Selling Success

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Finding your fitness success is about understanding yourself. What makes you successful, at anything, starts with the things that come most natural to you. We all obtain success either by exploring our natural abilities,  or having the techniques we wanted to become natural drilled into our minds. With fitness, it is no different, and because most of the world comes to understand this split at an early age, individuals tend to classify themselves before the age of ten as people who either have the natural ability to be fit, or people who must try as hard as possible to get there and may never be satisfied.

But my personal thinking goes against what the world wants to think. We are not a society of “haves and have-nots” and more a society of equals, especially when it comes to how we treat our bodies. I believe that all bodies, in terms of excess body fat stored, could look the same.  I think that our caloric intake as a society compared to the level of overall exercise is way too high and could single-handedly destroy us.

Since fitness is personal, I believe that finding fitness success is a personal process.  I’m always puzzled as to why people treat fitness differently from the other personal things in their lives. After all, the way you approach (not the systems but the PHILOSOPHY) things like earning and saving money, family, marriage and raising children, is that you don’t want to talk to just anyone, and if you’re getting advice you go to the most trusted source available to you. That person usually tells you how to sustain that thing on your own, in some easy ways, because the thing you’re discussing is a “long haul” type of issue, one that lasts a lifetime.

Why is fitness different? Why do people trust any new source, instead of sources that lead them back to themselves, and independence? I am not condemning the fitness industry, because individuals who are licensed to do what they do in this industry generally abide by what they’ve learned, and try hard for the consumer. My question is, why is the base of consumers so large? They are incredibly easy to market to, and there is a great deal of money to be made in various venues. I see traps for fitness consumers all the time. Here are some things we all should remember:

  • Superficiality is the enemy. Nice clothes and cars don’t send your kids to college, it actually costs a lot more than it costs to buy clothes and cars, so you wouldn’t save for your kids’ future by buying worthless assets. In that same way, you can’t see “getting a six-pack” as success when pushing your body to its limits means you’ll end up with that lean rectus abdominus forever. Always focus on the bigger picture.

 

  • Be weary of people things you need to be dependent on. Those people and things know you need to depend on them, it is how they make their money. Seek INDEPENDENCE at all times.

 

  • In that same way, be weary of shortcuts. Making something sustainable for you is not making it easier, it is doing a tough thing in YOUR way so that it always happens.

These are just a few of those traps that are set – things that help fitness business owners and equipment manufacturers make money, but do not help consumers see their goals.  It is a two-fold problem. Fitness results can not be sold, only the promise of them, just as fitness results can not be purchased, only the promise of them.  Still, I doubt that someone trying to “sell” you fitness would make any money saying “we only provide you the resources to get fit.” They will probably promise you results, stimulating the consumer in you.  Really, when we pay money as consumers, we have expectations of the product. With fitness though we should be building expectations of ourselves, a process which deep down, costs no money.

Fitting a Year into a Day

Potter-Wheel-Molding-New-Years

Before you make your resolutions, think about why we make them.  Why do new years weigh down upon us so greatly?  What is different about us on January first?  We are a day older than we were on December thirty first, and will have stepped into a new year.  Our proverbial slate is clean.  If for one second in December we could vow to not repeat any of 2014’s mistakes in 2015, we make our resolutions not with the hopes of holding to them, people rarely do, but having acknowledged to ourselves that this particular area of your life you’ve chosen needs immediate, harsh attention and has become, regardless of your willingness to admit it, completely unacceptable.

My curiosity focuses on projecting your problem, through a resolution, onto others who are doing the same at this time.  They are all trying to fit a past year’s guilt and a future year’s hope into one day.  For a week we will be a network of supporters, hearing each other’s problems and stating our own. We outline our plans to change and the others in the conversation say “right, right, that sounds like a great strategy.”  They will probably ask you on Super Bowl Sunday how you’re doing with the goal.  You will either have a bunch of excuses or a good report.  Really though, with the uncertainty of human emotions, human schedules, and peer pressure, how valuable is a resolution actually?

Resolutions really to me indicate that the person deep down realizes that this area of their life has become completely unacceptable.  What bothers me is that people, instead of choosing a resolution, don’t simply take their resolution and set it as the new standard in their lives, especially if the opposite has become unacceptable.  Building a great fitness year goes this way. The successful things in your life are all built around your personal standards.

Instead of making resolutions, figure out how that thing you resolve to do can become an easy and smooth part of your life.  If you have to work up to it, then do that, but after you’ve set that standard, set a new one.  If you can turn the will and resolve to do something into the guilt and internal shame of not doing it daily, then you are now dedicated to that thing, that thing is positive and yours.  Things that you feel are unacceptable should bring you shame.  That is a natural emotion that motivates us to do anything from brushing our teeth and showering to dragging our bodies into work every day.  The shame of not doing it, the internal shame, the unwillingness to go against our basic principles is what drives us.  To make that positive change you’re looking for, your thing must be treated this way.  If your resolution is to do anything that might make you more fit, then you need to find out how fitness can become a sustainable part of your life, that you’ve built basic principles around, and that leaves you feeling successful daily.  That’s not just in 2015, but forever.  Resolve, resolutions, and the ability to make them is a daily process, not a yearly one.  If fitness is important to you, then you’re coming up with mini-resolutions every day, not just when the support system is around at the end of the year.

Creating Your Own Speed Limit

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Your body is a machine like a car. It runs on food like gasoline. Put cheap gas into it, it doesn’t run as well. Push it past the speed limit, and you become a better driver for other times (not condoning reckless driving). Loading it up with a lot of extra cargo will keep you under the speed limit.

To our bodies, intensity is our “mph.” Most of the world is driving between 0mph and 10mph, whether they are choosing to carry excess cargo or not. Most people who exercise regularly are driving between the 25mph residential street limit and the 65mph highway speed limit and still struggle with either keeping the excess cargo or learning how to drive faster with it.  You might say that attempts at formal home workouts (videos and the like) are the street (the dependence attached to this method is what limits a person or “confines them to their street”), and gyms are places where everyone has accepted the 65mph norm as a way to accelerate progress, better known as highways. Some people are attempting to show greater effort at gyms and going over the speed limit. They are either ridiculed by others- “watch that guy get into an accident,” tailed by the cops or concerned citizens (trainers, gym staff, and other gym patrons), or followed by people who want to also get to their destination faster.

Then there’s me, and all the people the world might consider “fit” or “not overwieght” or “in decent shape” or active enough to mostly eat what they’d like. We live above the speed limit. We carry no excess cargo regularly. We drive everywhere, on any terrain, at any speed we choose, but that speed is mostly above the speed limit.

Personally, I’ve experienced all speeds at all levels, and in the last seven or so years, I’ve tried to have more days above the limit than below. I still have days when I don’t drive, but I have learned to truly hate them. I’ve been to gyms to go the highway limit. I’ve done a home yoga practice every day at 70mph for a short strecth. I’ve done daily running when I first started to run at 80mph a day for a while. I’ve trained for road races at 90mph and even longer road races at 100mph. I’ve done extreme calisthenics (or what was extreme to me at the time) like 3,000 sit ups in a weekend at 110mph, This is when you’re sore  in places for weeks after not days.  I’ve done ninety straight days of Bikram Yoga at 120mph. I’ve trained for a marathon, and failed, at 130mph. I’ve even been to 160mph, doing hot vinyasa yoga and running on the same ninety-five degree day, leading to extreme dehydration and my first true near death experience.

My point in sharing my own history? You can do more, and embrace doing more. It can get dangerous, but danger that you come back from can be affirming, even make you brave enough forever.  Our goal is not to park our car forever, it is to race our car against others, or find out our car’s limits on our own. These two goals encompass all of the trivial things most people want like a sexy body and that mental clarity that comes from rigorous physical activity, even if you never make it to the goal. Do not be afraid to push yourself. Do not be afraid to do that without dependence on a system or facility. Drive on whichever road you like, feel free to speed, finding out how much faster you can go every day is the key to getting there on time.

Welcome

Quickly, think about everyone who has ever judged you.  Everyone who has ever called you fat, in public or private.  Think of everyone you’ve ever wanted to be with but you weren’t on their radar because of your body.  Or the person who left you, or the person you’re with who doesn’t appreciate you.  Think about people who judge other people in front of you, making you wonder what they say when you are not around.  Think about all of them at once.

Now think about where they are in life.  Do they meet their goals?  Are they successful?  Not with fitness but simply in their life.  The answer is probably not.  If you really felt they were successful, you’d steal their techniques (and they’d be selling their techniques!), and that’s what we will be discussing here:

  • No one may judge you.  I will never judge what you do, just how you approach it.  Fitness success is all in the approach.
  • We may not say that fitness comes naturally to some and not others. Humans learn and grow like humans, but today they eat like maniacs and don’t exercise.  Instead, we must learn to make fitness as natural as possible to us.  

These two concepts will be repeated many times through a number of methods on this site.  My hopes are to change the way we view fitness in today’s society by helping the people who follow this site to develop their own strong fitness philosophies.  If executed well, these philosophies will provide the framework for decades of lasting fitness in their lives.

Choosing to be More of a Human and Less of a Person

People are killing the human race. In fact, do some research on global warming, endangered animals, dying art forms, anything that could be saved with care from more people are all the victims of their negligence. This is because people live in the world, and this world is quite different from the earth we all inherit when we are born. People’s disregard for the earth and full regard for the world is why it is easy for all of us to imagine this population being the last.

Our world is full of people who deal with inhuman conditions all the time.

Humans though, aren’t afraid of extinction. One can’t fear something that they’ve watched their brothers and sisters perpetuate throughout history. People’s fear of death is the same as that of the cockroach: “please don’t kill me, I’m just looking to eat and procreate. My existence is too insignificant to really bother you.” But their existence in strong numbers makes them repulsive to the civilized human. This is because billions existing for the cause of survival makes the cause wholly trivial. This does not mean that the practice of survival is unimportant, it simply means that it is no reason to exist. It is a means of existence. We must do things like eat, find shelter, or excrete waste to survive on earth as humans. The practice of working in the world to afford food and a place to live is not survival. A person who places the emphasis on survival without realizing that their world does not call upon direct survival skills will live a life that is fully dependent on society.

How people raise children.

Life as a person starts early, and far earlier than people want to admit. A person will argue maliciously with anyone who disagrees with their parenting methods or even denies the complete innocence of an infant. Children are reflections of the people who raise them, and without knowing, people raise their children to be people-to build a life of materialism and dependence, to seek out pleasure and comfort and connect these things with basic human needs like food, sex, and shelter, to find value in possessions instead of simply seeing the beauty of things. Children are taught to desire things that it is unnatural for the human body to consume like refined sugars and fats. They are helpless slaves to materialism. They know the brand of sneakers they wear before they can play a sport, which is understandable when they have a mother who demanded in her baby shower registry that she receive a specific brand of stroller. Children in today’s society have little passion for the outdoors. Their sugar-induced ‘tummy aches’ are seen to be preparing the body for more awful foods to come later in life. People think that denying them what will kill them is depriving them.

Our society’s most successful are those who can get people with less wealth to care about their lives more than their own. This does NOT mean they are talented at anything.

It builds an adult who doesn’t know what it means to be human, to crave oxygen and exercise, to respect nature as something that exists for our survival, to feel the pleasure in knowing that a healthy meal will keep you strong and alive. Humans have a connection with the earth that people simply don’t have in their world. In fact, most people have little knowledge of how their world works and any understanding might bring on severe depression. Informing a person that their favorite “reality” television show has writers, that high fructose corn syrup kills or that jump-starting your metabolism with coffee twice a day is a bad thing will get you mean looks, a possible nasty and ignorant argument, or if the person trusts you (people trust doctors with television shows, so yeah..) they may go into a hopeless rant about how “everything can kill you.”

Things are now made to be popular, based on the notion that people (especially young ones) are stupid and will demean art forms for the sake of living in the moment.

I don’t want to be a person. It makes me cringe every time I hear a person say that “real women have curves” or that healthy food isn’t food for “real men.” In my estimation, those who do things without a notion of integrity, eat artificial things, and do artificial things to hide personal flaws that they’ve created, are the realest people out there. To be fake, artificial, to lack integrity in what you do, especially for yourself, yes these things make you fat, unhealthy, lazy, and ignorant. They also though make you a target consumer for any corporation looking to capitalize on stupidity, which is most.

Most humans are trapped amongst people. Every day having their healthy, vibrant spirits broken every day by the stupidity of society.

While people feel that obesity needs a cure, humans agree that if obesity is a disease, it is one brought on by hundreds of thousands of personal transgressions. If life as a person means that one is conditioned from birth to make these transgressions, then life as a human in our time means fully erasing them from our practices.

Fat New York

He doesn't necessarily care if anyone needs to sit next to him.

I live in a fat town, a big one actually.  It isn’t New Orleans, or Birmingham, or Washington D.C.  Its New York.  It isn’t some food-obsessed, spread out, laid-back town.  The trendy, pretentious city that I’m from has an ugly side.  Its common people.  The fat, lazy, ill-spirited residents of New York City who crowd the buses and subways, dying for the chance to get a seat, to never have to walk, to never have to take the stairs.  They know they are fat, but they must squeeze into that middle subway seat.  They know that they are touching you.  You WILL be punished for getting on the train earlier than this person.  They know that their size is an inconvenience.  They stand still on MTA escalators and take MTA elevators instead of the stairs.

Aww. Too bad.

Know what else?  They’ve got kids.  Strollers, double strollers.  McDonald’s bags stuffed in the compartments and Arizona Iced Teas in the cup holders.  The kids are three years too old for strollers and have never walked for more than four minutes.  If there’s no elevator in the subway, they expect you to help them up or down the stairs with this Escalade stroller.  They take up the space of five people between their over-sized body and the stroller.  They travel with other parents who bring other kids and other strollers.  THEY CAUSE TRAFFIC.  They’re listening to headphones as their children cry.  Their favorite time to travel is rush hour.

"No Ma'am, you may not have food delivered and waiting for you at 125th Street."

They also fight to the death for seats.  They stand at the door to maintain that position in a crowded train.  They go out of their way to be lazy and in the way. These are generally the only things they go out of their way to do.  The backwards MTA system is built for and around them.  “Improvements” to the MTA come in additions to laziness like elevators.  I’m from a fat city that could be a fit, stair-taking, gym-hating, active place.  I often run in and see races in the city that make me wonder if these are ALL of the individuals who run in the city.  I know it isn’t, but it feels that way.  I feel like I’m surrounded by fat and acceptance of fat.  I feel like the line at the Shake Shack is getting longer.  I feel like life is getting slower here like we are in the south.

"So you want me to like, walk up the stairs?"

I remember this being a fast city, with fast money and fast movement and a whole lot of people with places to go and things that should’ve already been done.  You can’t move quickly without a hard body, so this overpopulated, over-stressed city is going to slow to a stop if this trend doesn’t stop.  In New York, we don’t simply need to look better, we need to be better, or else how can we be special?  Fitness in our city should be about being intelligent, hip, crafty, and should help our personal success.  It needs to embody everything New Yorkers seem to be to the outside world.  Our inability to live up to our expectations will eventually tarnish our image if it hasn’t been already.  It starts with us as individuals, and how effectively we use our bodies.