Today is my 36th birthday. As I reflect I feel very fortunate to be where I'm at today and do what I do. It was 17 years ago that I started training and found my passion for strength and physical culture. I remember looking in the mirror and setting a goal to "never stop working out". All because I was tired of being fat and I didn't want to look or feel that way ever again. Next to marrying my wife, that was the best decision I've ever made. Maybe THE best decision, because if I wasn't working out, I wouldn't have saw her at the gym that day, but I digress...
If you followed my YouTube channel earlier this year you may have seen the video on "accountability" and if so you will remember the fatloss goal that I set. That was me taking a huge leap out of my comfort zone, not only with the whole shirtless-pinching-my-fat thing, but that was the first time since I started training that I had an aesthetic goal. For many years I have been ALL about strength and performance with little regard for body composition. I can't count how many times I've said, "6 packs of beer are more important than 6 pack abs". Anyway, I know how to train for fatloss, I just hadn't done it in 15 years. And even then I didn't do it right. So I guess you could say I never really had any personal success with it. Without personal success, I'm limited in how much I success I can coach, so I'm glad I set that goal because I've learned a lot of things that can now teach to others.
The video above is the result of what I was able to accomplish in the time frame that I had set out. It's not over. I'm not done. I have so much more to do and I am excited to do it. And although my lifelong goal is to never stop training, I have bigger life goals that don't have anything to do with training. It's always a struggle to balance training goals with more immediate, more important, family goals, personal goals and responsibilities in general. But we don't quit. We do the best we can and keep setting our sights higher. This is what the Be-More Training philosophy is built on.
It's interesting that the motto I use for Be-More Training is 'look better, feel better, be-more' and how it describes my stages of motivation to exercise. At first it was because I wanted to look better, and then I started to feel better, and then it became a way of life. Many people experience this journey in fitness - this isn't my path alone. I am reminded of all this after coming full circle, revisiting the "look better" motivation in fitness... it's a powerful motivation. Think of how just a shave and a haircut can improve your mood and energy level. People want to look good and there is nothing wrong with that. But it takes a healthy point of view to do it right. When training to "look better" it's very easy to get too caught up in your "self" where its all in vain. Or you start putting yourself above others. Or your relationships suffer. Or you're too hard on yourself, too judgmental, self-depreciating, whatever. There is a lot that can happen in your head when you're training to look better, and I've experienced all the bad stuff, but this last time around I think is the first time I had a healthy point of view.
Putting myself out there, shirtless-pinching-my-fat made me say "to hell with how people think I look" - and not being overly concerned with what people think about you is a good thing - it's healthy.
Making my goal public really turned on my motivation and helped me make the right choices - which also happened to be healthy choices of eating better and exercising more.
Having children born right in the middle of my timeframe for this goal really challenged me, but it also reminded me of what's important in life, and how I look doesn't stack up to a lot of things.
Since I am in a reflective mood today here on my birthday, I'm going to tell you what is most important in my life. I came up with this during a training session sometime in the last 6 months. I don't know if it has anything to do with my fatloss goal or not, but it was a moment of clarity while jumping rope one day, I came to the realization that these are most important things in my life:
1- have faith in God
2- love my wife
3- teach my children to love and have faith
4- instruct and inspire people to live stronger, healthier lives
There it is. My life's purpose. It's taken me 36 years to realize that. Like I said, I feel very fortunate to be where I am today and doing what I do. Realizing the above 4 things, in that particular order, is why I feel fortunate and I hope that this post, or the YouTube videos that inspired it, inspires somebody else.