Let me give you a conversation that I have far too frequently.
Person: “What do you do for a job?”
Me: “I am a human performance coach. It’s a pretty cool gig, what do you do for training?”
Person: “Well, I used to train a ton for a sport when I was in high school but that was years ago.”
Me: “What do you do now that your aren’t in high school anymore?”
Person: “Nothing really. I don’t play anything competitively so there’s no need.”
Me: “Well did you enjoy training and getting better with your teammates?”
Person: “Well yeah, those were the glory days! Now, I am in the real-world and my job and life gets in the way.”
I have recently been pondering this phenomenon I see and the more I let the thoughts sink in, the more it truly astounds me. Let’s do some quick math for a second.
Assume the average person nowadays lives to be 80 years old. Let’s subtract the first 13 years and call that pre-training age (although you should have your kids train!) and that leaves us with 67 possible years of our lives to train. The high-school athletic career lasts for 4 years. If you only train during the “glory days” you are only training for 6% of your training life! That leaves us with 94% of your training life that you missed out on, not including your first 13 years. This seems outrageous to me.
#whywetrain is a hash tag we often use. But why do we train?
Sure high-school athletes can absolutely use winning more games as a form of motivation to train hard. But what happens when that final buzzer sounds and you are no longer playing for your school?
This is when we must re-assess our #why.
For me personally, it was a bit of a struggle during freshman year of college. It felt like I was going through the motions of working out and just repeating the same ol’ exercises over and over again without any real goal in mind.
Working out just simply just gave me something to do. That all changed when I had a professor who was a national level powerlifter. I sought him out and went to the gym he trained at.
The atmosphere was so much different than the school gym I went to. Every member there had one goal in mind… to get STRONG. Some were powerlifters, some were weightlifters and some competed in strongman but they all possessed the same hunger and mindset to be better than yesterday.
Fast forward to present day and training means so much more to me now. It is not always about how much weight is on the barbell.
Training is about doing something that is physically hard to do. It is about stepping up to a barbell with weight that sometimes scares me and going for it anyways.
It’s sometimes about taking an old PR and going for reps this time around. And sometimes, it’s simply about showing up when staying home seems so much easier. Training for me is just as much about mental toughness than it is physical.
It is about getting better in some capacity every day. That is what #whywetrain means to me.
Training will mean something different for everyone. If you are not a competitive athlete, don’t let that 94% of your training age pass you by. Find your #why, and get after it!
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