The beautiful thing about learning a new skill is that it teaches us how to access power that we never knew we had. Toning up and slimming down is only one part of the equation. Learn how to move. Gain an understanding of how to put your strength into motion. This will give you a deeper appreciation for your body based what it is capable of, not just what it looks like.
Lately when I workout, I find myself constantly thinking about the “prescribed load” relative to the weight of my son. A 35lb KB sumo deadlift high pull? Please, I do that all day! Sometimes I don’t know if CrossFit is keeping me up to speed with my son, or if my son is keeping me up to speed with CrossFit.
The point is- physical training is directly linked to how we live our lives outside the gym walls. I don’t look at the weight and ask it to make me look a certain way. I ask it to challenge me, to force me to move my body, to make sweat rain from every pore, to remind me of what I am capable of and expose the weaknesses that I need to work on. I don’t just want to look fit, I want to be fit.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very aware of what my body looks like and how much it has changed over the course of the past several years. I remember looking at my protruding belly for months and months after my son was born and thinking - “What is going on down there??” I didn’t necessarily like it, but I didn’t let it bother me either. Yes, I wanted my six-pack back, but I also wanted to be able to move with the power and ease that I used to. I wanted my agility back. I wanted my speed back. I wanted my PR’s back.
Train to improve my body’s function, not it’s shape. That has always been my mantra. It became especially important on the days I was trying to squeeze back into my old clothes. I constantly have to remind myself that this is not what life is about. As much as I appreciate a fit looking body, that is not the basis of my motivation.
If you judge yourself simply by how you look standing still in front of a mirror, you are missing out. Going to the gym can't be just about burning calories and fitting into your old jeans. It has to be about finding new ways to appreciate your body by understanding how much you can do with it. It has to be about gaining confidence by overcoming weaknesses and knowing that you are physically capable of truly living the life you want. Don’t just stand there and look pretty… get out there and do something.