By the time I hit 30, I could say for certain that "fitness isn't just physical", I had ridden my bike across the country and set a world record, and it was clear to me that my greatest obstacle along the way was my toughest critic and naysayer - my head. I endured and I succeeded (because my body was well trained) but boy was it mentally painful! By the time I hit 40, I was certain that, though I still wanted to look like I was 30, I didn't have the energy, time, or desire to train the way I used to. I also knew that doing more exercise, as I aged, wasn't getting me better results, in fact the opposite was occurring. Too much exercise is not only time consuming and exhausting (I need that energy for my career, relationships, and family), but was making me look and feel old.
I knew better, why wasn't I following my own coaching? My experience with training hundreds of men and women - every shape, size, and level of fitness experience - was that: less was more, if done right. Right meant training efficiently, right meant training the mind as well as the body, and right meant stop predicting, threatening and giving deadlines to results - do the physical and mental work and let the magic happen.
I have been my toughest subject though I not only know what has worked for everyone I've coached, I have done everything myself. I coach by personal experience, research, and refinement - so I really do KNOW what works. But I too am often unwilling to let go of CONTROL (the C word). So, more perfectly than I could ever plan, the teacher becomes the student, and the students become the teacher - true synchronicity. Because what happens to me is of course what happens to everyone - and so it is that life gets in the way.
The training we do in Training For Life is neither for a 10k, or a marathon. It's not for a triathlon, a cross-country bike race, or a climb to the top of Mt Everest. It is training for the longest, most important event that we will ever participate in - life. And yes, life can get in the way, when one is training for life. The key is to recognize when we have veered from a productive, healthful, and fulfilling path, and redirect, rather than kicking ourselves and then STARTING OVER. "I'll start again next month, on Monday, or on New Years Day - our famous last words. That's not how life works, that's not the kind of behavior that gets us the most out of our lives. That is setting ourselves up to fail, which conditions us, over time, to keep failing at our attempts to lose weight, start an exercise plan, get a new job, meet someone special - you name it - - we have been setting ourselves up for failure in so many ways that it is hard not to think we are just "losers" in one area of life or another.
Here's the good news. We can all recondition ourselves to succeed - at any age, at any time - I know - I have done it, and I have seen my students (I refer to my athletes and students interchangeably - though they are my teachers too) do it too.
So, Training For Life is not an expose on how easy it is to change your life. It is my theory and explanation of the whys and hows to getting fit when getting fit never really worked before. And though some of this may sound familiar, I am pretty sure that you have not heard/read it all laid out like this. And so I hope that when you read this, you will be moved to try the real training exercises: WorkIns (for your mind), and WorkOuts (for your body), which help you recondition your thoughts and behaviors, and ultimately allow you to succeed at becoming who you want to be, in the life you want to live.