How do you define fitness?

How do you define fitness?

Well, if we’re going to look at the textbook definition of the word fitness, it would look like this: 

-the condition of being physically fit and healthy.
-the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.

I think those are pretty good definitions. I mean, I pulled them from Webster’s dictionary, so they are literally the definitions of the word.

But how do you define it?
What do you think fitness means?
What is fitness to YOU?

I think these are important questions to ask ourselves because all of our lives are so uniquely different while also being pretty similar. While I have my thoughts on what my fitness should be and the goals that go along with that, your life is different than mine. And even if our lives look pretty similar on paper, we have different values.

This fitness industry and culture we live in can be extremely overwhelming and confusing. It seems like most of the culture and industry pushes extremely lean bodies, or absolutely incredible feats of strength and endurance, or constantly and relentlessly pursuing a new and better standard of yourself.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things.

Want to get super lean and jacked? Go for it.
Want to run a marathon? Or squat 500 pounds? Let’s do it.
Want to constantly push yourself to be a better you? Get after it.

But for many of us, those tasks that are pushed on us by fitness culture can seem like insurmountable tasks.

Do you know what happens whenever we convince ourselves that tasks are insurmountable?

We don’t do them. We don’t even try. We stop before we even start.

To be clear, you can push your fitness to be anything you want it to be. There are countless examples of people starting out in less-than-ideal shape turn into absolute fitness monsters. However, turning into an absolute fitness monster might not align with your lifestyle and priorities, and that’s OK.

So let’s think about how we can actually define fitness for ourselves. I like to ask people the following questions when helping them come to realistic expectations for what they want their fitness to look like.

Is there a specific task you want to accomplish? 

This could range from “I want to run a half marathon” to “I want to lift X amount of weight” to “I want to climb this mountain on vacation and do it with ease.” If there’s a specific task we want to accomplish, it helps tailor our training and our mindset with fitness. For many people, specific tasks aren’t a part of the goals. That’s why we ask the next questions: 

How do you want to feel? And who do you want to be?

Ahhh, these questions are a bit more difficult to answer, as they’re pretty introspective. We have to take a moment to actually make an honest assessment of how we feel, and who we want to be. These can be tough questions to answer, but I’ll give you my answer as an example. 

I want to feel strong, fast, and capable of any task that’s put in front of me in everyday life. I want to be a really healthy person so I can live a long time with my family. 

If I were a betting man, I’d wager that your answer (unless there’s a specific goal you have) would probably be pretty close to this. We want to feel strong so we can do our tasks around the house, or pick up the kids without worry of falling or a back injury. We want to be really healthy so we’re never plagued with anything that will slow us down, or cut our time short.

Strong, capable, healthy. That’s how I define fitness. 

To get there, I do my strength and conditioning workouts 3-4 times a week at Yellow Rose. It’s nothing crazy, but it’s very sustainable for the long haul. 

At Yellow Rose, we can help you with any specific task that you might want to accomplish, but what we’re best at?

We make humans strong, fast, capable of any task, and exceedingly healthy.

Come get healthy with us. Come achieve your definition of fitness. 

-Coach Clark


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