Everyone is selling you something
What are you looking for?
In your health and fitness journey, you are under constant threat. Corporations with a lot of money and power control what you see on TV and in the movies, with their blatant advertisements and subtle ones. They flood your physical surroundings with their products as well.
You start thinking "the other side" is the nice guys. The gyms and the supplement companies and then whoever else. Because they provide you with relief and hope.
Everyone is selling you something. Including me.
You have to buy something. But the choice of what you buy into is still yours. For that, you need to understand why you are buying into it.
Unfortunately, you do need to buy
You have to take care of your health and fitness. There is no way around it. You allow the river to take you downstream, it will not end in a good place.
The truth is all around you.
- We are all more unhealthy than we've ever been.
- The incidence of lifestyle diseases is ridiculous.
- The lack of movement freedom in an adult human is alarming.
- Even the kids are unhealthy. But of course, they are. Their idea of normal is even more skewed than ours.
And everyone is looking to make money off of you.
You need to start swimming against the current. You need to arm yourself for that swim by curating the barrage of information and snake oil around you.
They are interested in themselves
But you are the golden egg-laying goose.
If you are "cured", then you won't continue laying golden eggs.
That's the harsh reality of it. This is why there are no permanent cures but temporary relief.
- You need to keep coming to the gym. Or else!
- You need to buy supplements every month.
- You need to buy the latest wearable because it will be the answer to what you are looking for.
- You need 17 different wearables so that you can track every blip of every sneeze.
Or, to put it bluntly, you need to keep opening up your wallet with alarming regularity.
Do your own thinking
Unfortunately, you are swamped. You want to outsource your thinking here. And of course, there are legitimate resources to outsource your fitness to * hint hint *.
But you have to be aware of what's going on. You cannot put your hand up and leave it to someone else.
My philosophy is to guide and educate you. In a year or five, you can
- learn to fall in love with movement
- learn the fundamental skills of strength training
- learn to call bullshit
- build a foundation of fitness
- integrate fitness and movement into your life
But to do all this, you need to be an active participant. You need to know if absolute strength and deadlifting 3 times your body weight is necessary, or unnecessary for you. You need to be able to explore and add new facets to your movement - playing badminton, running a 10k - and whatever else strikes your fancy. You need to know what the price for an activity is - strength work demands stretching. Modern life demands mobility and movement.
You need to be part of this conversation of making all of these work for you and fit into the larger fabric of your life.
Overwhelming. But rewarding.
I understand this sounds overwhelming.
But if I can become an expert in kettlebell training, strength training, in health and fitness, I know anyone can. I cannot time-travel and show my college self to you but suffice to say I was completely inadequate in my health, in my fitness. Both knowledge and behaviour were completely lacking.
Finding the right direction, getting on the right part of the map, and plodding along and discovering is all I've done.
Ultimately, it is simple. And rewarding.
I know, it still sounds daunting. Maybe you sucked at biology (no, you didn't. Your teacher did.) or physics>mechanics instigated nightmares (again, your teacher sucked.)
You have figured out complex situations and subjects. You are probably thinking "Yet another?!?" but think about this. Your body is amongst your most important possessions. Even if you pay top dollar to the best coach in the world, it is still important enough for you to learn and understand.
Become independent. Once you get there, the rewards of an interdependent relationship with a coach become even better. Because it HAS to be a two-way conversation.
My mentors in strength, philosophy, and life - Dan John and Pavel - have written everything that I will ever need to know. The great thing is that they continue writing their ideas to keep explaining the same stuff in different ways. Without my current level of understanding and involvement and commitment, none of what they say will strike home.
The point of all this is not a fitter body or a sharper mind.
It is (yet another) expression of you and your values.