What are you training for?

What are you training for?

This phrase is pretty trite, but there’s a reason for that. It’s important that we conceptualize, internalize, and ACT on our goals (aka – what we are training for).

With the new year quickly approaching (hard to believe it’s already Thanksgiving time, eh?), a new wave of self-improvement is about to hit the social media platforms we mindlessly scroll through day to day. #Fitsporation and #FitGoals will dominate Instagram, while idiotic “hardcore workout videos” will rush to the top of every Facebook feed (I’m looking at you, Real World Tactical guy). If these kind of things get you motivated, great! If the majority of those videos and posts just aren’t doing it for you, keep reading. This one’s for you.

We can all agree that showing up is the hard part. Heck, I’m in the gym every single day, and sometimes it’s hard for me to show up to my workout, even though I’m physically in the building. There’s a mentality shift that must occur in order for us to get the most out of the workout, and that shift is the tough part amongst the noise online and in our everyday lives. You’re the only one who can dictate that mentality shift. 

So, let me ask again, WHAT ARE YOU TRAINING FOR?

I’ll tell you mine first.

I’m training to be a better example to my family, friends, and of course, the members of CrossFit Yellow Rose.

There was a time in the not-so-long-ago past where I dreaded working out. I complained/glorified how busy I was, how tired I was, and how hard it was to train by myself. The result? I wasn’t happy with how I felt. I couldn’t perform at a high level (or even an average level), and it made me question what kind of coach I actually was. My worst fear is being a coach that can’t practice what they preach… and if you’ve ever been in one of my classes, I preach a LOT. Which means, I need to practice…. A LOT.

I’m training for a 400 pound back squat.

I want a 400 pound back squat so badly. Overall strength has been a weakness of mine (sad strength pun?). A 400 pound back squat would put away the self-doubt I have every time a heavy strength move comes up in the workouts. Silly? Probably. But I want it, and damn it, I’m going to get it.

I’m training so I can finally compete against my wife.

She’s so fit it hurts. Every once in awhile, I’ll barely beat her in a workout. But for the most part? She absolutely smashes me… and then she has the nerve to be super nice about it!


Once upon a time, Rachel and I did a partner competition. The first event was an 800m sandbag run with 70# (switch the sandbag at the 400m mark). 3, 2, 1, GO! We were off. I had the sandbag first. We started running, and it was very clear my level of fitness was lacking from the rest of the pack. Everyone was cookin! “It’s ok, babe, we’ll catch them. Almost there” Rachel said as I tried to keep my breakfast tacos in my stomach. My legs felt like bags of cement. When we got to the 400m mark, the other teams were easily 100m ahead of us. I handed the sandbag to Rachel, and then before I could get a rest, SHE HAS THE AUDACITY TO START SPRINTING WITH THE DAMN THING. She didn’t even ease up on me so I could get some air! I tried to catch up, and I sadly couldn’t. My wife beat me back into the gym by a solid 15-20 seconds while carrying 70# on her back. She literally carried the team that entire competition. She’s a haus. I want to be fit like her one day.

I’m training because I want to live a long time.

While fitness goals, competitions, and getting a badass sweat are all great, I’m really doing this because I feel it’s the best way for me to live a long life. When I’m 75, I want to laugh in the face of anyone who says I should slow down. I want to travel the world with Rachel, and never have to think twice about any hike, mountain to climb, or road to take. I want to be fit so I can experience more in life. THAT’S what I’m training for. LIFE.

I realize now after writing all of that that I haven’t helped you out one bit. No instructions on how to set goals, no helpful tips on what to do, and no insider secrets on how to attain your goals. The reality is that your goals have to come from somewhere internal. It might be an experience that makes you think, “geeze, I need to get in shape,” or it could be the thought of your children, and wanting to be the parent that never has to slow down.

Think about the goals while you’re surrounded by your family and friends next week. Heck, maybe even go around the table and talk them out (whatever you do, don’t talk politics! Cranberry sauce will be thrown!). After sometime internalizing, I think you can accurately answer that stupid, eye-rolling, and trite question:

What are you training for?

-Clark Hibbs


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