What does training really mean?
I think the word training has lost a bit of its true meaning, lost it’s identity, so to speak. Similar to how the words ‘body and mind’, ‘balance’ or ‘core-strength’ just roll off the tongue. We get to a point where words become saturated from overuse or their meaning evolves, like ‘Party’.
Training used to mean: to prepare for something.
Nowadays, it seems like “I’m going to see my Trainer” just rolls off the tongue too. It has generally evolved into:
I’m going to workout now, with someone to whom I pay a lot of money to tell me what to do next and who pushes me to do more reps than I would if it were up to me alone.
Where did the preparation for: _____ – go?
There is so much more to Physical Training than the obvious physiological benefits, such as maintaining an ideal weight, stress reduction and cardiovascular fitness, to name a few. When I speak of Physical Training I’m not referring to simple, functional exercise like active living or walking the dogs around the block. I’m talking about focused, planned and purposeful physical training; this type of training has many layers, which translates to and shapes the way we live our life and conduct ourselves.
It is THIS training which prepares us for life.
These are just some of the layers (in no particular order) that come to mind when I think about what physical training teaches me. So, in effect, my daily physical training has very little to do with the aesthetic, and has a lot more to do with building character. The aesthetic then, is the unexpected result from doing what should be done regardless.
What Physical Training Teaches Me:
- discipline to practice daily = learn to not procrastinate = positive example for my children
- desire to make a difference = forge ahead
- being consistent = long term commitment = not expect quick fix solutions
- repeating patterns of movement = teaches habitual patterning
- repeating patterns of movement = boredom is a state of mind = refining movement cancels out boredom
- adding-on and refining habitual patterning = being responsible for life’s daily required chores = Endless
- ambition to be a better version of myself = to not be complacent = always room for improvement
- sense of purpose = sense of purpose
- be prepared w/ Food, hydration, digestion etc. = being prepared /planning ahead
- to not give up when tired = endurance = to not give up when all the cards are stacked against me
- to push/pull/lift a heavy weight = strength = to be able to carry the challenges that come with life
- agility = to be able to think and react quickly, both physically and mentally
- adapt to change = adapt to change
- ego training = learning to accept limits
- instinct training = knowing when to rest, recover or step away = knowing what feels right or wrong in any given situation
- precision of movement = being responsible, careful and present = focus on details
- balance within my physical structure = balance the duties and relationships in my life for a calm and happy existence
- timer training = realizing how much can be accomplished in only 20 seconds! = I try to translate this to daily chores – actually everything, to right now.
- interval training = learning that putting in even a short amount of time towards a task makes a considerable difference
- Yoga = lifelong practice regardless of accomplishment = always learning, adding-on and refining
Please understand, that I am not blowing my own horn, here. Just because I’m doing the training doesn’t mean that I’m an expert at any of it – it simply means that I’m in training; fully engaged in the process. I love the challenge that each day brings with it a new configuration of possibilities. Each day I have to adapt to a new rhythm.
We all do.
Some days rock while other days are lousy. I love that my new found discipline with Daily Body Maintenance is really working, but in so many more ways than I imagined. These physical training techniques really do have purpose beyond the physiological benefits.
Most of all, each day I realize what a profound responsibility I have in preparing my children to lead a successful life – which, has nothing to do with income or prestige, but rather has everything to do with being prepared to take care of themselves; from learning how to tidy up after themselves (flush the toilet, brush their teeth and make their beds to vacuuming and washing their bedroom floor to gradually becoming more involved in the larger or mundane daily household chores). Once the basic duties associated with living become habitual, then those duties are no longer viewed with resentment, as if those chores are in the way of our having fun. Those chores need to be done regardless – as does our Body Maintenance.
The most valuable gift I can give my children, is to teach them how to take care of themselves. Life is full of repetition. We can choose to view this repetition as boring or uneventful or we can choose to embrace it and have fun with it.
Everyone’s working out like fiends, but for what? To win a race? To clock a better personal best? To look and feel better? Training to look good for summer, for the wedding dress etc.? All perfectly acceptable reasons; except for when the line is crossed over to mindless exercise, overtraining and simply using brute force to execute movements; forgetting to be compassionate to oneself in the process.
Oftentimes, not to have enough juice left for actual living! Causing overuse injuries, which will impact one’s ageing body. We need to remember that physical exercise training, conditions the body to do something – be it to set an Olympic record, or simply being able to bend down, i.e., to function. It’s disappointing and tragic when our star athletes give up so much of their future wellness for the accolades of the moment. We’re constantly reminded to live in the now, but there is a strategy to living in the moment – a strategy, which includes balance and forward planning.
The good news, is that with enough compassion and care we can use the science of exercise prescription to rebalance our structure for a long and sound life – and still go for Gold!