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Branch out

Before we jump into this, I'd like to begin with a disclaimer.  The point of this post, is NOT to promote any one method/discipline of exercise.  In fact, it's quite the opposite. We want people to experiment with exercise, try a spin class, try Crossfit, yoga, Pure Barre, because that is the only way you'll find something that you have the good chance of sticking with. Why? Because we tend to gravitate towards things we are good at (for the most part).

Finding what you are good at and enjoy for fitness is a big deal, but don't get it twisted, it doesn't end there. Once you've found that thing, whatever THAT thing is, we have to maintain balance in our overall pursuit to be healthy and fit. That means having enough self-awareness to recognize our areas of weakness, and then the courage to actually take the steps to improve those areas of weakness. Let me give you a little background on my own experience with this and how it applies to my fitness journey today.   

I grew up playing all kinds of sports, except american football. It wasn't until my oldest brother, had a conversation with me one week before freshman year started. It was an effective interaction, as it led to playing four years of football.  It would take me 7.5 years to write out all of the lessons I learned through that experience, but the biggest takeaway was that I learned just how much I hated barbell lifting. Like absolute hatred. Ever talked to Comcast customer service? yeah, just like that...   It really boiled down to the fact that I simply wasnt very good at it.  Sure, I could blame long limbs and a short torso on it, but it's just an excuse to cover up weakness.  I also learned how much I LOVED to jump rope. So here I am now, 30 years old, married with a 14 month old son.  Rarely is there more than 45-60 mins that I get to spend on a workout and sometimes it's less than that. That means I've got to have a plan, each and every time I hit the gym, the park, or wherever I can get my work done that day. It's been a big adjustment for me personally, as I used to just show up and "do stuff". More often than not, that "stuff" would end up as hill runs, jumping rope, climbing trees, box jumps, burpees, crawling, pull-ups, plyo work, balancing on stuff, aka all the things I like to do. Now that I have to plan my workouts a bit more, it forces me to own up to my areas of weakness and build in time to work on them. One thing I've been doing, is spending the first 10-15 minutes working on whatever thing I'm bad at, ie. anything barbell related. It's great because I can address those issues, and still have time to workout the way I like to.  

Its been about 14 years, on and off again, of experimenting with many different methods.  I've tried Spin, yoga, Crossfit for two months, Kickboxing, MovNat, boot camp, joined more globo gyms than I care to admit.  What I've realized is that I've taken bits and pieces from all of them to forge workouts that I really enjoy, and should be able to continue into my later years. Remember, there is no destination for our health/fitness, it's all about the journey.  Don't be afraid of the unknown, grab a buddy and try something new. Happy moving friends!


Michael Compton

MCT - Level II

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