Saturday, July 9, 2011

Want the Improvement

You've done your personal inventory.  You sit and wonder about the results, experiencing thought patterns that may be new to you.  Perhaps you realize for the first time just how far you've already come in your quest for fitness.  Perhaps you can see how far you have (or want) to go.  You now probably feel a little different about the junk food on the table, a little curious, a little wary.  You can feel the softness of your environment, the familiarity, the day in and day out rut.  Maybe you want to kick over the coffee table, or put the XBOX through the TV screen.  But wait--don't do that.

That's not the point of our previous exercise, because all that stuff was certainly making you happy until you realized it wasn't.  Get it?  Don't sweat yesterday, or the day before that, or the 1990s (though they were shitty at times).

Optimally, you're now arriving at a new mental place.  It's an important one.  It's the place where you nail down another big issue: why do I want to change my body?

Most modern-day banalities revolve around some notion of "being yourself" and "accepting things the way they are."  While this certainly applies to (debatably) fixed parameters like height and age and gender, it doesn't apply to many of the most intriguing and rewarding facets of the body.  We're not going to waste our time with a discussion of any moral imperatives behind getting bigger, stronger, faster, more sexually attractive and generally healthier.  You're here to develop a complete fitness plan.  You're here, which now means I'm here, to get it right the first time and make a confident, motivated decision to improve.

Because I can't possibly know the thought-making strategies you employ, I say this: whatever you need to do to get comfortable with the term improvement, do it.  If it means you have to experience a warm, feel-good moment where you maintain your current adequacy but decide to get bigger or stronger purely for the sake of sport or challenge or pleasure or whimsy, do it.  If it means you need to experience new humility by criticizing yourself thoroughly and vowing to change out of a sense of necessity, do it.

These are the two endpoints on the continuum of fitness decisions.  I know people who have traveled either path and reached considerable success.  This is the point where most commercial, technique-based fitness programs show their hands and try to preach the superiority of one way over the other.  That is not my aim, because I don't think it is important to your goals.  It is not my aim, because I am a motivator and not an instructor.  It is especially not my aim here, because I couldn't instruct from such a distance, anyway.  I can only communicate.

So why do you want to change your body?  I bet you know.  I give you plenty of credit, at this point.  Perhaps for the first time, you are beginning to think not only "I can do this," but also "I want to do this, and I'm fucking happy that I want to do this."

Starting to feel it?  Great.  Are you still in doubt?  Don't worry.  Doubt has a way of receding before strength, and you'll be getting stronger every day.

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