As I noted in a previous post, much of the decline in fitness capabilities we typically associate to aging is the result of our decision to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle. My personal fitness philosophy to ward off father time and remain injury free is to incorporate a variety of different activities in my fitness plan. Through strength training, yoga, cycling and running I've been able to avoid the repeated joint stress and overuse injuries that often accompany fitness plans involving only one activity. Every decision has its consequences and if you choose to employ this fitness strategy you must accept the fact that it is unlikely that you'll become the world's best in any of your chosen areas. Mastery comes from concentrated focus, so the person who chooses to become world champion would not benefit from such a strategy. The excessive cardio employed by my fellow runners and cyclists would be counter productive to my aspiring champion bodybuilding associates. Increased flexibility produces decreased stability making powerlifting and yoga incompatible if one's goal is mastery.
To improve my fitness performance it often becomes necessary to train with those dedicated to a single discipline. Today I chose to cycle with Troi Lynch and Charles Mason of So-Fit Cycling whose strategy to help me beat father time was based on Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episode 'The Odyssey of Flight 33' where a commercial airliner moving too rapidly breaks the time barrier and is sent back in time. To say that the pace they established pushed me beyond my–too many Fun-day ride–comfort zone would be an understatement. When you're winded after the fist half-mile of a 30+ mile outing, you know it's going to be a tough go. Fortunately, my cycling mates were unsuccessful in their effort to take me back in time and I happily remain in the present day. Although stepping up in class can be overwhelming it is our mental approach that determines the physical outcome of our training. So when the temptation to give up and return to the comfort of my bedcovers presented itself, I simply committed to the process and finished the ride. So if or when you find yourself in a similar situation, let the principle "don’t let what you can't do interfere with what you can do" be your guide. As a personal trainer, I frequently encounter clients who get caught up in the detrimental exercise of comparing themselves to others and being overly concerned with making a fool of themselves. I believe that to be successful in life you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to remain perfectly capable of IMPROVING. Growth and change may be painful sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck in a place where you don’t belong. You can only fail if you give up on yourself. Thank you, Troi and Charles... I think?