This is a great question and one that is not asked enough.
What is fitness? How do we define it?
If you have a personal trainer and you asked them this question, my guess is that you'd get a wishy-washy answer. Try it out. Ask one of the girls behind the desk at your local Globo Gym and see if you don't get a blank stare.
In the past 4 months or so, I've realised the importance of defining fitness. How can you achieve something (anything) if you don't really know what it is you're striving for? It means you are aimless in your pursuit. The wishy-washy definition will produce wishy-washy results.
If you've never heard of CrossFit, then you should look it up right now: CrossFit
CrossFit's success stems from the fact that they bothered to define what they were trying to achieve before setting out to achieve it. Makes sense, right? You wouldn't set out on a trip to Sydney without first knowing what the hell Sydney was!
I believe there are two other reasons to CrossFit's success. Firstly, the training rationale is based on evidence. They know the training works, because the proof is in the pudding. There are thousands of athletes that are finding their best fitness as a result of following CrossFit's training principles. The second reason for success, and possibly the most important of all, is the community that has sprung up around it to support those involved. There is a wealth of knowledge given freely in the archives and forums of the CrossFit website. What's more, there is probably a CrossFit affiliate in your area and I can bet you that the people there will be some of the most supportive fitness trainers you'll ever meet. If you live in Melbourne, check out CrossFit Victoria.
If you have a goal of improving your health and fitness this year (or anytime in your life), I highly recommend going back to the fundamentals. Figure out what it means to be fit and healthy. Then, and only then, can you create a plan and a path to move you forward. After that, you'll really start to see some results.
Personally, I think CrossFit has got it nailed. A broad and functional fitness that is useful in everything that you do. Its my choice and I've never felt better.
Its a brand new year and what better time than to make some life changing decisions.
Over the past few weeks, I've been setting the wheels in motion to steadily change my life. I've resigned from my job. I've started a business with a friend of mine. I've changed my diet and started a new exercise program. I've joined a band with my brother and a friend. I've booked in to become a strength and conditioning coach, with a view to becoming a CrossFit accredited trainer. I'm starting a discussion group called Penny University with my girlfriend.
To be honest, its been a little scary. I think that's a good thing. It means I'm on the right track. More often than not, the things we need to do most are the things we're most afraid of.
For example, I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to survive financially once I quit my job. But I have enough faith in myself to know that I'll figure it out. Its more important for me to quit the work that I find so unfulfilling every day. I'm reminded of a quote that I heard from Seth Godin, "Life is too short to be stuck in unfulfilling work." Its time to pursue the things that genuinely interest me, because then the work is effortless.
Mediocrity is crap; why bother striving to produce something average? I want excellence. To experience it and to produce it. Excellence speaks for itself and makes the world a better place. More importantly, its exciting and challenging to strive for excellence.
I'll be writing a lot more about how I'm going with these changes. These are exciting times.