We find the best programs, coaches, recovery methods, and a host of other things to improve our performance or get an edge on the competition. But all of these things pale in comparison to one thing: mindset. We have heard it time and time again, things like, “it’s 10% physical and 90% mental.” But I think most are missing something.
“Why?” Why do you train, compete, workout, try to live a healthy lifestyle, etc? The list can go on and on, but I often find people jumping into things head first without first identifying why they are TRULY doing it. Our true reasoning can be positive or negative influencers in our lives. Is it genuinely out of health reasons, or for the love of fitness? Or is it for others approval, or our own self worth? There are many tools that we can use to improve our mental state and make a shift toward positive thinking, but my belief is that we first have to be grounded in our “why.”
When we identify why we are training it provides us with 3 things.
- Purpose: This is much of the reason why we are doing it. When we train with purpose we are reminded of our why. It gives us the motivation and direction allowing us to set realistic and accurate goals.
- Passion: When our “why” has been identified, it often provides us with the passion that many of us have lost. Instead of mindlessly going into the gym or training session because it’s a sense of duty, we know why we are there. We know what we will get out of it and how it will help us get one step closer to reaching our goals.
- Drive: This is the innate desire or need to stick with something and see it through to the end. Our drive can look different depending on our season of life. Some can be driven to strive toward competing at the CrossFit Games. If that is one of our realistic goals and we are passionate about it, we will make the sacrifices to live the lifestyle required to get there. On the other hand, if our goal is to be healthier for our family, be more active with our kids, or improve our quality of life, our drive will accommodate this lifestyle.
If you find yourself stagnating in your fitness, go back to your “why”. It changes over time. This is normal, but rarely do people take the time to reevaluate why they are doing it. My reasons for training have changed tremendously over the past 2 years. It has not been an easy road identifying why I am training now, setting new goals, and finding the positive reasons for doing it. But more and more, I am finding myself enjoying training again more than ever before. The community aspect. The lifestyle. It allows me to live outside the gym. Skiing, riding my bike, being present with my family and not in the gym all the time. These things have slowly crept their way back into my “why.” My Purpose, Passion, and Drive support this lifestyle.
Had I not taken the time to identify why I train, I think it would have left me in one of two places. One, training out of duty, and I would have had a total lack of enjoyment with it. Feeling the need to be where I once was, please others, be better than the rest. Sounds like a nightmare to me. Two, I would have had to completely walk away from it. If my reasons for training were negative and I couldn’t find the positive, I think my frustration would have risen and caused me to end up disliking training so much that I would have found another mindset, and my training would likely be less effective and less community oriented.
Take a moment to sit back and identify your why. Maybe you are more motivated than ever, and you make lifestyle changes to accomplish some lofty, but attainable goals. Or maybe you can take the burden of training off your shoulders and make it a joy again. It’s up to you to ask “why.”