I CAN STILL BE 20 YEARS OLD IF I WANTED TO…RIGHT?
It seems as though no matter what, I cannot stop comparing myself to my younger years. I find that so many people do this and it makes complete sense. Chances are when we were in our 20’s life was a bit less demanding, our bodies took less work to look twice as good, we could eat a ton and we could sleep more. We were reading self-help or motivational books and trying to find a higher purpose to our adult lives so we could be better people in this world. I see it with a lot of my younger employees; it is crazy how life just repeats itself at specific age ranges. I am sure many of you see that as parents. How the stages of one’s life mirrors the generation before them. Being older we are happy to have more knowledge, but on the flip side we always have it in mind that we will get back those younger years of performance once we get over this this hump in life. The catch is, once you reach a certain age that said hump, is actually life, and it is very consistent. So for most of us we need to adjust expectations and change how we make our efforts.
For a long time I was totally addicted to the gym. Not that I am not now, but my relationship with it was different, for the most part unhealthy. Now I am 37, and I don’t have the endurance both mentally and physically for what I once had. My mental and physical efforts come in different ways and at different times. That is the reality of it. Life has a different purpose, it asks me for different efforts mentally and physically and this translates into my approach to fitness.
I have found the way I train today is much different than the way I used to train. I also find that when I was 25, I did not connect fully with adults who I was training. They were in their mid 30’s and up, and how could I fully understand when they told me their bodies were just stiff, lacked the energy, or can’t get the results they want. My answer was probably, work harder, which is not great answer but how was I to know, things always just worked if I tried harder in my 20’s. Now I experience these challenges and even though I don’t have a family, I better understand the nature in which the demands of having one can place on one’s ability to get to the gym and eat healthy.
OK, MAYBE I CAN’T BE 20, BUT I CAN BE AN AWESOME 37
So while I see so many gyms and social media trainers push for this level of greatness I think we need to take a step back and just congratulate everyone who sacrifices an extra hour or two of sleep to get out of bed at 4:00 a.m. to workout, or adjust their schedules to make it in a bit later for one hour. I am not looking to be a bodybuilder and be super ripped or be a power lifter and hit crazy numbers. It’s amazing when someone else does it but it is not where my head is at. My head is on bigger things, and I am ok with my growth being constant and steady rather than breaking down walls on a weekly basis as if I am competing on stage. I feel like I am competing more for life now. I personally do not even want the physical look on my body. I don’t find it attractive in men or women. I prefer an athletic well rounded look. It is not to say I don’t appreciate another person’s ability to look and perform a certain way, and I am happy they have earned the look which goes with their performance; it is great, but for them, not me. I want to be an adult who can fit training into my schedule, be healthy, have fun, reap the fruits of my hard work when I want to and be proud of my body and health without the stress of trying to catch up with the perceived reality we create via social media.
WHAT I DO EXPECT FROM TRAINING
If you train at my gym we 100% are pushing you to be better. We want you to work hard. I don’t want you to settle on what you have now; I want you to push for more. I want you to dead lift within your ability, do pull ups, lay on the floor in sweat and feel like you accomplished something no one else has. I want you to be happy with your body and its performance, and my god you will. This is why people come to my gym. Not to stay status quo, but to move forward and better themselves. But, I also want “us”, I mean those parents who are up at night with their sick kids and still come in, those of us who are in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and want to feel good and perform well. I want US, to not feel like we are missing the boat on something because Mr. Johnny I am 25, just posted himself jumping on a 5’ box and doing a handstand push up on weights, makes us feel like that needs to be a standard or we are failing. If you made time for the gym today and you made yourself a little bit better, you ate better, you pushed to be stronger and use the gym environment as a place to gain mental strength then you are doing it. You are doing what most people are not doing and should feel amazing about yourself. If you want more and are willing to make larger sacrifices then more power to you. I have been there and I am here to help.
I recently told myself I am only lifting 3 days per week anymore. It pains me to do it. I have always gone 4 minimum and 5-6 on average. But the truth is, I just don’t want to do it anymore than that right now. I have replaced those other days with different physical activities mind you, so I am still working out almost every day, but I just decided I want to shift my focus to other things I enjoy and not worry about keeping a perceived image up. Since I have mentally cleared my head, it turns out I have not sacrificed anything, the older me responds well to the variety.
Overall, nothing wears better than confidence. I see people post pictures of their 2 month success challenges and how they had extreme changes. They will say.. “if I can do it you can do it too”. Sometimes I just think, I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to be all or nothing. That is so stressful. I don’t want to live everyday blocking out the world and other things it has to offer just to see a vein or an extra muscle. What those people do is great for them, but it is not attractive for me to do. I like to train for the long haul at this point. The pressure I feel from media is insane. I can only imagine what a female let alone a teenage girl feels. It is ok to want more, but you have to be happy with who you are now. I think that is what I am trying to get at. The people who come into my gym all perform on a great level, work their butts off and are amazing to me. They amaze me much more so than any professional athlete. My people are working a much harder grind and for no other incentive other than just want to do it. That alone is impressive and everything else can build from there organically based on what you want. Not what you think you should want based on outside pressures. “I just want to be an in shape adult and perform at the level that works best for me”.
“Be consistent in what you do, be intense and purposeful in the moment, be confident and proud in your day” – Dennis Angelina