I’ve been super lucky to meet hundreds of athletes from literally all over the world. These have mainly been in competition or instructional settings, but never the less it’s always interesting to see and hear their stories. What I found most interesting is half of them never intended to compete, ever. Their training sort of just led up to it, and much like CrossFit, they fell in love with it. They all had other reasons for training and that’s what we will cover. Why do you train or why should you workout?
Unfortunately, today there is so much emphasis on body image, that people literally workout “not to be fat”. I’m not saying that getting in better shape isn’t a reason to workout, because obviously it is, but if the only reason you are working out is to “not be fat” or simply tell your friends you are working out, then in my opinion, you are doomed for failure. It’s a very superficial reason.
What do I mean by that? Stating you want to workout to get in better shape or lose weight, and gain strength are all very measurable goals with positive connotations associated with them. Working out “not be fat”, well, that isn’t too measurable and has a very negative connotation. Do you need to be honest with yourself about your current physical state? Yes, but should you just do it not to be fat? If that’s why then okay, but I think there is more to it, something deeper that will help you have long term commitment and success.
So, with that said what are good reasons to workout? I want to say that it’s not in my personality to judge why anyone works out, just simply stating what pushes me and maybe give you some perspective on some reasons to start working out yourself.
The first reason I train is because it’s the difference between life and death. That may seem a little grim to some of you, but in the military and having been deployed, I know that the man to the left and to the right of me are counting on me to be prepared for any and all situations. In a firefight, if I’m too gassed to do my job or hold the team up, I risk getting myself or a teammate killed. On the other side of that, if in a bad situation, I’m unable to drag an injured teammate to safety and execute my job, while in a state of exhaustion, I run the risk of losing a brother. The better physical condition I am in, the more I can do for my team and the better the chance I have of bringing all my brothers back home.
The second reason I train is for my daughter. Call me crazy, but I want to be able to walk my daughter down the isle. I want to see her have children and see what she accomplishes with her life. Every day I get to see her grow is a blessing and I want to experience as much of her life as I can, and as I age not be a burden to her.
Lastly, I want to be a better version of myself, physically and mentally. I know that if I get my body right, and push it, my mind will follow. I learn through the tough workouts that physically tax me, and make me want to quit, that I can achieve anything. If I just push through the pain, and ignore my body(not to the point of injury or anything) that I will apply that mindset to the other parts of my life. Yes, having a nice physique is great, but the way I push myself in the gym, is the same way I push myself in school, in business and in life. I know that I can always do better and if I work hard, I will be rewarded for my efforts.
So with that, I ask you the question? Why do you train? Is it just to “not be fat”, which is fine, but is there something else in your life or in your future that you are looking forward to? Maybe it’s being better at your job, maybe it’s for your family? If you don’t think there is a reason to work out, look around you, ask others, or look inside yourself and ask yourself. I promise, everyone has a reason.