What Is Your Fitness For?

by Michael Plank

Lifting is fun. So is gymnastics. So is running fast and jumping rope and doing all those things. It’s fun to see measurable increases in strength. It’s cool to level up. It’s great to love what you see in the mirror.

But those progressions aren’t always linear. It can be a long road and there are ups and downs. You don’t always hit PRs. You don’t always get fitter, sometimes you get less fit. And when that happens, sometimes it’s helpful to reframe your thinking.

What is your fitness for? Are you coming to the gym and eating right and working hard and improving your fitness so that you can be the best at fitness? Maybe. But maybe you’re doing it so that you can hike with your kids and not have to worry about throwing your 35lb daughter on your back while you climb up the mountain. Maybe you’re doing it so that you can pick your grandson up at Christmas. Maybe you’re doing it so that you can get off your blood pressure meds or so that you live longer. Maybe you’re doing it so that you have less pain.

It’s easy to lose the forest for the trees and get fixated on adding that one more rep or shaving off those last 10 seconds or losing that last 5 pounds… but when that doesn’t happen, remember that there’s more to life than working out. Sometimes all fitness does is make the rest of your life better. Maybe that’s enough.