I recently came upon this comment on another blog post of mine and it really stuck with me.
You were onto something when you were discussing the mental game involved in working out and getting in shape. That’s actionable and can change peoples lives. Getting in shape and getting into the mental game of pushing can translate to all kinds of things like getting out of a bad relationship, jobs, and elsewhere. People are clueless on how to do this. Tell us how. How to wake up early, how to work out properly, how to eat right, how to cheat once in awhile and keep a it correctly, how to bust through plateaus, how to change our body/social identities.
This is spot on.
People are clueless about their bodies, how they really work, how to exercise properly, and how to make the right choices for their health. And I think many people fail to recognize the importance of their fitness levels on their quality of life, thoughts and actions.
And doesn’t looking and feeling good play a big part in how you view the world?
The 120-Pound Weakling
Right now I am 6’0 and 188 pounds. I’ve spent the last 25 years working out in gyms, clubs, parks, basements, and anywhere else I could find. I’ve done a great deal of work on myself to figure out what my body responds to, what types of diets work for me, and how often I should train.
And I’m proud to say that I know my body very well.
And all of this is a direct result of spending my formative years as a short, skinny twerp. Even after hitting puberty at the ripe age of 19, I stood a whopping 5’6 and weighed 120 pounds.
I earned the nickname “stickman” because I literally had no muscles. I was all skin and bones. I had no ass, no chest, and no confidence. My 28 inch waist barely held up my Levi’s corduroy pants and my Guess jeans t-shirt hung on my frame like a Hefty trash bag.
By my early twenties, I had started hanging around with some guys who were in really good shape. They would drag my ass to the local World Gym and I would try to do what they did.
But after a few years of trying new things, finding the type of training that worked for me, and eating like a champ, I started adding lean muscle.
And I dug it.
I fell in love with the feeling I got when my clothes were tighter or when I saw the defined cuts in my abs in the mirror. And as my body began to change and improve, so did my confidence. I went from a highly introverted geek too shy to approach a girl to a cocksure guy brimming with self-assurance.
And in 1997, I decided that I wanted fitness to be a permanent part of my life and got certified as a personal trainer. And over the last 19 years, I’ve worked in multiple facilities across the country, run successful camps, classes, and trainings, helped a great deal of people, made some lifelong friends, and had some amazing experiences.
So what does all this mean to you?
Well, I’ve seen hundreds of clients, spent countless hours training, coaching, and acting as a makeshift therapist and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that getting yourself fit, both mentally and physically will improve your life dramatically and in so many different ways.
Here is my formula for fitness:
Feeling Great+Looking Great+Being More Confident+Having More Energy=Doing More Shit and Getting More of What You Want
Getting Fit Is Not What You Think
We all want to be fit, right? I mean who doesn’t want to look in the mirror and think “hot damn, I’m one sexy beast?”
We see the CrossFit Games and American Ninja Warrior on TV and wonder what it would be like to be that fit. We then think about all the years of hard work and dedication it took to get there and then dismiss the idea of it all as unrealistic.
And for the vast majority of us, it is unrealistic. I mean, who wants to train like Rich Froning every day? Certainly not me.
But guess what? We don’t have to.
Getting fit is not all about looking great and turning heads. It’s about feeling good about yourself. It’s about liking the person you are both inside and out. It’s about being driven to do more with your life because you can.
I can speak from personal experience when I say that my life, even to this day, improves dramatically when I am consistently exercising and eating good foods.
It’s really that simple.
When I take my foot off the gas and start to slack, I feel like shit. My motivation dips, I sleep in more, I have less energy, and feel overly average.
That’s no way to go through life.
Get Off Your Ass
For those of you who are not gym rats like me or know little or nothing about fitness, that’s OK. You don’t need to be knowledgeable. You just need to get off your ass and move. That’s really it.
If you are a couch potato, then take a walk. If you sit in an office all day, get up and force yourself to take the stairs. If you are jogging 3 days each week, do it 4.
This post is not intended to give you a workout program or anything like that, it’s just to remind you that you can do more each day. You are not living your optimal life (and neither am I), but you can get closer to it by being healthy.
Imagine waking up feeling vibrant and alive. You can feel that surge of energy and inspiration as you get out of bed. You are ready to take your day by the balls and make shit happen.
Do you feel like that now? If not, wouldn’t you want to?
Why You Aren’t Fit
Here is something that I know to be unequivocally true; exercising will make you feel better, period.
Yes, this is not news to anyone, but the fact that only 15% of the U.S. population belongs to a gym and more than 65% of those people don’t even use is a frightening indicator of our nation’s health.
Now I don’t give a shit if you join a gym or not. I don’t care about the obesity epidemic either and the fact that we are getting fatter by the day. What I do care about is helping people change their lives for the better. And being active and fit is a critical component to making this happen.
And maybe you are working out like a fiend and are in tip top shape. Great. But 95% of you reading this are not. You are working long hours, commuting, spending time with your kids, relaxing, watching football on Sundays and the list goes on and on. It’s just what we do.
And for lack of a better way of putting this, you are fucking lazy. Don’t take it personally, I am too. Most of us are lazy and it’s the society we live in and what we’ve learned to do.
But you can do more.
And I’m telling you that if you want more from this life, and I know you do, then you need to do more. Go for a walk, bike ride, jog, or hike. Get the blood pumping through your veins and start feeling good.
The biggest reason to start improving your body has nothing to do with aesthetics. It’s about your mind.
It’s about knowing that you can do it. It’s about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and doing shit you don’t want to. I mean, it’s a whole lot more fun and far easier to sit on your ass and watch an entire season of Orange Is The New Black than it is to run 3 miles in the rain.
But doing that won’t change your life. Sharpening your mind and body will.
So what are you waiting for?
What do you think? How important is being fit to you? What areas are you lacking in?