Not A Healthy Addiction…

When people when speak to me about their fitness regimen the phrase, it’s a healthy addiction, is often used to support their rationalization of how dedicated they are.

Of course, there is no such thing as a healthy addiction. The very nature of addiction is that one sacrifice more in the pursuit of the result, than the result will actually yield on their behalf.

On a personal level, I am compelled by the fulfillment of challenging exercise. The drug of intensity in movement clears my head, offers me confidence, and provides moments to me during which I can hide from the stress of daily living, if only for a while.


Whether my requirement for challenging exercise is an addiction, a compulsion, or a mere personality defect, I may never be sure. What I have come to accept though, is that for now, exercise for the sake of fulfillment is a necessary component of the clock that is me.

On a professional level, I am more cautious about the ideal of intensity in exercise. This caution though, is relative to the moment, and to the client. Some moments in my studio are all about fulfillment in exercise. I am paid well by some clients to establish the limits of their physicality, and incrementally raise those limits, rendering them more capable at gin tasks, aesthetically improved, or both.

With other clients it’s about utility. They entrust me to help increase their physicality by inserting functional exercise into their lives. This may be due to age, disease, or simply because they have lived a previously deconditioned lifestyle. Regardless, for these clients mindfulness comes first, and intensity isn’t even a consideration.

There is a blurry line between pursuing what we want, and what makes sense. When I have difficulty distinguishing that line, or when I see it more clearly but can’t decide which side I should stand on, I draw from the only scripture which has mattered to me in my adult life:

“Speak today in hard words what you believe, and speak tomorrow in hard words what you believe though it may contradict what you say today.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head.  Oh, there’s this from Christopher The Conquered. Enjoy…

7 responses

  1. Years ago I remember asking you about Competitive Body Builders. You explained to me their results came from being OCD about their work outs,even 2 to 3 times a day. In the gym at 4:00 am. I can understand the intensity and work they have to put to compete at a universal level. Then there is the P.E.D factor tossed into the mix. Which can become an unhealthy addition. They have a higher level of fulfillment. I’d love to feel an once of their high.
    Right On – Write On… I look forward to reading your key board exercises.

  2. As a former athlete (many moons ago) I often wonder now what it would be like if proper diet and functionality of movement were stressed half as much as building speed, muscle, and toughness. Your clients are lucky to have you since you have such a well-rounded approach!

    • Thank you, Heidi, very much. It’s still a huge issue for me, though I don’t work with too many student athletes these days. I have a clear memory of a young shortstop who was very talented, worked out extremely hard, and did more conditioning than most. Dr. Pepper and Doritos for breakfast notwithstanding. She was very representative of many high school athletes I have worked with since 2000 or so; train like a beast, care about eating the least. Needs to me a more centered line there…

  3. Oh no, Emerson is a flip-flopper. Who knew.

    I may be a fanatic when it comes to exercise, but I’m with you on the problems of addiction. If exercise is causing harm in other areas of your life, such as time better spent on things that you and your family need, If you need to wear all kinds of body supports so you can exercise a little more or heavier, it is a problem. Hopefully, most of us learn to recognize when enough is enough. If not, life will teach us the hard way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.