Monday, May 7, 2012

Train for Life

What are you training for? Have you ever really asked yourself this question? When you are training are you training for "now"? Or, are you training for life? 

It is very easy to get caught up in training for now. We set small goals like, "I want to lose 25 pounds.", or "I want to bench press 315.", or "I want to win PR in the WOD." (workout of the day). There is nothing wrong with training for these small goals, but will training for these small goals, training for now, enable or improve the quality of your life? 

The question(s) I'm really asking is: Will your training improve the quality of your life? Will your current training plan allow you to continue to move well as you enter your golden years, or will it leave you broken and chair ridden? Is your training sustainable and capable of being maintained, or is your training only maintainable for 90 days, 6 months, 5 years? 

These are questions we should all ask ourselves. Are we sacrificing or degrading the quality of our lives for momentary, "glory" training? Or, is our training improving our vitality? 

This is a serious question. In our time, exercise is now a sport. Most sports yield a short shelf-life for the athlete. Many athletes are broken and ragged after they retire from their sport. If exercise is our chosen sport, will we have to retire from it someday? If so, will we be broken and ragged after it is time to retire from our sport of exercise? 

Here is the deal: Life is short.  However, if you make it to your 70's, 80's, or 90's, you will want to be able to move like you could when you were in your 30's, 40's, and 50's. If you can't, you may end up wishing life was shorter. There is simply no price that can be put on having good health. Being able to enjoy the freedom of moving well is one of the things that makes living so awesome. Moving well is indeed freedom! None of us want to spend the last 30 years of our lives in a chair, or bed, watching life go by while someone else cares for us. 

I am only saying that we should think about how we train. Temporary glory and the emotional 15 minute high it gives us, is just that - temporary. Life is more than a big bench, a record deadlift, or an 8 minute WOD. Can you maintain how you train? Is your training good for you or does it rob you? 

Again, there is nothing wrong with training for goals. It is good to have goals. But, along with those goals we might want to entertain training for a bigger, larger, more encompassing goal like enjoying life as we age. Proper training can turn back the hands of time bringing youth and vitality to your body. That's a good thing! Train to improve and enjoy your life. You will be glad you did. 


Aleks's Courage Corner said...

Amen, Tim. I have to remind myself of this constantly. When aches or fatigue set in, the first question on my mind is "Do I HAVE to achieve this in 1/3/6 weeks etc., or will I be able to savor it just as much if it takes me a year?" Short term goals are great, but only when they're backed with long-term vision.

Tim Anderson said...

Thanks Aleks. I love the way you phrased that: "Short term goals are great, but only when they're backed with long-term vision."

Very nice!

Delaine R said...

I love this post! I dont care what you can back squat at 25 if you have to take a bottle of Advil to get out of bed at 40!

Tim Anderson said...

Absolutely! Being able to get out of bed and enjoy the day is way more important. That may be wisdom that must be born by time for most of us though. Hopefully not.