Using Your Fitness Outside Of The Gym
A common mistake with coaches and athletes is making our training restrictive. We get so caught up in all the things we think we can’t do because it will negatively affect our training. In doing so, we forget that the whole purpose of fitness is liberation! Improving your physical condition allows you the freedom to do more activities. If you’re going to spend your time, money, and effort building a better physical you, ya darn well better use it!
Get Outside & Take Some Cloths Off
It’s widely accepted that Vitamin D is essential to life. Unfortunately, many of us are deficient. The best way to get this delicious nectar of the gods is to get outside and in the sun. Sure, you can supplement Vitamin D, but what’s more enjoyable? Taking a pill every morning, or laying by a pool during your lunch break? Which brings me to my next point, as you may know, I’m a huge proponent of shirtless training. I’m a 260 lb man, NOT chiseled out of stone, but I am proud of the work I’ve done over the years and I frankly don’t give shi*$ about other people’s negative perception of my chest and back hair (just kidding, I know everyone loves my back hair). My motto is to embrace what Jon North calls the “shirts off lifestyle”! Whatever you’ve got, flaunt and be proud of it!
Play New Sports
We are quick to forget that the tip of the CrossFit pyramid is “regularly learn and play new sports”. This is important specifically because we all tend to forget that physical activity should be fun. As life evolves from childhood to adulthood “fun” goes from playing outside to partying all night in the club. Now, this isn’t the case for everyone, but, as a generalization, it catches most of us. We forget that physically playing games is the foundation of having fun. So, get out there, join an intramural league, hit up the volleyball courts or ultimate frisbee games at Zilker, play 3 on 3 hoops in the parking lot at the gym (seriously guys, can we actually do this?), or play golf on Sundays. The list goes on and on. In short, play sports, try something new, show off those new athletic skills.
Finally, it is time to compete, and I’m not talking about competing in the gym. I’m talking about a legit, under the lights, in front of an audience, officially official competition. I’ve heard it a thousand times from a thousand people “I’m not ready to compete!”. But what I really hear is “I’m scared”. It’s commonly cited that snakes, spiders, and public speaking elicit the most fear in human beings. While I definitely agree with snakes (and to a lesser extent spiders), I love public speaking. To me, public speaking and competing are one in the same, you’re simply performing in front of an audience. The only way to overcome the fear of performing is to do it, and do it often. It’s also important to be unattached to the results of a competition or performance. Do it because you need to step out of your comfort zone, and learn that if you want to succeed you have to be willing to fail.
Its important for us to realize that training and fitness is always about the journey and the personal growth that it elicits. Results and achieving goals are great, but even if you achieve your goals you’ll always have something new, something a little loftier to pursue. So, enjoy the journey while you can, because none of us get out of this thing alive!