Life Style

In 2021, the F word will dominate?

Functional training of all kinds and feedback will be important in 2021, as the world recovers from COVID-19

Last year saw us get down on hands and knees to do jhadoo-pochha, translating all we know of functional fitness into real life. When you begin to clean yourself, you see dust in far corners where the arms need to stretch out and the squat needs to deepen. We also needed to tap into our deepest functional selves, carving out spaces within the home to work and study in, divvying up household chores, and keeping connections alive over phones and screens.

It also saw the need to be more flexible in our relationships, while our employers had to pivot overnight to display their flexibility with work-from-home. We played with time, as we broke the 9-to-5, took short afternoon naps, worked at what would have been irregular hours just a few days before the lockdown was declared.

In 2021, we are going to have to take those, and add one more element: feedback. Last year, it was about surviving, about me, my family, and what we could do to keep sane. This year, it is about listening to what other people say about us, about taking the feedback and working with it to be our best possible selves in a world that is still coming to terms with a sudden loss of connection.

When I ask my colleagues for feedback, it shows that I care about the work; when I ask my son for feedback, it tells him I want to be a better parent.

It is my ability to take constructive criticism, to hear some hard truths, and then act on them. It is also saying to the people I care about: I’m listening.

Feedback, management professionals tell us, is a catalyst for change, and in a world that is quickly adapting, leads back to flexibility. Many of us who have been around for some decades find change hard. Heck, I don’t even want my dining table moved. The pandemic, the lockdowns, the stilling of the body have all turned our lives upside down — it is just the right time to enable change in ourselves, and consequently, in the world.

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