Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why I Train

Recently I’ve been asked some questions about why I feel the need to train like I do. Why do I do weights and why do I push myself hard.

I have been called a gym junkie, and it was meant in a derogatory way, like I have some kind of a problem.  Like it was a bad thing to be focused on my training, to be focused on improving myself. Apparently doing weights is bad for me, unhealthy and is just going to lead to me getting big again.  Apparently my way of life is unhealthy with my focus being on training and only socialising with people who have like interests.

These comments really stung me and made me quite unhappy to be frank.  Considering where I was 2 years ago you’d think that these people would be proud of the way I have turned my life around. That I have found a purpose.  That I no longer sit on the couch and eat until I can’t consume anymore but still did.  Yes training is not for everyone, but we all have different interests and passions.  Some sew or do craft, some raise families, some run, some boat etc etc but just because something isn’t in your line of interest then who are you to tell someone it’s wrong?  Should you as a friend not simply just be proud of their achievement?

So it made me think last night about the reasons why I do what I do, and in particular why I Crossfit.  In a sentence I feel it is summed up best like this……..I train so that I may LIVE’. 

There are many elements to my training and each affects my overall ability to get out there and LIVE my life.  I wasn’t living before I started to get healthy, I was simply existing, counting down till my eventual demise.  Now through getting fitter I can say I am living my life.

I have always enjoyed training and enjoyed working hard, but at times I felt like I didn’t have a purpose or my purpose was simply just to lose weight.  Crossfit gave me a purpose.  It gave me a reason to improve and a focus.  It filled my heart & head with more goals than I ever thought possible.  It has given me a greater sense of achievement than I have ever had before.

Every single session there is something to improve on, something to master.  I love the challenge of working with weights in such a dynamic environment and seeing my strength rapidly improve.  The movements are designed with functional movement in mind. Movements that we do every single day: squat, lift, push, pull, drive, run.  It is these movements that help us all to LIVE our lives rather than just exist within them.

So why do I train? I train so I can squat deeper, so I can lift, pus & pull more. I train so my heart works harder and harder, getting stronger & stronger. I train so much lungs can expand and fill my cells with air more readily. I train so that when I get older my bones don’t become brittle & break like a twig. I train so that I can continue to LIVE a full life no matter my age, uninhibited by physical limitations.  I train so that I can LIVE my next 37 years more fully than the last. I train because I choose to become better. I train so that I may LIVE.

For me the challenge of Crossfit lies in the continual improvement, some of which you don’t see until you go back a revisit an earlier workout.  I trained this week with my first Crossfit coach and he hasn’t trained me for over 4 months.  He put my through 2 punishing WOD’s and I was completely shattered in the end.  However when he told me he could notice a massive improvement in my capacity and the movements I was really happy. Because let’s face it every session is hard so you never get to a point where you think ‘oh, that was easy I must be getting better’.  But when you have the chance to go back in time almost and revisit where you started from your progress becomes clear.

I have no intention of changing who I am or what I am doing.  I am going to stop defending my way of life & justifying what I do & how I do it.  I am simply going to continue on training. Working as hard as I can to become the very best I can be and keep LIVING my life.

1 comment:

  1. *applause*

    Your line about finding a purpose in exercise is something that I myself have been struggling with lately and one I am actively looking for an answer for. Exercise just to lose weight is a great thing, and I have enjoyed it, but now I want to find a purpose. Whether that be running and collecting hardware (like a certain someone I know has done - lol), or joining a MMA dojo (my boys are signing up and I am this close *holding two fingers close together* to joining too) or find another answer. I feel like I need to learn a skill to keep up that self competition, that drive.

    And I know when I do I will get full support from my friends, from you, and I will never have to defend my reasons.

    This is beautifully written Lisa, and a lesson that all of us need to 'get' in order for these changes to last a life time. We need to want to do it to LIVE.

    I think your journey is amazing and inspirational and all yours. I may do something completely different but every day reading about you doing Crossfit makes me happy and excited. For you. xx