We live in a fitness culture that celebrates people and community
It’s a good thing, for sure, but I fear it’s trending towards this idea that you don’t stand a chance of getting in shape on your own.
It’s almost as if you need a team of people around to support your efforts. You need coaches, trainers, nutritionists, doctors, dietitians, physical therapists athletic trainers workout buddies and an Internet community forum.
I guess it not only takes a village to raise a child, but it also take a village to learn how to do pull ups and lose those love handles.
I’m all for getting help and support, but I fear that we may be losing some of our self reliance. I fear that we feel we can’t solve our own problems and find our own path.
I partly blame the over complication of diet and exercise. It’s gotten to the point where there’s so much science and expert opinion out there, that you need the support team to figure out what to have for dinner or how many miles to run.
Fitness isn’t complicated. We may think it is, but it’s not. Hard work, consistency eating well, limiting junk food, and getting enough sleep will bring you more than 75% of the way towards your goals. Of course, that gets really f*cked up when you bring in the team of experts. You’ll have many different ideas and opinions about how you should “eat right”, how you should workout, and what sort of spring water you should be drinking.
I have an idea, instead of consulting the experts on how many miles you should run, why not just go out and see how many you can run? Instead of asking 3 different trainers if you should do 3 sets or 5 why not just see if you can do 50 reps within 3 minutes? Or even 100 reps? Don’t ask what you should be doing, just go out and see what you can do. I promise you’ll surprise yourself.
And instead of trying to figure out what you should be doing from other folks, why not figure out how to do the stuff you already know you should be doing but have trouble doing so?
Sure you might make some mistakes and make the wrong call, but that’s no different than what happens with many experts anyway. A large part of my initial time with clients is spent cleaning house. I have to go through all of the rules and beliefs that other experts have planted in their mind and clear it all out. I need to help them empty their cup because it’s so damn full of unnecessary stuff, that it’s holding back their potential.
True Fitness Independence comes when you know you can stand on your own two feet, and still stay in shape regardless of your situation. It doesn’t matter if your trainer shows up or not, you still know how to get in a great workout. It doesn’t matter if you work next to a string of fast foot joints, you still can keep your diet healthy. Instead of letting circumstances control you, you control them. Hell, you are a circumstance.
I know there are those who will say that they can’t do it on their own, that they lack the skills. To that I say LEARN THE DAMN SKILLS! The less skillful you are in fitness, the more vulnerable your results are to the changes of life. You’re much more vulnerable to the whims of other people and events, isn’t it much better to be able to stand on your own feet and take charge yourself?
One of the comer stones of Fitness Independence is that you should be your own #1 fitness expert. Everyone else is merely an adviser coming to you with ideas and theory. I don’t hold this belief because it helps you stand on your own and be strong. I hold it because it’s the way things really are! No one can actually make you get in shape. No one can force you to eat well or hit the gym. Every action, both for and against being in shape, comes form you and only you. It simply cannot come from anyone else. You’re the one in charge here whether you realize it or not.
I don’t say you should stand on your own, because it’s novel or idealistic. I say it because it’s the only way you can achieve success! If you don’t do it under your own power, you don’t do it at all!
So it’s time to stop over relying on others. Let them help and guide you, but never let them take charge because it’s not even really possible for them to do so. Stand up, stand strong and stand under your own power.
Because after all, you are your only hope and chance of success.