To begin, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope you are ready to thrive in 2014 and beyond.
With that said, I’ve never been a fan of resolutions to begin the new year. I don’t set out to become a new person each year. Instead, I strive for continuous improvement each day. Dates on the calendar do not affect my desire to improve. I am passionate about my work so I’ll continue to push myself regardless of the year.
Unfortunately, not everyone understands my desire to improve. Hard work is not always viewed favorably. Yes, people understand that it is effective, but they have been led to believe that hard work is not enjoyable. And it is this distorted perception that often causes failure with fitness resolutions. People begin the new year by prepping for deprivation. They believe that the only way to improve is by depriving themselves of life’s pleasures.
Fortunately, it does not need to be that way. I would not train as hard as I do if I did not enjoy the process. The time that I invest in training does not force me to miss out on the rest of the world. The opposite is actually true. Health and fitness allow me to enjoy more of the world. And it is this message that we need to spread to the masses. The majority of people today do not understand it. They have been led to believe that exercise is everything but fun. Ironically, the fitness industry often contributes to this false perception.
Just think of all the marketing campaigns that promise faster fitness solutions. These marketers are not encouraging the consumer to enjoy the process. Instead, they tell you to get it over with as fast as possible. You wouldn’t be rushing if it was something you enjoyed. Or what about the diet pills that are sold as substitutes for exercise? If exercise was fun, why are we encouraged to pop pills instead?
With so many deceptive marketing campaigns, it is no surprise that the average person isn’t enthusiastic about exercise. I’ve even had close friends and family who thought I was crazy for training so hard. They can’t comprehend it. Explaining my passion isn’t enough to combat the marketing powers that have influenced their thought process. Once again, we need more people who are passionate about training to speak up and share their experiences. It must be a joint effort.
I certainly hope to alter the perception of exercise through this site as well as my actions offline. I realize however that influencing the masses isn’t a one man job. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is questioned about training so hard. A week rarely passes without someone telling me I’m crazy after watching one of my videos. Or if they don’t call me crazy, they’ll comment about how I must train countless hours each day. So I’m either crazy or I have no life (sorry, but both assumptions are false).
For example, I recently posted the following picture to Facebook.
Within the picture, you’ll see three images that cover 20 years of my life. After posting the picture, someone commented with the following.
“What’s the point of doing so much training to live another 20 years if you spend 30 of them in the gym?”
Well, at least this person didn’t call me crazy. He just thinks I’m pissing my life away.
And while my natural response was to counter with sarcasm, it makes more sense to use his comments to hopefully change the perception that others have about exercise. Personally, I rarely train for more than an hour at a time. As much as I love training, I don’t get paid for it. I still have a family to provide for each day. My own training does not put dinner on the table. I do it because I enjoy it. I am passionate about it. I love the time that I spend in the gym. I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy the results. I enjoy the process. I crave it each day. That’s not crazy and I’m not wasting time. That’s just me pursuing something that I’m passionate about.
If we ever hope to curb the health and obesity problems that exist today, we must first let people in on the secret that training is not something to dread. You can actually enjoy it. It all starts by finding something that you are passionate about pursuing. Perhaps it is a challenge, obstacle, or event that will initially pique your interest. Different people have different motivations. That’s okay. We don’t need to pursue the same goals to understand each other.
I don’t train hard to live a longer life. If I do, so be it. I’m more concerned about living life to the fullest. For me, that means making the most of each day. Challenging myself physically and mentally is part of the process. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope to train every day until my last. As a result, I don’t need annual resolutions. I’m too busy trying to better myself every Monday through Sunday.