Everyone wants to be fit, but what exactly is fitness? And why do we want to be fit?
Fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the industry has to sustain itself. The industry was fueled by bodybuilding and Pumping Iron, equating fitness with looking good, hiding the simple truth about fitness, human beings were meant to move, move well, and move often.
A number of movements have emerged to break away from the bodybuilding approach and take fitness back to basics. Perhaps the most well-known of these is CrossFit. CrossFit is based on solid fundamentals, and has a strong community. More than that CrossFit has the most comprehensive definition of fitness. And yet, when it comes to complete fitness, the definition falls short, as it leaves out the role of the mind and the spirit.
For most, fitness stops at the body. But fitness of the body without fitness of the mind, emotions, and spirit is virtually useless. Like a Ferrari without a skilled driver, looks good standing there, but is that what a Ferrari is designed to do?
So why exactly should we pursue fitness? Is there a higher purpose to it?
The benefits of exercise are clear and well documented, more energy, longer life, healthier body, etc. But fitness is more than that, physical fitness is the single most tangible source of truth in life.
Intellectual, emotional and spiritual pursuits all have their benefits, but quantifying those benefits is hard. With fitness, the equation is much simpler. Checking if you have made any progress is easy. You set out to run a mile, and you can’t, well it does not get much more black and white than that.
Sources of truth are hard to come by these days, without a source of truth we can never tell when we begin compromising. Compromise starts in little things at first, but has a habit of spilling over. Pretty soon it percolates into everything. Compromise on the physical, and it manifests in the intellect, compromise on the intellect, and the emotional bears the brunt, showing up as stress, depression and the like. The spirit is muted in today’s world anyways as its values are against what is required to succeed, or at least that is what we are told and we accept because the alternative is too hard. Like fitness.
The pursuit of physical fitness has the power to set us free from the shackles of not only the body but also the mind and the spirit. Break through the perceived limit of the body, and mental walls we build will start to come down. Our spirit and mind thirst for the positive. The subconscious mind understands the power of the effort one puts in to make a change, it perceives the subtle improvements in movement quality, the lack of pain, the harmony between different body parts way before the conscious mind registers those, and it rewards us. We attain a state of Flow in personal development, with the body, mind and spirit all feeding into, and off of each other, we become more resilient, more immune to slights to any one system working on its own.
We were created without limits, designed to explore, to break through, and to always grow. There are many keys to unlocking your full potential. Fitness is the closest of those keys, the most straightforward, it’s a journey of the body on which the mind and spirit are along for the ride, relishing it like a dog with its head out of the car. Progress is easily seen and measured. And the best part? The best part is your journey is only a step away and it is completely under your control.
Are you ready to begin?