a difference in their lives. In the military, you learn how to push people to their limits, and you learn to read people’s fears. Knowing when to push them further, and knowing when to stop is key. At this point the mental coaching side comes into play, not just the fitness training.”
According to Dwight, everything is a mindset, and to maintain motivation, we need self commitment and flexibility.
“Look at a kid if you want a good example of commitment and flexibility. If a kid really wants a new toy, for example, they’ll try everything to get it – pleading, throwing a tantrum, asking nicely, doing chores, crying, being dramatic. Kids don’t stick to one path when it’s not working. We all have the ability to be flexible and go after what we want, and changing things that aren’t working is a good thing. Don’t be the fly in the house that keeps banging against the closed door because it doesn’t see that the window is open.”
Heat and holidays!
Dwight encourages everyone to enjoy balance in their lives. He stresses that it’s perfectly ok to indulge when you’re on holidays, or to sit at a terrace with a cocktail or two on a sunny day, but not to let this become the norm. Your health and fitness is just as important as taking time out.
And when it gets tough to get back into the swing of exercise?
“Remind yourself why you started. Sometimes it’s going to be painful, sometimes it’s going to be uncomfortable, but you need to commit to yourself and do what’s right for your body, and continue to do what’s right for it. Set a goal, be clear on what you want, and be proud of where you are right now.”