Freedom and independence are the power sources of a higher level of fitness. The more freedom you have, the more power you have to reach greater levels of fitness.
Over the years, I’ve noticed there are 3 levels of personal independence. This is certainly the case when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
Level 1- “Do it for me.”
This level is where we completely rely on someone else to do something for us. We are fully at the mercy of that person or product. In this instance, we don’t really own the outcome, the outcome owns us.
In some ways this can be a useful thing as we can’t do everything ourselves. When I go out for sushi I’m asking someone else to make the food for me as I don’t have the resources to do it myself. This can also mean I can get a product with minimal lifestyle resources. It would take me much more time, money and energy to learn how to make sushi that well so I have someone else do it for me.
In fitness there is little that can be done for you. Someone else can make up a workout for you or build you a piece of equipment, but none of that will make you get in shape. Fulfilling the root cause of every fitness goal is something that simply cannot be done for you.
Level 2- “Make me do it.”
This is the level most folks spend their time in a fitness lifestyle. They have a diet or exercise plan they follow that someone else created. They have trainers or coaches telling them what to do and how they should do it.
At this level the individual knows they need to do the work themselves, but they still want someone else to call the shots. This can help them avoid full responsibility for the outcome.
This is also the level most folks imagine themselves at and they believe this is as far as their personal freedom and power can go. They see themselves as a pawn that’s constantly at the mercy of life and circumstances. Their diet is the way it is because their coworkers bring in donut thus “making” them eat such things. They don’t have access to a gym so they see the world as making them not exercise. Such attitudes leave the person feeling like they are not under their own power and thus at the whim of the forces of life.
Level 3- “I’m doing it myself. “
This is the ultimate level of personal freedom and responsibility. At this level, the individual has taken full control of their actions and intentions. Whatever they do, they do under their own choices and they see outside forces as simple influences that hold some sway but no ultimate control over their life.
This is the “empowerment level.” Choosing to run 5 miles is much more empowering than being told to run 5 miles. Either way, the work load on the body might be the same, but the attitude and mental workload is vastly difference. At level 2 the person might feel like they are under the thumb of someone else or a program, but at level 1 the individual is free and holds a higher sense of control.