While coaching this week, I had the occasion to talk with members/athletes about their concepts of fitness. Like most of us do, we usually compartmentalize our thoughts based on the specific genre or subject matter that the thought pertains and relates to. I challenged our members today to think beyond the workout, the bar being lifted or the stretching/cool down afterward. The concept of fitness is very broad and when limited to the workout in the present alone, it restricts the impact that “fitness” can define. Also, when your fitness is solely related to your last workout or a signal metric like body fat %, strength, aesthetics or what have you, then it’s like a never ending roller coaster. What I challenged athletes to do was to conceptualize fitness as an umbrella of principles that affect our everyday decisions and life to promote a state of “fitness” in every area of our lives.
Definition of fitness (Merriam-Webster)
1 : the quality or state of being fit
2 : the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms; also : the contribution of an allele or genotype to the gene pool of subsequent generations as compared to that of other alleles or genotypes
The quality or state of being fit, gives us a broad perspective to apply to everyday living. We don’t just build our fitness in the gym. There is physical fitness, mental fitness, emotional fitness, social fitness, financial fitness, and so on….Utilizing the concept that fitness is more a state of being fit or your ability to survive and maximize your gene expression, makes more sense to me, and this concept can translate into improvement for our lives in a more global sense. Here’s just one example. If you are constantly disappointed with yourself with you workout performance, body type, body fat, etc…and you are down on yourself for some things which you can or cannot change, you are not supporting emotional or mental fitness. The goal should be to evaluate your performance or state of being for what it is, no more or less. Then, set a plan in action to work on that area to support a state of fitness that lifts you up and impacts a global sense of well being. Make sense. To work on one area of fitness at the expense of another is counterintuitive.
This does not mean that training or life should be easy and that you shouldn’t disrupt homeostasis in the areas of your life fitness. There should be challenges that causes you to react and respond appropriately to grow and gain strength in our weaknesses. Within nature there are innumerable examples of the importance in disruption of homeostasis for survival. It is the challenge that causes us to respond, change, adapt and improve.
So, as you go about your week, work on challenging your thoughts regarding your performance, body, actions etc….
Tips to developing greater awareness and balance;
Take the time to THINK, not just react
Ask yourself, “is this thinking supporting my fitness?”
Seek the guidance of a mentor for greater insight and listen
Look for the deeper meaning to your challenge and it’s impact to other areas of fitness
Set a PLAN in action to think and work on your fitness in different areas
Take one step at a time and use the KISS method
Apply SMART to your goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound)
Fitness is not only in being, it’s a state of mind…