Something I often ask my clients before starting on their fitness journey..
Why do you train? What is your purpose for training? What do you want to achieve? Is it physical? Is it mental? And, why? Most of the time (not all the time), training is triggered because we want to physically change our bodies. We aren’t entirely happy with it. We want to build muscle, to look more toned, to be X weight, to fit in to size X jeans. And there is nothing wrong with that.
But something I find that people often forget to think about, is the why? Why do you want to look this way? Is it to feel better about yourself? To find validity within society? To look at yourself and feel proud and happy?
Is it for you? Your partner? Your friends? For social media?
When you achieve this, will you be satisfied, and will you continue this lifestyle? What’s next?
Soooo many questions, I knowwwwww! It’s so important to clearly define the why. Not having the why clear, is almost like heading down an unknown road, and hoping that you get to your destination. You may get half way there, and then forget where you were going, and why you chose to go there in the first place! I’m talking from experience from not only myself, but from clients, friends, and from family. I recently had a bit of a slump with my training, and it took me a good few weeks, if not months to get myself out of it! Yeah, I was still disciplined and consistent, but I was so unmotivated! I was unmotivated because I had no purpose with my training. I didn’t know what I was training for. I wasn’t trying to build muscle anymore, I wasn’t trying to hit PB’s, or lose body fat. I was just “going to gym”. So, I decided to take a step back from my training, and really think about it. I didn’t care about the aesthetic goals, so I knew it was definatly something internal for me. I wanted to be pushed. Why did I want to be pushed? Because I know my potential. I've always naturally been fit, and I wanted to tap in to it further. I love the feeling of pushing my body when my mind just wants to give up. It’s almost like you have two people inside your head. One person says “give up, this is bullshit”, and the other person says “don’t listen to that guy, fucking keep pushing, you got this!” Im not even kidding, this is what goes on inside my head when I train hard and push myself!
Once upon a time, my eating disorder ruled my life for nearly six years. It put me down, and made me feel as though I was a prisoner within my own body. But I beat that person, and I'm never letting them back in. So now, I take risks, and I put myself in uncomfortable situations. Not just in a training environment, but also social environments. You know those situations where you get invited to something and there is a group of people who you don’t know? Yeah I live for that stuff now! Awkward, uncomfortable, I’m in! That’s where we grow! That’s where opportunities arise and we network!
So, getting back on to the topic of figuring out my “why”, I asked myself, how can I be pushed? How can I tap in to my true potential? My answer........Crossfit.
Crossfit is where it all began for me nearly 3 years ago. Crossfit introduced me to weightlifting, and helped me take back control of my life after being sick for such a long time. It’s the only group fitness environment that I like, and now that I have my strength training behind me, I know I can come back stronger than last time. The day that I decided I wanted to join Crossfit again, is the day that I did it. No hesitation, I just did it. And now, I couldn’t be more motivated to train! Not only am I consistent now, but I have motivation to work hard towards becoming the fittest I've ever been! Why do I want to achieve this? Because it makes me feel empowered, and it pushes me to aim higher in every aspect of my life. When you aim high, you push hard to reach it. And when you reach it, that bar just keeps getting higher.
Exercise is great, and it's an important part of our existence, but people often don't realise that it's so much more than that. Exercising taps in to our mental state, and helps us reach our true potential. The mind is a powerful thing, and if you can learn to tap in to it, and realise that you are in control of it, you can do amazing things, and discover your true course. So ask yourself, what is your purpose for training? Why is your goal your goal? Is it truly going to make you happy? If you don't know why you want to achieve this goal, then maybe you need to take a step back and reassess.
And remember, train for performance, not punishment.