Day 8 of Year 26
I have established a routine. The adaptation process is complete.
Although I have stepped out of working in fitness, there is a strong likelihood I will return to it again. I do not know what capacity I will return in, and that is the beauty of life – I will figure it out when it is time. The reasons I will return are because I am passionate about it, have experience in it, and it is a big part of who I am.
It make sense to me.
However, for the time being I am exploring life and different stuff. I need to question more, and I just need to be free for a while to get the answers I need, outside of fitness.
Having said that, I have had many evolving thoughts on both my fitness and the fitness of others. Working in fitness for 9 years, I feel I have seen a lot. The good, the not so good, the wtf, everything.
Anyway, why this is important is because during Year 26 I am living a Nomad lifestyle while attempting to maintain a high level of physical fitness. It is another experiment. This is not the purpose of Year 26, but instead a convenient time to see if it is possible. To live nomadically/without structure as a backpacker experiencing the unknown, and becoming a better athlete while doing it. Becoming more adaptable in all ways.
Basically drink beer, not know what tomorrow is going to bring, and have a six pack.
When I was still in the system, not the unknown, my life was very structured. Everything was easy to predict and change in order to get my broccoli on time. When you look at high performance athletes or the fitness elites, their environments are structured and cultured to ensure efficiency and success. Right now, I am not in that kind of environment, and I probably will not be at any point throughout the next year. My environment is unpredictable and not at all in fitness. This is where I see a challenge.
I live for the challenge.
Before starting Year 26, I was training 6-7 days a week at a high intensity – that is not a humble brag, I am sharing that because ultimately in the end I became incredibly bored. I wondered, what am I actually training for? I have no realm of competition. I am training like a performance athletic for shits and giggles. There was no gold medal for this.
I had become someone training to train.
I wondered where/when all of this ‘hard work’ and ‘structure’ would actually be useful? I know it is preventive health, yes, but what other actions or accomplishments would being in the shape I considered myself in be a benefit?
Instead of training to train, I needed to change my mindset to training for life. Training for life means training for unpredictable circumstances, for safety, for mobility, for opportunity – to be able to do anything at a moment’s notice with enough physical preparedness to overcome adversity.
I think training in controlled conditions is good, and obviously effective – but what about in random and/or uncontrollable circumstances. Can someone overcome when it is not practice or premeditated, it is happening in real life?
There is a term, I did not coin it, but this is what I consider my training program now:
General Physical Preparedness
I love this concept because it is very relatable and useful for everyday life. I also think about society as having different classes of fitness, just like it does everything else.
It does not matter how much you can benchpress if you cannot tie your own shoes. Some people train themselves into a corner of one dimensional ability. All the working out we do does not matter if we get picked last for dodgeball. This is what I have come to believe.
I think physically fit people have a higher opportunity to overcome adversity/stress. I say opportunity because it is not guaranteed, but it increases the chance of.
Imagine running for a train – if you are able to sprint, the opportunity for you to catch it is greater. Also if you are fit, you should not pull your hamstring from doing this.
Imagine having less injuries – the opportunity from stronger bones/muscles to prevent potential falls/slips/etc. Or, even if you do fall, not injuring yourself from it.
Imagine increased confidence from feeling great more often – if that is something for you.
Imagine being able to do more without fatigue – improved strength and cardiovascular output.
Imagine being sick less.
I would say I am kind of one of those endgame theory people. What if the world goes to total shit and you gotta be able to run, climb, slide, swim, rappel, defend, etc.
On the 0.00001 chance that happens, I want to make sure I am in the best condition I can be in. Ready.
That or zombies.
I never want to be in a point in my life where my body fails me, where I feel I could have been more ready.
Basically I want to be the Batman.
Because just as Mark Rippletoe says, ‘Stronger people are harder to kill’.
I am not saying that is guaranteed, but I am saying being more physically fit would increase the opportunity to be able to escape non-friendly interactions with the world.
It is better to be safe than sorry.
So that is what I think about when I am standing in the polish gym with all the polish people staring at me between sets.
I stand out a little bit.
But hey, that is my opinion. Enjoy the coffee.