As I sit on my futon waiting for my post workout meal to be ready, and think about the routine I just finished one thing came to mind. A question I have often asked myself after a good training session, especially over the past year is "what the hell was that?".
I turned 33 this year, and have been on the fitness wagon, fallen off and gotten back on a few times over, come back from injuries, failed, succeeded, basically been through it all. What I haven't been through since my teens is to consistent training, and having fun at it. In my teens into early twenties the only kind of training I did was martial arts training, which was never hard to keep up since I was effectively obsessed with becoming the best martial artist I can be, Once in my early twenties I began to branch out, and of course found myself dabbling in and learning other things I went on to incorporate into my repertoire. But I have to admit, through all these years I have failed to find the fun in physical activity that I did back then.
So why now? Why am I suddenly having so much fun with my training? I don't just do Martial Arts any more, I do calisthenics, kettle bells, plyometrics, yoga, hiking...I mean anything I can do really. Is that the answer? The variety of things I do certainly help but I don't think it's the only answer. Another very motivating factor is how good I feel these days, even on my off days I'm still more energetic and I'm sick way less often. My appearance of course, like anyone else looking in the mirror and not seeing a body you're ashamed of is certainly a plus as well. The famous meme "once you see results, it becomes an obsession" is some real wisdom. Yet I don't think that's it either. What is it? Well, I'm not going to lie as I started this entry I wasn't sure that I could answer that question until it hit me about three sentences back. It's just that I'm having fun.
Don't get me wrong, I take my training very seriously. I like making sure I'm getting better, faster, stronger, leaner, etc. Having goals is important, accomplishing them and setting new ones to conquer is always nice too, and that type of discipline is necessary if you're looking to compete in some sport. But if it is no longer is fun, then all of the hard training becomes hard work, the soreness just pain, and the clean eating just a dietary restriction. You have to enjoy this, and by that I mean enjoy what you do. You can be a runner, you can be a yogi, a martial artist, a body builder...whatever, but you have to be having fun. Even if your goal is just to exercise, not really to lose weight or look good for the summer, but just to work out. My recommendation is just to have fun.
Play ultimate Frisbee, go for walks, go hiking, dancing, lift weights etc. Just have fun. For me, fun is pushing my body, learning new movements, and seeing a progression in my fitness and wellness. Fun is teaching friends new movements and ideas to train with, and to absorb from them. Fun is going for a hike everyone in blue in to try something different, but fun is also slinging some kettle bells around my living room until my heart is pounding. And sure there is soreness, sometimes injuries, set backs, the dieting can be tough but so what? This has been the most fun I've had through training, and to me that's important. It's also important to fuck off here and there, have that delicious fatty meal or sweet treat you enjoy here and there. Just be aware of the consequence of that, and react accordingly. A few beers, pizza, and wings during a football game or MMA event are good for the soul in my opinion. . Just have fun, try new things, don't take it too seriously, just don't stop. And for those who haven't started, start having fun. The balance will ensure longevity.