Getting fit is a marathon, not a sprint.
I’ll be honest. When I first started lifting weights, I wanted to look good. It gave me a sense of confidence unlike anything before. Looking a little bit better than the average person made me feel superior and a mindset that if I looked better, I’m a better person.
But as I got deeper into the fitness lifestyle and after many humbling failures later, I learned that no matter how big my biceps were or how small the measure of my waist, there will always be someone who’s better. At the same time, no matter how inferior I thought I was, there was always someone behind me still learning the ropes.
Because I was hooked in the world of trying to look good, it took many years and pains to learn that fitness is relative. How others perceived me depended on where they were standing and how I felt about myself depended on who I was comparing myself with. Did I want to continue comparing myself to others have no concrete basis of comparison? Or did I want to compare myself to who I was yesterday and have actual data on where to improve on?
As many of us will eventually realize, it feels more natural to choose the latter. So, I did. Today, I’d like to share some realizations I had.
1. You are the master of your own perspective. Workout to look good and enjoy your body. Appreciate the compliments and applause. Realize that no matter where you are right now in your fitness, chances are you’re better off than someone else. At the same time, no matter how fit you think you may be, there will always be people who are fitter than you.
2. Know thyself. Instead of comparing yourself to other people, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Every day is chance to get to know yourself better–in training (which lifts are getting heavier), in nutrition (which foods are better digested), in relationships (which love language works) and, basically, in every aspect of your life. It will take a while—a really long while, but at the end, it will all be worth it. This is the beauty of the marathon called the fitness journey.
3. Do it for you. If you workout for the approval others, you’ll quickly lose the drive go on because you’ll realize that no far you’ve gone, you’ll never be enough to reach the finish line. But if you workout for yourself and focus on improving one stride at a time, your fire to SUSTAIN your fitness will be ignited everyday. You’ll find that it’s easier to stay consistent in the game and feel physically more capable to be your best self for you or for your loved ones. Your reason to get fit at 18 years old will be different from your reason at 60 years old. Regardless of intention, your reason stays the same. Doing it for you gets you FIT FOR THE LONG RUN.