Simply put, today’s workout was NOT COOL.

It contained both a 2,000m row and a 400m run for time — which is “coach speak” for as fast as humanly possible. Pure torture I tell you. But that’s precisely why I hired a coach. I would’ve never made myself do this but I want improve which means I have to be tested. Yes, even I have to do things I dislike from time to time — all in service of the greater good.

I believe strongly that the activities you do to keep your body fit and healthy should consist, primarily, of the following three buckets:

(1) Movement you enjoy. This is first on the list because it’s the most important. Loving the stuff you do is the secret to making it part of your lifestyle ( as opposed to something you just do from time to time)— cuz seriously, life’s too short to do a bunch of crap you hate. So be careful how much value you put into the experts thoughts on “the best way to work out” and/or “the best exercises that everybody should be doing” — these headlines certainly sell but they won’t do a damn thing for you if you hate them and give them up after a week. If you love it, don’t worry about how many calories it burns or whether it’ll give you tight buns. Just do it because you love it and that’s what life’s about.

(2) Movement you’re not good at. I know, this bucket sucks (remember, this is how this post started — with me griping). But trust me, it’s good for you. Hire a coach (like I did) to evaluate where your weakness are and develop a plan to help you to build them up. To be fit for life, you can’t spend a bunch of time injured or in pain. You’re only as strong as your weakest link — so it benefits you tremendously to know what those links in your chain are. And because we typically love to do things we’re good at, be prepared to hear that you need to work on stuff that you’re not as fond of. And then do the work — it all serves you and will keep you fitter for longer.

(3) Restorative stillness. Most of us that like to move are not very good at being still — except in those moments after a tough work (like say, a 2k row and a 400m run) when we’re laying on the floor contemplating all our life choices. But stillness is the other side of the coin. Sleep is one great form, meditation is another, and the right yoga practice can be yet another great way to restore yourself through stillness and mindfulness. You don’t always have to go a thousand miles per hour — in fact, that’s the best way to really mess yourself up physically, mentally, and spiritually. Take time to sit still and breathe every day — 5 minutes to start can make all the difference in the world.

If you need help reaching your goals, I’m currently accepting a few clients to train with me online. Shoot me a message at coachalison@mtgathletics.com if you want in. I’d love the opportunity to help you crush some goals!

Also, I’ve got tons of resources available to you including DIY strength training programs, online yoga videos, and free race training schedules as well as other downloads on this site — check out the menu tabs at the top of this page for more info.

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