Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What is fitness?

I have a lot of windshield time as well as airplane time, and my mind being what it is I start thinking. On last week's trip home I asked myself, what is fitness? And what defines it?
I live an interesting life, every week I meet a handful of different people in different geographical areas that work in very diverse industries. Every week I end up dining with these folks and more often than not the conversation turns to diet & fitness. After all these years I still follow the 2:1 rule, which translates to, 2 ears and 1 mouth, so I use them in that proportion. My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Cooley would be so proud.
Recent channel surf as I was on a hotel "Dreadmill"

It seems that between bites of their chicken fried steak and french fries that they want to talk about the latest fitness infomercial, eat this lose that, or lose that by eating this, and I listen. I listen as no one says "Hey, want to go with me to my gym this evening?" and I listen as they order desert.
Everyone has their own definition of fitness, is it how fast you can run a mile? Is it your cholesterol number? Is it maintaining your food macros? What defines fitness for you?


Not looking to insult the masses, but fitness isn't about infomercials, cd/dvd's, shakes or powders..... yes, those things might "help" but they're not the end all to be all. If those "Before & After" infomercials fuel your juices look then read this.

You have to decide that you've had enough, that you're tired of buying XXL, tired of using the extender belt when you fly or tired of the doctor entering your exam room with his head hung low.
Is it as simple as calories in vs. calories out? In a nutshell no, yes you will lose weight, but does that signify being physically fit?
I live in a house with someone who has single digit body-fat, (It's not me!) but since their diet consists of things that have never had a heartbeat does that means they're physically fit? Can they run a mile? Can they do 25 push-ups? However, if you ask them, they'd say they're healthy, and they probably are.

Check out James Carter in the video above. James is a blast to watch, he does things that makes my spine hurt, but if you saw a picture of James standing still you might not think he's the healthiest person around.
Next up, according to my wife is my Man-Crush, Rich Froning, 4 time winner of the Crossfit Games and a very fit dude. Rich nails the textbook definition fitness, seriously who wouldn't want that physique?
Finally we have Brian Shaw, 6'8" and weighing in at 415lbs, and by the way, 3 time winner of the World's Strongest Man competition. Chances are you won't see Brian on one of those early morning infomercials because "Beach Muscles" really aren't going to help you deadlift 880lbs.

 So, what exactly is fitness? I guess it's similar to beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder.

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