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Purpose driven fitness

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

On February 18th I will (should) be giving a presentation. It is my opportunity to tell my story and share those things that really made a difference in my journey. I'm really thankful for the opportunity as well as I am also a little blown away as to how quickly things came together after a period of going back and forth and one hang up after another. The presentation is an opportunity for the folks at the gym to meet me and be introduced to the couch to 5k program.

The presentation consists of four concepts that I believe made the difference in my life and empowered me to continue on instead of gaining it all back like the number of "false starts. In my life previously.

Those concepts are:
1) Purpose driven fitness
2) Building your emotional economy
3) Having a right relationship with the scale
4) Recovery from set backs

The first of this four part series is Purpose driven fitness.

When I first started going to a gym, like so many others, I went to fix a problem. I went because there was/is something wrong with me. I didn't like how I felt, I didn't like how much I weighed, and I certainly didn't like how I looked. The whole basis for me going was negative. Exercise was a necessary evil in the process of trying to fix me. It was the necessary "medicine", if you will, that I needed to take to get better. It has its uses and once I'm better, it's no longer a part of my daily life. After all, I only take a laxative to fix a problem, not because I like it and intend on making it part of my daily life ... Icky :(

That all changed the day my trainer challenged me to train for a 5k. I was hesitant and remained non-committal and I was on the fence about it to the frustration of my trainer. In the process of my run/walking, I got up to around 4.5 miles within a few weeks of the event. I told my trainer what I was doing "on the side". She was mildly surprised since I never really gave her a straight answer on whether or not I was going to do the race and she proceeded to ask me again and this time made the million dollar suggestion.... Why not do the 10k instead?

I had a choice to make.

I could

A) not do it all because I hate competition.
B) stay "safe" and do the 5k since I knew I could do the distance.
C) really venture out of my comfort zone, take a risk, and do the 10k

Somewhere in my timid soul something rose up to take on the challenge of the unknown and I elected to do the 10k. That's a tall order for a 330 lb guy. Race morning I was just as nervous as I was marathon morning or the morning of my 70.3. Courage is courage no matter the distance. When I crossed the line and got my finishers ribbon, something happened to me. The game changed.

I found purpose driven fitness. Running is only one of the doors that leads to this magic place. You know you've found it when what you do let's you discover all that's RIGHT with you rather than being something you do to fix what's wrong with you. That day I discovered that Robert has inner strength. Everytime I binged, stepped on the scale, or felt my belly bulge over the top of my pants, I was reminded of my weakness.

Not this time.

I walked away from that race feeling strong, capable, epic. I had done something I've never done before and I loved how that made me feel. It completely changed my exercise paradigm. I had discovered purpose driven fitness. I found an activity that made me dig deep and enabled me to see how capable I was and brought a sense of accomplishment. Everytime I sat down to eat or I went to workout, it was with the idea of I'm working toward experiencing that again. It was no longer working out because Robert is fat or any number of hateful things I could conjure up about myself. Rather, it was all about doing what I needed to do to experience that sense of personal victory all over again.

My point is that having a sense of purpose driven fitness kept me anchored whereas the other times it was fairly easy to drop my fitness routine. I found that niche that gave me a sense of personal empowerment. Find your niche in fitness and it will anchor you. Maybe the camaraderie of a group fitness class will bring a sense of community, maybe it's the peace and solitude of a trail run or hike. Perhaps it can be found in a group ride or testing your limits in the weight room. Whatever it is for you, a sense of empowerment in purpose driven fitness will give you staying power because it isn't just something to do to fix what's wrong with you but it's that special activity that reminds you of all that is RIGHT about you.

Find that activity that brings out your best and you will have one of the keys to long term success.

Follow after what makes you feel strong, you never know where your passion will take you.

I never thought 4 years ago that a local 10k would have been the spring board to such a great adventure for me leading up to becoming a running coach and starting a couch to 5k class.

My goal? To help another person just like me find their purpose driven fitness and start a fitness adventure of their own.

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