Monday, 29 July 2013

Things The Trainers Say At The Gym I Believe As Well

My gym has profiles for all the trainers - all of whom are impressive - and each one has a little "philosophy" saying. A few hit me right between the eyes. Your body is the only thing you will ever truly own, look after it, and it will look after you.. Preach it brother! There have been two periods in my life when I didn't exercise regularly: about seven years between leaving secondary school and around the end of my first year working, and around three years in the Oughties when I started working in central London and stopped using a gym near my house. For a lot of that time I swam, and I started weight-training in the late… never you mind. I've been doing it a long time now. I have no idea how people can walk around with the bodies that most of them have. How can they tolerate the flabby arms and the soft muscles? Don't they know about the health advantages of training? It wouldn't be so bad if they were studying Aristotle and Sloterdijk instead, but they aren't. This also applies to the food we eat and what we drink. Says he currently eating the daily bar of chocolate and evening coffee. Which is what I do instead of what you do, which is booze.

Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself. Because this says that we are who we make ourselves, and we are responsible for that. "Finding yourself"? Suppose you find an arsonist? Or an asshole? Addict/ alcoholic / ACoA that I am, I've learned how to do some stuff that the Laundry List says I'm not good at. I've been creating myself since I was about eleven, every time I decided to read, listen to or do something new. The body I have comes from a gym, not my genes, because weight training really can re-shape how I look. We make ourselves in reaction to what others make of us, within the limits of the potential given by our genes. (That, by the way, is Nature vs Nurture vs Free Will wrapped up into one.) I am never going to be a distance runner - my breathing is awful but within the limits I can make choices.

Progress is made at those moments when, although your body says no, you will your mind to say YES!. Hell yeah. This is the difference between the Normals and Us. We show up when we would rather goof off and watch a DVD or a movie. I may do two sets instead of three, or lift a little lighter, or something else to make the session do-able. When I get back into the groove maybe a couple of weeks later - this current hot, humid weather is starting to take its toll - I'm at 90-95% of full performance. The Normals, who have been standing outside pubs drinking for the same time, are going to need at least a fortnight to get back up again. Assuming they make it back in, and don't stay dropped out way past the end of whatever it was that kept them away.

If you are strong mentally, the physical achievements are endless.. If you are training at all seriously, you will remember the first time the body was willing but the mind wasn't there. No-one knows what causes it, it has nothing to do with work, relationships, food or the weather, it might be the early stages of a virus that your immune system fights off… but your head ain't in it and you may as well quit and go home. It happens to everyone at least once a year. If my head is in the game, and my blood sugar is where it needs to be, I can train like a mofo. If I'm distracted or down, I'm weaker. If I'm angry, I'm strong.

Self-respect, self-discipline, perseverance, mental and physical strength. Sounds good to me.

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