Why We Don’t Stay ‘Fit’
Simply put, if you pursue ‘getting fit’ with ‘being fit’ as the endpoint you are likely to experience what so many of us do in the pursuit of that false goal: failure again and again and again…
Why is this? Because being ‘fit’ is a loose definition based (usually) on things that don’t really count (looks), and that is why we don’t stay fit…even if we manage to somehow get close.
What works? Connecting fitness to stuff that actually matters to you over the long haul and that will provide meaning and joy. If you are focused on trying to look like that dude/dudette on social media…you are going to end up unhappy in my opinion…because that will change.
Some truth for us all:
We are going to age and will show the effects of it both in aesthetics and performance
What is working for me: I started on my journey to ‘fitness’ because of a health scare and the overwhelming reality of being an aging parent of a special needs child that will need dedicated and continuous care for the rest of his life. I came to a realization that my fitness was inextricably connected to my son’s ability to live in our home (where he will be safer and happier than anywhere else)…and I got started.
I chose personal training through a local Crossfit affiliate with the gym owner and shortly thereafter began doing some group fitness. It was fun, the people were and are great and I will always be involved in some form of Crossfit as long as I live because it works for anyone, any age and any level of functionality.
Here is the challenge: I don’t like working out just to be fit. My sport will never be fitness. Don’t get me wrong, it is a ton of fun to throw down every now and then in a class or a special event dedicated to a fallen hero…and I do love the annual Crossfit Open competition where Crossfit athletes from around the globe get to ‘test’ our fitness against each other within age groups and ability levels.
But, working out becomes empty for me if I don’t connect it to something outside the gym and I know I am not unique. I imagine that I am like many of you.
You need, and in most cases you MUST, connect your fitness to something outside the gym. For me it is mountain biking. I feel so amazing when I ride my bike in the woods, up and down mountains, through streams and off of jumps. Pure joy. The feeling of being able to use my hard won fitness doing something that is so challenging and rewarding is awesome.
For some of you it might be hiking. Use that time in the gym to make your hiking even more fun…use that fitness to get to places you were never able to before and bank some more vistas that you will remember to your dying day. Maybe, your thing is softball like my buddy Jason…use that fitness to jack some home runs over the fence and be a better fielder.
No matter what, there is something you can use your fitness for outside of the gym and when you do so intentionally…I guarantee you will be happier…and even more fit :).