Please enjoy Part III of my ongoing series on Life As Fitness Trainer. Check back next week for my thoughts on what to look for, and what NOT to look for in a fitness trainer.
“Show me a man who has the same values at 50 that he had at 25, and I’ll show you a man who wasted 25 years of his life.” Muhammad Ali.
Change; Often It Comes Seamlessly
It’s not that I got lazy; it’s just that I just quit caring…
.. .or that I quit caring so much.
I no longer look like an action-figure in sleeveless shirts as I did 5 years ago. Still, I’m way ahead of the game for 49 years of age, and one can tell at a glance that I invest a good deal of time in exercise. I had always thought though, that if I worked in, or owned a gym, I would remain in supreme shape for all my days – and that has always mattered to me.
I have reasoned that so long as some decent equipment was at hand; by way of proximity, availability, and my discipline, this would ensure my great physical conditioning – ongoing. I never counted on “great physical conditioning” no longer mattering to me – or not as much. It’s alright, dry your eyes – priorities change, that’s just the way it is.
I still like to workout; weights, riding my bike, running, trail hiking, and I do all of these weekly, and often daily. The intensity, however, and the effort I apply to my daily action is waning, as is the frequency and duration of such activities. I’ve just become estranged from my go big or go home mentality.
Living In A Gym; Do What You Love For A Living And…
…Quit Loving It
I once reasoned that if I stick to what I love and what I know for my livelihood, I would live a blissful life and earn a good keep. The truth is, I built my little gym for me, not for my clients. It would soon become my sanctuary; a place where time stood still and where, by way of my very intense workouts done in private, I felt at peace with the world, if not always on top of it. My gym and my workouts were literally my religion. The problem is; I never left.
My sanctuary, my temple of me, for me, has also been my workplace. Though I was not always exercising, I was in my sanctuary up to 12 hours per day. What I once loved, would become constant and to begin to grow stale.
Many can relate to how hard it is spending all day in the workplace, leave tired at the end of the day, and head to the gym for an evening workout. It’s not always easy. Now imagine, that you have spent all day working in your gym, surrounded by gym stuff, and at the end of the day, you don’t even get the privilege of leaving to go workout – I would be stuck at work to enjoy my play. Motivation might be hard to conjure. Within a few years the need to get away from work, which also meant getting out of my gym, meant… buying a gym membership, so I did.
And for several years I would leave my gym at the end of the day to workout in a fresh environment, and this worked – to a point.
You Are Who You Roll With
In the beginning of this incarnation of my business, many of my clients were serious adult athletes, want-to-be fitness models, young bodybuilders, and a few competitive prep-athletes. Having always reasoned that I need to be in better shape than my clients, I took care of business and ensured that I was in better shape – always.
Slowly, my client-base changed, and that was for the better. I began working with people who better appreciated the value of functional fitness; seniors, men and women who wish to be more active, weight-loss candidates, and weekend warrior athletes who who would rather not limp into work on Monday mornings. As the collective condition of my clients lessened, so too did the overall condition of me – and I never saw it coming. On a very subconscious level, I must have reasoned that I could get away with less. On a very subconscious level, this would become my path. This is not to say I quit exercising, I just felt less pressure to push hard – to go big or go home in every workout.
The Tao Of A Furious Heart-Rate And Burning Quads; Oh, There Isn’t One
So here I am, still in good physical shape, but not where I have been and where I know I could still be. I work less at it, and it has become a lesser priority in my life. I attempt daily to reconcile that disparity.
I’m okay these days with having a small roll on my waist versus the tight abs of a couple years ago. I’m okay with using a bit of salad dressing and ketchup these days when for years I would never touch the stuff. I’m okay with 30 minutes of strength training versus 60. I’m ok with shorter, slower runs and bike rides. I’m okay with all of that, and then really I’m not.
I contemplate a promise I made to myself years ago, that in no area of my life would I ever allow myself to take a step backward; that time’s arrow points only ahead. I know that I still have what it takes to get in the best shape of my life. I know that I always feel better for having pushed workouts harder than the week before. I know I can look and function better at 50 than I did at 40, and better at 60 than at 50, I know I know I know I know.
I also know that we have been designed to get old, to breakdown, and to slowdown, and to have our priorities change. I know that the car with the most miles on it will likely go to the junk yard first. I know I think way too much about all of this. I know I know I know I know. Be well. rc