There are moments when I get philosophical and try to contemplate why things are the way they are and why I do the things that I do. One fact of life is that you can never redo things, you can never go back in time. Time doesn’t stop, but keeps on going. A moment comes and then it goes, to be replaced by another moment. All we get left with is memories and even those sometimes fade. The moment is now, yet that too will soon be just a memory.
In my mind I often go back to things that have happened. At one point that was also “now”, the “moment”, with no way of knowing what the future will bring. I was running, thinking, eating, reading or doing a myriad of other activities. I had hopes and dreams and had no idea what will happen in the future. That was the moment, and then it was gone, to be replaced by another moment. Looking back at it, I now know that many of my hopes and dreams did not come true. Yet that does not stop me from living in the moment and creating new hopes and dreams, reflecting the current reality. I can only hope that those will turn out differently.
Life is about learning and trying to grab opportunities as they come. Unfortunately, many times things do not turn out as you want them to turn out. That’s why you need something to keep you focused, to keep you balanced. You need to strive and work on yourself. You cannot control outside forces, but what you can do is try to work on yourself, always striving to improve yourself, whether physically or intellectually. Training, lifting, doing sports, is one of those things that gives me balance, keeps me focused and helps me strive to achieve goals. It is an opportunity that I get to better myself.
1) You can never be perfect, but why not try?
Unfortunately you can never be perfect. Perfection does not exist. There is always at least a small flaw that disturbs the balance. Yet that does not prevent one from trying to be perfect. Sometimes life gives you a bad hand and you have it harder than the guy who got “lucky” and got the genetics, got the money…etc. without having to work for them. That is unfortunate, yet even he is not perfect. In the game of life you should only race against yourself, because that is what counts.
I don’t understand the philosophy “be proud of the way you are”, at least in the way that it is often applied. Often that means, if you’re fat, then be proud of being fat. I think that type of philosophy just creates complacency. Except for a very small percentage of people who are fat because of medical reasons, the vast majority of people are fat, because they chose to be fat. Yet they do nothing about it and continue the bad habits that led them to their current state. You should not create excuses for yourself, but instead try to change it. Numerous people have done it, why not you? It does take hard work, but the final result will be worth it. Unfortunately most people take the easy path and do nothing.
In my head, I have a perfect image of myself, the state that I want to be in, and do everything that I can in order to achieve it. There are setbacks and unfortunately life throws you curveballs, for example injuries, which kill your progress. All you can do is ride it out and start over. Create that perfect image of yourself and set up goals on how to achieve that. Then go out and try your hardest to do that. You might fail, yet there is no shame in failing. We can never be perfect. The shame is in not trying.
2) Life is about challenging yourself
Progress only happens when you attempt to do something that you haven’t done and sometimes it works. That’s why you should always be challenging yourself and doing new things. You never know whether you can do something, unless you actually do it and put effort into doing it. You need to set up a goal and try to achieve it. Challenge yourself!
I never understood the typical “sports fan”, the guy with the pot belly and the beer in hand watching sports. When the team he is cheering for wins, he yells: “We won!” and feels some sort of satisfaction as if he achieved something and tries to show off the guys that cheered for the other team. Newsflash, but you did not win. The guys on the field won. You didn’t. All you did was sit in front of the television, drink beer and watch a bunch of guys run around the field. There is no challenge in that and there should be no sense of achievement. For me personally I don’t like to watch sports, I prefer to do them. When I watch something on the screen, I get the itch to be on the field, to actually be doing it.
Is there something that you want to do, but haven’t done. Then do it! Set up goals and try to achieve them. They might seem impossible to achieve, but therein lies the challenge. If you work hard you can achieve the things that you previously thought impossible. You just shouldn’t give up and when you fail, just try again! I set up challenges in the gym and try to achieve them.
3) You sometimes need to detach from everyday life
Unfortunately, a lot of things that happen in life are BS. I am sure you have been in BS types of situations before. You might sit at work every day for long hours, doing things that you do not particularly enjoy doing or ones that you feel are pointless. You might find yourself in situations where you have pointless arguments with colleagues over totally useless stuff. You might even have colleagues that make life a living hell for you.
That’s why you need a little sanctuary where you can go and detach yourself from the stress and other BS of everyday life. The gym is my way of doing that. You should forget about everything that is happening outside of the gym and focus on what you are doing in the gym. For that moment, life outside the gym does not exist. You are in there and control your own situation. You set your own goals and you are working on achieving them. It’s only you and no distractions.
4) Being strong lets you do things that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise
Training also gives you other benefits, for example physical. You have the strength or stamina to do things that others can’t. When you are a big buff dude, you get respect from other guys and they are less likely to pick on you. You can defend yourself and others. You can pick up heavy things or go long distances. You are also a lot more healthy than other people.
5) It gives you a sense of achievement and a good feeling
These are the fruits of your efforts, your real life achievements and they are pretty useful. You get a sense of pride when you achieve something that you set out to achieve. You look back at all the hard work it took, but that moment is worth it. Your mind feels elated and your body feels light and powerful. There is nothing that beats that feeling.
6) It’s fun
Besides training is fun! We all like to do things that are “fun” and for me training and doing sports is fun. There is the sense of competition, there is the sense of achievement and all those things translate to fun.
These are some of the reasons of why I train! What are yours?
Image above: Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net