Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The "Act" of Exercise

I have been training since 1990 with my first DP cement filled-plastic weight set. I joined my first commercial gym 2 years later and have never looked back. For close to 20 years, there hasn't been a week that hasn't gone by that I haven't thought about lifting weights, improving my body, or simply looking in the mirror and thinking "I need to workout".

But it hasn't always been so smoothly. Over the years, as my career developed and my goals changed; I wasn't always able to get into the gym and get a good workout in. There were times when I fell prey to laziness, poor time management, injuries, and poor choices. You would think that after 20 years, I should have a Greek god-like body forged --but I don't. I am strong(er) than the next guy...I am able to perform at a higher level than other guys, but I my physique is not chiseled; nor is it anything to brag about. Why is that? Shouldn't it be if I am going to be a representative in the fitness industry and make a living by it?

Simply put, training to me... is a frame of mind. 

It is an "act" that belongs to me which I cherish and hold very close to me. That "act" is the ongoing pursuit of betterment--both physically, mentally---and lately, I would have to say spiritually. I didn't say pursuit to excellence...just betterment. Every day, every week, simply being better than the day before.

Over the years, I have run into many old gym buddies that I used to train with in the many gyms I have belonged to in over the years. One thing always seems to ring clear when I see them. They always tell me that "they don't workout as much anymore"...or "I don't have the time anymore".

How can this be?

I can only assume that they don't hold the "act" of exercise in the same light as I do. It's not a "frame of mind" to them. Betterment and self improvement are constants in my life. Just as the air I breath; when I awaken each day, I look for ways to better myself from the day before. Most people that exercise view the act of exercise as a tangible method to self-improvement. Something that they can touch, feel, and manipulate....

However, I view the act of exercise as intangible...something that cannot be touched or felt. Strange isn't it? Because most of you reading this will understand that exercise is something that can be felt or touched. But I look at a deeper and broader spectrum. Exercise is a "feeling"---or"emotion"---an antidote of life's experiences. There are things in life that occur that are beyond my control....but in the training gym, I have total control. And that makes me feel good.

Exercise can also be therapeutic. Stress wears me down. Stress is something that has to be contained. I don't believe you can really abolish it in life--as some level of stress must co-exist in adulthood.

However, like Barry cannot be stopped altogether; it can only be contained.

There are those that view exercise as a "means to an end"--they expect to achieve a result from it and then be done with it. These are the people that fail. In order to really reap the benefits of exercise; it must co-exist with you--as stress does. It must become the mundane that you experience daily. Because it is the very tool you will need for self-discovery, self-betterment, and self-introspection


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