I recently went to a bike shop party and saw some folks I hadn’t seen in quite some time. One of them is this guy who led the indoor bike training series I did during the winter. He actually just graduated from high school, but is a professional racer – so he knows his stuff and knows how to train. I was always impressed with his focus and determination and he was a good teacher, too. I liked the class. Anyway, when I saw him this past weekend he immediately asked if i had lost weight.
I’d like to say this is the first time I’ve had someone ask me this since I’ve started my new program and it was a good reminder that what I’m doing is having an impact. Sometimes it’s really hard for people who you see everyday to notice any differences but when you see someone who you haven’t seen in awhile – that’s a good opportunity to test out your progress. That’s also why it’s so important to track your results and even take pics every month so you can really appreciate your hard work over time.
I told him I had lost some weight and was working out about 6 days a week and he immediately says “That’s great, everyone needs a day off!” And it’s funny because about 99% of other people who I tell I’m doing intense workouts 6 days a week look at me like I’m crazy pants. There was just something about his response that got me thinking. I mean, here’s this young adult who is at the top of his sport – so he’s working hard every day to train for races….and for him, working out 6 days a week sounds totally normal. I would consider him an athlete in my books because athletes train like that, right?
I’ve written before about not really considering myself an athlete and how it feels kind of weird to say that word and apply it to myself. But the farther I go down this journey, the more confident I am in using this word to describe what I’m doing…and I guess, who I am. In the workouts I do, the instructor often reminds us that we are training like athletes because we ARE athletes. Athletes train hard, athletes think about the fuel they put in their bodies – they cross train so they are strong and have endurance under a variety of circumstances.
I’m not training in one particular sport but I’m coming up with a new one: I’m a Life Athlete. I’m training everyday to be able to perform the best possible way I can in my day to day life. Whether that’s in the office, riding my bike, teaching TurboKick, swimming, playing with my nephew and nieces, being able to go for a hike, or just every day life – I’m going to be better at all these things if I’m healthy. I’m just going to feel better in general if I take care of myself, right? And when I’m feeling good – I’m more prone to do a better job at whatever it is that I’m doing. Pretty cool thought, right?
I find some people are better at sticking to their goals when they have a focus – like training for a race or through a company sponsored “Biggest Loser” competition or something like that. I’ve done all of those things and I end up slacking off after it’s over because I wasn’t seeing the big picture. But now – it’s different. I realize I AM training for something – but it’s bigger than any one race or weight loss competition, I’m training so that I can live my life the way I want to live it. And that is such a mind blowing realization, actually.
I’m not doing this for anyone else – I’m doing it for ME. The gallons of sweat, the soreness, the waking up early and passing on the doughnuts at work – it’s not for anyone else but me. And my opinion matters most….even if it took me most of my life to figure that out. And now everything seems to make more sense to me. It stops feeling like a “diet” or just a work out program…and I start seeing it as just the current chapter of my Life Athlete Training Program. This summer it’s TurboFire, last season it was Triathlons….but the ultimate goal is to pick things that keep me interested and focused on my main objective to be healthier so I can do all the things I want to do in life. It’s never going to be “over” because life is supposed to be a journey; it should be an adventure where you try new things and this is just part of that process.
What are you currently doing to train to be a Life Athlete?