You Need To Find Your “Thing”


You Need To Find Your “Thing”

Suzanne Cardone competing in her first Tactical Strength Challenge, April 2017

One of the most difficult things about fitness for a lot of people is they don’t have a “thing” that can be supported and enhanced by their training. What do I mean by “thing”. Well, it could be anything really; biking, running, swimming, karate, fencing, hiking, bowling, Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), or even just lifting weights! But, whatever it is, you need to really enjoy doing it! Like, you need to fucking look forward to doing it whenever you can! You dig?

“Jason,” you say, “isn’t that just exercise anyway?”

Ya sort of. I like to categorize physical activities into two categories: Fun Activities and Training. You see your training will enhance your ability to perform and enjoy your activities, but it might not be as much fun or even remotely enjoyable compared to your chosen fun activity. It doesn’t need to be because you’ve seen how it helps you to perform in whatever it is you do. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy the training -only that it’s not necessary because you’ve got a “thing”. 

“I don’t get it. I just want to look sexy on the beach.”

Looking sexy on the beach is a mindset in my opinion, but that’s a whole other topic. Here’s what I’ve found in over 16 years of training people to “get into shape.”  The so called “beach body” and 6 pack abs that so many people think they want can be motivating. In the short term at least. Very few people are able to sustain it, and that’s the problem! It takes a very rigid lifestyle to maintain that physical appearance of perfection. It requires a great deal of discipline and  energy to measure the food, time it, watch the sodium intake, get the right amount of exercise and sleep. Ya those sound like the things we should be doing anyway, but your forgetting that you have an entire life of culture, habits, and lifestyle that probably isn’t compatible with the extent you need to do in the a fore mentioned list. I’m not going to get into the physiological and psychological reasons this fails to be sustainable for most clients, because that’s not the point of this weeks article. Let’s just say you’re too miserable and isn’t that the point? Don’t you want to be happy?

This brings me to your “thing”. Having a physical activity that brings joy into your life is a far more motivating force than the vanity of impressing people on the beach (for most of us anyway). You might already have a thing, but you just don’t realize what it is. Think for a moment. Do you have something remotely active that you want to be able to do better, longer, and well into your old age? There’s your thing. If you can’t think of one then I suggest you start experimenting. Schedule time to do shit you’ve never tried before. Try to get some friends to do it with you! Have fun in your discovery. 

Once you’ve found a thing. You need to start thinking about how your training can help make it better for you. Training? Ya, that’s the stuff you do in the gym. Ask a coach or trainer what they think. Even if they don’t have a background in whatever it is you do, they have a solid understanding of Strength and Conditioning. They’ll definitely be able to help you find the right stuff to do in the gym that will both make you stronger and healthier AND help you enjoy and perform better in your “thing”. Now, get on, and do the damn thing!