At this time of year, our culture goes through on interesting transformation, overnight.
We spend the last Thursday of November gathering together and expressing our gratefulness for all the things and stuff that make life great. At the stroke of midnight, we turn into cold-hearted savages, willingly trampling our fellow man in hopes of securing the best deals on big screen TV’s and 12-pack tube socks. Thanksgiving to Black Friday, what a joke!
I’ve never understood how our culture so poorly understands the difference between what something “costs” and the “value” of a thing. The two ideas are often confused in this culture, and even more so when we apply this rubric to how we take care of our physical bodies.
I often hear complaints about the money spent to maintain a gym membership, or how much money is spent on all the gear “necessary” to train exactly the right way, or how much money is spent on protein powder and pre-workout.
I rarely hear people talk about the value inherent in having a physical body that does what you tell it to do. I rarely hear people talk about the value of understanding how quality food provides the energy you need to do whatever you want, whenever you want. I rarely hear people talk about the value of a support network of intelligent coaches/mentors/friends who are available to guide you in the right direction as you pursue a healthier lifestyle.
We learn the value of something when we understand how it improves our life. This can only be a positive connotation. When we understand the value of something it is never in terms of what we had to give up to get the thing. It is always in terms of how the thing has enriched our life, how the thing has improved the quality of our existence, how the thing has made our experience more fulfilling. Out in the “real world”, they call this the Return on Investment (ROI). In the gym, we call this “gains”. It is important to understand this distinction, so let’s go a bit deeper.
I encourage you this holiday season to consider what it means to you to be a member of the community at Crossfit Primal Energy. I encourage you to consider what it means to support a local, small business, with your membership dues. I encourage you to look at your level of participation in this community and consider what value you receive from this community and what value you provide to this community.
Yes, it is true, this is a business, and your membership dues help pay coach's wages, procure new equipment, and make sure the lights stay on. Beyond that, what value do you take away from this place each day you train here? Have you invested in any interpersonal relationships? Have you participated in social events or work parties? Have you posted on Facebook or Instagram, telling all your friends how amazing you feel after each workout?
All these actions are ways you can create more value, without incurring more cost. All of these actions are investments you make, in yourself and in our community, that increase the value of your gym membership, without increasing the cost of your gym membership. It is important to understand the difference between investments and expenses, especially when the topic at hand is your personal health and wellbeing.
Investments increase value and produce returns(GAINS). Expenses deplete resources and decrease value. I know it may seem like I’m playing a semantical game, but I believe this distinction is important. I also believe the difference between these two ideas is rooted in the perspective you choose to apply. Committing to living a healthy lifestyle does cost something, and it is important for you to understand that cost is an investment, not an expense, and definitely a sacrifice. I hear that word all the time when people talk about the discipline required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It saddens me to hear people choose to focus on the stuff they DON’T have because they choose to live a healthy lifestyle, instead of focusing on all the positive, sustainable, long-term benefits.
So much of our culture is based on money, and how you earn it, or how you save it, or how you spend it. Especially during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, our culture obsesses over the best gift or the most expensive this/that, or the “limited edition” collectible item, without considering the difference between Value and Cost. We convince ourselves of a desire or “need” for more stuff, more things, MORE, MORE, MORE! This frame of mind minimizes the meaning of why we celebrate. This frame of mind remains fixed on the superficial aspects of consumerism, instead of on the values of abundance and prosperity.
This holiday season, I implore you to go against the flow of mainstream consumerism. I beseech you to look around at all the beautiful things you have that make your life amazing. I encourage you to shift your perspective from that of scarcity and high-cost, to that of abundance and investments. Make time during this busy holiday season to train your body, and don’t use this time of year as an excuse to “fall off the wagon”. Instead, give yourself permission to invest in your health and sanity, remain disciplined in the pursuit of your physical goals, and understand the important difference between cost and value.
As always, thank you for reading my words and for participating in our community here at Crossfit Primal Energy. We wish you a fulfilling and abundant Holiday season! Until next time…