Author: Jason Loebig
In the pursuit of a better body or improved health, we’re all after the same thing. Whether you’re a mother of two, weekend warrior, or professional athlete, we can recognize the ultimate benefit of achieving better health – more energy. More energy means more freedom to do what it is you want, when you want, where you want.
Unfortunately, physical and mental health are fragile. We make decisions every day, whether it be the food we put in our mouths or physical stress we endure, that that lead us away from good health. As we age, these issues become larger and more life threatening.
My family has a history of Alzheimer’s on both sides. In each case, the disease became increasingly progressive when the person lost physical mobility in the body. Physical exercise, and the freedom to move, are stimuli for the brain. If you like to go for a run or hit the gym to “clear your mind”, this already makes sense to you. A sedentary lifestyle leads to inactivity in the brain as well.
Fortunately, you can do something to address it. Everyone has a different reason for why they train; get stronger, lose weight, etc. Few people realize this reason is everything to achieving success in creating sustainable health habits. When the going gets tough, you’ll need a “why” to fall back on. US Navy Seal commander Jocko Willink quoted, “Don’t count on motivation; count on discipline.” There will be days you won’t want to get up early. Some days you’ll make an excuse to skip. It’s for days like these you need a “why.”
Why do I train?
My operating model is quite simple. Be ready for any challenge, at any time.
I weave in elements of functional training, yoga, gymnastics, jiu jitsu, climbing, running, swimming, and biking to my everyday routine, and enjoy any sport that gives me a sense of thrill, especially the downhill ones aided by gravity. Snowboarding, surfing, golf, mountain biking, hiking, wakeboarding, etc.
Ask me to run a 5k? Great, I’m in. Want to go surfing in the morning, golf in the afternoon, and snowboard in the early evening? Definitely. Any adventure, at any time.
I make it a point to practice “exercise tourism.” Any new destination I go to I tour by taking a run or bike. This is great to do in your own city as well (Chicago has no shortage of great stops along the lake and throughout the city). Cities are giant playgrounds, and I’m bringing back recess for adults.
This all sounds well and good, but why?
If we’re being honest, I’d like to live to 150 years old. I train so I can whoop my grandson’s ass in a triathlon. I train so I can carry all the groceries in from the car in one trip. I train so I never have to miss out of a fun trip somewhere around the world with my friends. I train (and eat) so I can do backflips at age 100.
I train so my name never becomes irrelevant to the word “athlete.”
But most importantly, I train so that I function at 100% capacity. If my energy meter is full, it means I can give 100% of myself to the world – nobody gets short changed. Health is my passion and my purpose. I train so I can help someone in need, so I can help others become the healthiest version of themselves.
Be proactive about increasing your freedom, not reactive when it’s too late. It’s never too late to start. This is your vitality we're talking about. It's what makes you (and keeps you) alive.
Ultimately, we must show gratitude for our health. No matter your physical or mental limitations, improvement is always an option and growth is a necessity. Health is a gift, which cannot be taken for granted. “Put your oxygen mask on first”, then use your gift to help those in greater need than yourself. Be a source of inspiration and motivation for others when their discipline waivers.
Be free. Be fit. Live Better. Have the best day ever, every single day.