I did a workout with someone I am pleased to call my friend and my neighbor - Tracy Reifkind, and this is what I learned:
1. I have been reading Tracy's book for the past month. It is taking me longer, as it has been a hectic month for me, so I had to take breaks to prioritize other things. I am also taking some intentional breaks that help me fully digest the information and ensure I give it enough time/ space to soak in. Tracy is fantastic at explaining the movement and how to perform it right. Before this workout, Tracy went through the kettlebell technique and corrected many things I had been doing wrong - as I learned how to swing in a Crossfit gym, and many CrossFit gyms don't teach how to swing the kettlebell properly. Tracy showed me what I am doing wrong and what I should focus on. If you want to get better at something, find an expert and learn from them. Tracy is definitely one of the best kettlebell experts out there. She knows how to swing the kettlebell correctly and explains it simply, not only because she has been coaching people for many years but mainly because of her own journey. It is evident that all the expertise and tips Tracy has been giving to people come from her personal experience, and from my observation, those types of experts are the best - those who walk the talk.
2. I like the kettlebell for many reasons. As Tracy states, it is fun and very efficient. Per Tracy, the amount of calories one burns in a 30min kettlebell workout cannot be compared to any other physical activity (read Tracy's book for more details on that). During this workout, my heart rate was between 165- 181 beats per minute, and the cool thing about it was that it was so much fun I didn't even notice. Outside of efficiency, which I highly value (as time is a scarce resource), I have a lot of wear and tear on my body, and I find that kettlebell helps with many of the things I struggle with. I should incorporate kettlebells into my workout routine more than I have been doing so far. It is a fantastic exercise that anyone can do - no matter your level, exercise experience, or lack thereof. If you don't have much experience - start small with a light kettlebell, and as you get stronger, you can gradually add reps or weight or both. In fact, this has been Tracy's journey that I am super thrilled to talk about in our upcoming podcast. Spoiler alert - Tracy accepted my podcast invitation and will be my guest in the next Grand Slam Journey podcast episode. Stay tuned for more.
3. Start small! As Tracy writes about in the book, small and consistent practice and routine create significant changes over time. Tracy is a prime example of this, as she has lost 120 lbs by changing her eating habits and swinging the kettlebell. Also, these workouts are deceptively challenging. These 600 swings were way more work than it felt when I was doing it. I have to say I probably overestimated myself with the extra reps yesterday, as I am pretty sore today! I let my ego get in my way and pushed a bit harder than I should have. Oh well, maybe I will learn one day, or I won't. That's one of the things I have struggled with my whole life, so the chances I change my attitude at my age is minimal, but I will keep trying.
4. Perhaps one of the lessons learned from this could be: Talk to your neighbors and find out who they are, what inspires them, and what they enjoy doing. You never know what amazing and unique people may live in your neighborhood and what you can learn from them. Inspiration is all around us - we just have to have an open mind, an open heart, be curious, and have the courage to look for it. You probably won't find another Tracy Reifkind (unless you live in my neighborhood), but don't worry, you can follow Tracy on her YouTube channel. You can subscribe to it and follow her free kettlebell routines.
Or you can try this workout. If you followed along, let me know how it went.