Someone asked me recently how long I plan on working out. I said that I usually go for about 40 min to an hour. They quickly replied with a “no, I meant how many years are you gonna do this working out thing?” Huh? I must have looked at them in the same way I look at someone who asks me what color blue is. I really didn’t have a clever answer, however, I replied quickly with “forever.” “You can’t do this forever you know. You plan on doing this when you are an old man?” replied the person.
Second look was about the same as the first…. “Yea, why not?” Again, a combination look of ‘disbelief and you are a moron’ came across my face. “Well, you can’t lift all of those weights when you are an old man, right?” Now forgive me for my ignorance about people, but I find that this type of attitude is what is wrong with the world today (OK, there are a lot of things wrong with the world today, but attitudes have a lot to do with that.)
This brief conversation went about as well as me trying to argue the big bang theory with a born again Christian, meaning it was going nowhere (believe me, I tried) Finally, I gave up, smiled, and walked away calmly shaking my head. Later that day, I did however think about the exchange and I was glad I did. I asked myself, for the first time, seriously, how long would I do this? I never really thought about it. You see, training, working out, whatever you want to call it has always been part of my life. There were never moments of “I should start training.” It just always was there, part of me, and part of my day. Most of the places that I lived throughout my life included more memories of where I trained, what roads I did my running, and which fields I went to when I needed to get a session in. I remember doing push ups and sit ups in my basement when I was 6 years old. I ran, played sports, trained, and have always been active. I have always assumed that I would do that kind of thing for the rest of my life. Was I wrong to assume that? Did this person really get me thinking or what?
I work in the fitness industry and have for over 15 years. I have worked closely with athletes, middle aged people, old men and women, people with special needs, and so forth. Just about every situation and population you can name, I have been involved with in one way or another. From working with all of those people over all of those years, I always assumed that people trained, worked out, etc.. for the same reasons that I did. Because they LOVED IT! Maybe I was wrong. Actually, looking back, I think I was dead wrong. Many of the people I worked with hated training. They hated exerting themselves. Worse yet, they were always looking for the “end.” “When is this going to be over” some would ask. They were not asking about the hour or the half and hour, more so they were inquiring about the training program itself. They really were counting the days that they could make their body good enough and feel good enough to stop training, and start the long road of de-conditioning, so they could be right back where they started. Why would someone do that?
I guess, well no, I know we are all different. It takes a different kind of person to love to train, love to get their ass kicked by a heavy barbell, or love to feel so shaky and weak after a great training session, that they cannot drive home right away. It takes a different kind of person to throw up because the session is so difficult, only to clean themselves up and finish it out.
I am not asking anyone else to love it as much as I do, or as much as you might. I am not judging you if you think training is a temporary blip in your schedule a few months of the year. I am not even worrying if you never train, never break a sweat and seem to enjoy your life anyway. We are different. Training is part of my life and part of many people’s lives out there. Will I do it until I die? Honestly I can say “Yes!” One way or another I will be lifting something heavy for reps, doing some kind of heart healthy movements and staying as pain free as possible. I don’t know if it will prolong my life, but it will certainly add to the experience.