I’ve heard this quite a lot lately in the gym: “I’m just getting old”, “I am too old to do that kind of stuff”, “I’m really feeling my age today”.
Athletes tell me they feel like they are “old enough” now, they can use their age as a valid reason to explain their aches and pains, or their lack of progress in their training. To me, this amounts to a loss of the spirit of adventure. To me, this amounts to choosing the dull and familiar, instead of the brilliant and unknown. To me, this is how you grow OLD quickly.
Ask yourself: when did you start to lose your spirit of adventure? When did you start to question the functionality of your physical body? When did you start second-guessing your ability?
There are all different answers to these questions, and each of you have your own version. Rather than dally here, I want to push the conversation forward and examine how we are going to find your spirit of adventure again!
As you might imagine, this idea has application both in the gym and in real life. On the black mats we experience our spirit of adventure every time we achieve a new Personal Record. In real life we experience that same spirit of adventure when we confess love to a romantic partner or stay up all night to watch the sunrise. The rush of brain chemicals we receive in these instances induce euphoria and excitement, and that is what keeps us coming back for more!
However, in all of these scenarios, there is an inherent element of RISK. We might fail our lifting attempt. Our lover might shun our advances. Things may not go the way we planned, and in fact, may go worse than we could ever imagine. I believe the aging process surely begins when we begin to heed the possibility of failure, rather than pay attention to the possibility of reward. I believe the moment you convince yourself to withdraw, to hold back, to shy away, to go lighter than you know you should, you begin to lose your spirit of adventure.
As you experience the beginning of this new year, I encourage you to take a moment and consider your frame of mind the next time you come to Crossfit Primal Energy. Look at the letters painted on the wall and say the words out loud to yourself. Consider what those words mean, and ask yourself if they resonate with ideas in your head. Do you believe you have some kind of Primal Energy inside you? Do you believe that energy can manifest itself as a spirit of adventure, a desire to fully participate in the existence you are currently experiencing?
If yes, how do you use that energy in your life?
If no, then we need to have a talk. There is little time for BS in this conversation. Your “real” life is happening right now, and the choices you make today will inevitably inform your potential existence in the future. If you choose to begin convincing yourself of all the limits and fears bouncing around in your head, you will inevitably begin to lose your spirit of adventure. Losing your spirit of adventure begins to dilute the spirit of humanity that connects all of us, and in essence, leads us in the opposite direction of positive adaptation.
You come to this gym because, in some way, in your personal terms, you expect more from yourself.
This isn’t a place for you to feel comfortable, although this is ABSOLUTELY a safe place. This gym is a controlled environment with parameters that allow each of you to present yourself with challenges on a daily basis, and test any limits you may imagine, and not DIE. When you come here, it is your opportunity to tap into your spirit of adventure, to explore what you are capable of, to seek the next step in the process, to evolve, to adapt and progress.
I encourage all in the beginning of this new year to look inside yourselves (metaphorically) and find your spirit of adventure. For some of you, it may be a proud flag flying in the wind. For others, it may be the last small threadbare scrap, hanging on for dear life. Regardless, it is time for all of us to start waving our flags, courageously and proud. I’m empowering you to challenge yourself to be more EVERYTIME you come to the gym. I’m empowering you to push your limits and FAIL, learning to be more creative and innovative in the process. I’m telling you you deserve to get knocked down a few times to understand how good it feels to stand tall!
Again, if you are having trouble finding your spirit of adventure, come see me. We’ll figure out a way to get back in the game. Thanks for reading my words, until next time….