Although I’ve been physically active my whole life, I really started to train seriously when I was 12 years old. And once I made the commitment to be about that life, I never stopped. More than a decade later at the age of 24 I can honestly tell you, dear reader, that I have never missed a session in 12 years of hard physical training. There were days when I felt lazy. There were weeks when my progress was stalled and I felt dejected and unmotivated. There were even months when I was seriously injured with broken bones or concussions. But I still dragged my ass out of bed and trained because the underlying reasons for why I pushed myself physically, and continue to do so, were so powerful. Below I’d like to share with you my top three reasons for why I maintain such high levels of discipline and motivation when it comes to physical training. And nah, you don’t have to follow my lead. Shit, you don’t even have to adopt any of these motivators. But I would like you to ponder them for just a moment – especially if you feel an itch for self-improvement and more lasting forms of happiness.
1. Training to be somebody else.
When I was a kid, I thought that professional athletes, stunt men, and navy SEALs were the most amazing people in the world. I wanted their strength, discipline, and confidence. So I trained hard to leave my scrawny, lazy, and shy identity behind in order to adopt a new identity – an identity similar to that of my childhood heroes. Your identity in life is not stagnant, your actions over time make up who you are. So if you want to be stronger, do what strong people do, and do it consistently. If you want to be kinder, do what kind people do, and do it consistently. I wanted to be strong, disciplined, and confident, so I consistently did what strong, disciplined, and confident people do. Now I am that.
2. Training to be an honest leader.
Throughout my life I’ve always been given positions of leadership: team captain, class historian, personal trainer, to name a few. But because I have the meanest case of imposter syndrome, I make sure to work twice as hard to lead by example and show that I’m not a phony. As a personal trainer, I wouldn’t be able to look you in the eye if I told you to go for a 1 kilometre run if I myself haven’t run hundreds if not thousands of kilometres myself. On an even grander scale, we all want to make the world a better place (hopefully). And that only happens when each individual pulls their own weight; this requires physical and mental toughness. So even if you’re not assigned an arbitrary leadership title like “coach” or “manager”, guess what? You’re still a leader. You’re still a brother, sister, or parent, you’re still a friend, and you’re still a co-worker. So make sure to develop your physical and mental strength and endurance so that those traits leech into everyone around you. Lead by example, because people are watching.
3. Training to be able to PLAY all the time.
I never grew up. Movement and physical play are still my ultimate sources of happiness. But only if my body works well. For example, I can’t play soccer if I get winded walking up a flight of stairs. I can’t snowboard if I lack basic balance and stability. And I certainly can’t dance if I lack mobility and body awareness (actually, even with adequate mobility and body awareness, real dancers would hang themselves if they saw me dance). All of these traits, and more, can be developed through physical training. So if you want to make the world your playground and be a happier personal in general, train often!
As always, if you’d like to know more about, and start taking responsibility for your own health, fitness, and wellness, please reach out to Crux Fitness Richmond for any of your personal training needs.
Pat Koo – Personal Trainer at Crux Fitness Richmond