In a world where we see on a daily (even minute to minute) the bodies of amazing athletes and models, we see people hitting the most amazing training sessions some people even advertising you too can get Abs in 3 weeks, how do we find our focus?
You know the other 99% of the population that don’t have a six pack, is seeing these images motivating you? Making you want to get fitter, stronger faster?
Well, running alongside these positive body posts, we have mental health, fighting a battle against all that is putting so much pressure on us.
A study done into the effects of Olympic host countries has always shown a downward trend in participation in nearly all represented sports, why? this is called the “Elite effect” it makes things appear unachievable, we can not relate to what it takes to be that level and leaves people feeling, why bother I could never do that” I understand that most people reading this will be, wow hold on I get totally motivated by it (as do I) but we are a minority and this is not about those who are all ready pushing the envelope its about helping others get there.
It is not selfish to focus on you, give yourself that time you need and find your focus away from social media platforms and other pressures.
Ok yes, by now you may be wondering why an endurance coach is going down this road? Well there’s a simple connection here and to help explain it, although I do not always agree with David Goggins approach or his comments, sometimes he does come out with a gem.
“Don’t get caught in the mental trap of trying to look like someone else!
Make sure when you are working out, take a mental snapshot of how you looked before you started and after a few weeks and months, go back to that picture so you can see the results of your hard work!
If you take a mental snapshot of someone else who you want to look like, chances are you will never see the gains that you made. You will always be chasing an unattainable end goal! A lot of us have unique body styles and genetics…make the best of what you have to work with!
If you are working hard enough you will always see gains! If you aren’t seeing them, make sure you don’t have an unrealistic picture of someone else who you are trying to look like!
Compare yourself only to yourself- you vs you always!”
When it comes to your training, your goal, your focus must not be on others. We can learn training methods, good points from others which we can then apply to our own personal goal and help us with our direction but not become our sole focus.
Personally when working with athletes I have always had them focus on the performance gains they are after, occasionally I have had athletes asking if the training will give them a certain body image, my answer has always been train for your event, race, challenge, properly and your body will become what is needed for this.
Building a body for an image is not training for an event! Its’ called body building and there are great ways to help get a great looking body, but again this comes with hard, hard work and is not achieved in 3 weeks. (I have no issue with body building, it takes great discipline and commitment, just not my thing)
Give yourself a focus, a reason that is deeper and that will lift you out of bed in the morning, I mean I think Ryan Reynolds is superhot and man to have that body! But this won’t get me up mountains quicker, it won’t make me a better skier or runner. While I can apricate it I know I am not trying to look like that.
Every day I have my physical goals (challenges) and I work on what I have to do to achieve these, for me, no one else just me.
In short, don’t be taken in with quick fix on social media, do not aspire to have a body of a celebrity. Look at you and start making little changes and pay attention to you and how you change and progress against the old you. Except it will take time but commit to the long term.