The post below was originally published in 2011, and it's been updated each year to reflect where I am in my life and the new...Read More
Guest Blog: Why We Train
Melissa Urban, a.k.a., the Moxy-Boss, over at Whole 9 Life wrote a wholly endearing and thought-provoking essay a few days ago about a) why we workout and b) her mad ice skating skillz. Go read it; I’ll wait.
Dave got to it before I did that morning, and on the way to work, out of the blue, he listed the reasons he thinks it’s important to workout. I told him he was required to share his ideas with Moxy-Boss’s readers AND convinced him to let me publish his comments here, too.
Dave, on why we train:
It feels good. Okay, maybe not *right* at the moment that you’re trying to haul your post-Christmas ass up in the air, but on either side, there’s a definite sense of accomplishment and pride, not to mention the rush of all those beautiful chemicals. You train because you are here, and you know you’re doing what’s right.
You meet some great people. I’m a reformed computer geek, with little background in athletics. When my wife talked me into going to the gym, I expected to meet a bunch of ego-driven lunkheads who were dedicated solely to looking their best. Wow, was I wrong. The people who are committed to working out hard also tend to be committed to other ideas and people in their lives just as fiercely. Men and women who will get up and stand in the cold at five in the morning to do squats will also go out of their way to do other important things. Your workout partners are likely to be beautiful and strong inside and out. You train because you meet some great people at the bottom of a pushup.
You train so you’re not fat now. If you’re in the United States, you’ve seen what a morbidly obese population looks like. It’s not pretty, and it’s not the best that we can be. You train because you can avoid the ill effects of carrying additional weight, so that you can be closer to the best version of yourself, and so that you can lead by example.
You train so you’re not dead later. In our house, the race is not the next benchmark, or the next marathon, it’s to old age. I want and expect to live a full, long life, and I don’t want the end of it to be dragged down by my own fat ass. If I keep moving now, I’ll have an easier time later. You train because growing old is not for sissies.
Finally, you might train because every moment has a price, and a value. You train because every second you’re alive and in working order is worth the sweat you pay. You train because the cost of a good life might include, in part, getting up at some ungodly hour, standing next to people who have made the same smart, dedicated choice, and moving.
Why do YOU train? What makes you haul your ass out of a warm bed to do pullups on a frozen bar? Do you get more from your training than a tight core? Cough it up in the comments.