Sunday, October 18, 2009

What am I training for?

Once again, she hit another home run article that got me thinking. Gubernatrix threw out an interesting question in her last blog entry: Define Your training. As I sat and read this article, I realized that it's far easier for me to define what I'm training to AVOID. Last night, I was interupted by a gentleman in the hotel parking lot who asked about what sports that I did. After all, I had to be training for something. I simply said that I'm training just to stay in great shape. I mentioned that I've trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but I've barely had the time to do that this year. Just because I'm not a regular jiu jitsu guy doesn't mean that I don't have an idea of what I am training for.

Frankly, I have several excellent pictures of what I don't want to be in my life. One such example is a friend and business associate who died almost two years ago. I'd known him for nearly 9 years and he spent all of his adult life 120 lbs overweight. He had Type II diabetes by the time he was 30 years old. For the 9 years I knew him, he was in a constant battle to keep his body functioning with any sort of normality. He lost toes, struggled with infections from ordinary cuts and blisters, and almost lost his eyesight from diabetes. He required multiple medications and weekly visits to the doctor just to function in a normal mannner. Officially, he died from heart failure while the doctors tried to put him under to operate on a pancreatic tumor. In reality, he ate himself to death.

Now, I know that is a little bit of an extreme example of bad living but I find it deeply motivating. I train to avoid being like that. I know we all have short-term goals of things that we'd like to achieve but in my mind, none are more important than keeping the body healthy and strong for a lifetime. I don't accept, and never will accept, the notion that I'm condemned to to many of the degenerative effects of aging. Plus, training to stay healthy is a goal that ends only when I'm dead. So, I always have something to train for. Each workout is, or should be, a small step towards keeping the aging process in place for as long as possible.

I've never cared for comparing the human body to a machine but there is one thing that your body does share with it's mechanical counterpart. Both man and machine will rust out faster than it will burn out. Keep that in mind when you decide your goals or when you want to skip a workout.


Anonymous said...

I like that notion - was thinking the same thing myself just a couple of days ago; that it is sometimes easier to establish goals/aims by identifying what you don't want to be. Good blog btw...

James said...

The thing that impresses me most is how you go out into the parking to train and don't care who sees. Must try and work on that - miss out on so many great exercises because I think I have nowhere to do them.

Though I did manage some chins last night in the back garden in the almost pitch black and pouring rain.

Onikaze said...

One way to establish some goals is to think about the things you like to do and determine what physical skills will serve those pursuits better. For example, I enjoy kayaking.. recreational, not the whitewater stuff. Sometimes a stream shallows enough that the kayak is moving over rocks just by an inch or two. Sometimes I have to dislodge the kayak from rocks to keep it heading downstream. After having incorporated dips into my workout, I found I was able to plant my hands on the rock and lift myself *and* the kayak with ease. What I was basically doing was a sort of "figure L" stand on my hands.

Knowing that my workout had developed my fitness in a way that supplemented my other recreational pursuits was a great feeling.

gymlowcost said...

One should always choose goals that are compatible with long term health.

We can destroy ourselves with junkfood and inactivity, but also with inappropriate training.

Good blog!