By no means am I a poster child for optimal health and fitness, nor what one would consider a gym rat. My journey through life has been nothing short of what many people call a “roller coaster” of weight fluctuations. I could take a whole post to discuss what might have lead to and continue to add to my food struggles, but for the sake of this post, I wanted to discuss that inner drive, that when it does strike, pushes us further than we initially believed we could ever achieve. During those intermittent periods where I am on my A-game, eating the perfect diet (for the most part) and exercising regularly and intensely, I have achieved some pretty impressive levels of physical conditioning.
I made sure to add my “before” pic in there too, to show that I have been all over the charts, and this is just a repeating pattern that existed from my early childhood. But during these times of the “after” photo, I will asked on occasion, “what are you taking?” alluding the fact of taking something that is not offered in your local vitamin store. And I can tell you, each time I engage in physical activity and begin pushing my body past its normal limits, every year becomes harder and harder, and the thought of taking something that will “help me a little bit more” enters frequently. Yes, I entertain the thought, always just wondering, “if I am pushing myself this hard, how much more progress would I show if I took (HGH, steroids, or whatever else is out there)? I have a couple colleagues that always put it out there that if I need anything, to let me know.
Fitness is about Pushing Past
That statement above is really why I will not partake in any substance that I can not receive from my natural diet. Now before I get cross-checked, I do take protein powders to help recover, and something that is caffeinated to give me a little more energy, but that’s it. I find that during my periods of exercise, yes, I do use the physical appearance of my body as a gauge for progress, but I find that at my age, it is so much more than that. I get off basically on the pushing of limits, both mentally and physically. I think its that point where you feel you just can’t give any more, and you want nothing more than to quit; but it is at that moment, I know that is where progress exists. So really, it doesn’t matter if I am on something or not, it has nothing to do with whether or not I am lifting 100lbs or 200lbs, or if my body fat is 15% versus 10%, it is the cumulative moments of wanting to stop because your cardiorespiratory system is maxed out and you are just trying to get any oxygen available to the muscles, or the lactic acid has built up inside that muscle and you don’t want to contract it one more time. It is these moments that bring me back to why I exercise. It truly is, The Art of Fitness. It is self-expression that I discussed in this post.
I believe the reasons above is why I have such a hard time staying consistent with social media. I don’t believe I have to inform you that the premise of social media is “look at me!” and I have never been one that enjoys drawing attention to myself. My moments of isolation are precious, and I really have no desire to compare my life to others. I am well aware that many people have a much more difficult road, and just as many that couldn’t handle a small percentage of what my life has been. I realize as well, that this is where I get most of my drive from, it is an outlet for what lies deep inside me. When I want to quit, it is that pain that speaks up and I realize that this is the moment I have to unleash it from deep down. The desire to post my accomplishments or the latest update actually makes me feel very uncomfortable, not that care all that much, I just prefer not to put my stuff out there since then it creates this inner desire for others to like it. Like many, however, I want to be real, and hopefully draw some inspiration to others who might be struggling to get off the couch or put the dessert away before indulging too heavily. Social media has become this center stage of bragging about themselves, or simply choosing to show everyone only the stuff that makes them look good. Nobody really wants to see the bad side of things anyway, so its just a continuous struggle for me but it is a great way to get a message out, so I know that you have to play the game.
"Showing off is the fools idea of -Bruce Lee
Biggest Pet Peeve of Social Media
I have learned a lot of lessons in life; one of the most valuable ones is the refraining of the need to judge others. I have plenty of faults, and honestly, my focus is about addressing my own, and I get so involved, I don’t care to invest the time to point out others faults. With that being said, what frustrates me to no end, are these social media influencer’s and most I am referring to are in the same age vicinity as me, but for as long as I have been involved in fitness, to me it is usually pretty easy to tell who is taking “extra stuff” and more specifically, things that are not available in stores. They then promote themselves or their workout/nutrition plans as a “look like me with my program” but never telling your audience the whole truth of your regime. To me that is just a scum-bucket since they are flat out lying to their audience. I honestly believe they still had to put in a lot of hard work (trust me, I know!), but if you are going to use something that allows you to do what you are doing, then you owe it to your audience to disclose everything. All you are doing is setting the stage for a person to invest in your program, use it as you instruct them too, and when they fail to look like you, because that is what they are comparing themselves too, then they will get frustrated, quit, and feed themselves more self-defeat so the next time is will be that much easier to quit. Again, if you want to use more powerful drugs to achieve your results, my opinion means zilch, but when you are selling your system, you should completely upfront with your customers. (that’s my soap box!)
As you can see, I am great at tangents, my mind moves a mile a minute, and my biggest challenge in life is staying focused. But what I wanted to challenge you to is rather than making fitness and exercise about what you see in the mirror, make it more about becoming a better person today than you were yesterday. That really is what gets me to the next session. I want to see how much better today I can be than I was yesterday. We are creatures that are designed to encounter stress, adapt to it, overcome it, and be that much stronger so when we are faced with that adversity in the future, we are much stronger to take it on, and it involves less energy. Be well my friends!