Everyone has their own reason for fitness. Body builders are into border-line body modification, power lifters huff huge weight, and Olympic lifters snap incredible weights with technical moves that must be reviewed in split frame slow motion because of the speed they can muster. Some people are in it for vanity, others for health, and most a blend of several things.
For me, fitness is essentially about being able to live the life I want to live. It gives me a body that lets me climb mountains, hop on a paddleboard and zip around the lake, or go running with a friend, and yes, enjoy going to that pool party. Although I won’t be mistaken for a cast member of Jersey Shore, I might get a few smiling glances. Beyond all that, I strength train to build muscles which hopefully fend off injuries. Overall fitness slashes my chances of getting a host of ailments, and lifting weights combined with running and enough calcium mean I am doing as much as I can to keep arthritis at bay.
I want to be able to go running and lift weights with my daughter when she’s in her twenties, and if she can smoke me athletically it’s going to be because she earned it fair and square.
The point of fitness is not to sit around and squat more weight. You need to squat weight in order to be fit, but the real core of it all is to be able to live a long and healthy life, doing everything you want to the fullest. A body that responds as well as it can. You can’t be 25 forever but since you’re going to be 50 one day you have to pick if you want to be a broken down old man or an active grandpa. So, I’m cutting back on my barbells and switching to other activities, but its part of the big goal which is enjoying life to its fullest. If you never leave the gym and stay within range of Nautilus machines and elliptical trainers your whole life, how much of the world can you really see? How much can you really do?
By Gary Maher, M.S.
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