Today, my fiancé turns 40. I rarely think about age. Certain people in my life remain a certain age to me. My parents are always 45. One of my best friends is always 36. I never think of my siblings’ age and I rarely even think about mine actually. And my clients? Rarely.
Growing up, my dad would always say how it’s easier to stay active than to try to become active again. Not only have I found this to be true for me, but in my clients too. That’s why I try to make my gym a fun environment where people feel good so that they want to continue being active. It’s why my female client who just turned 69 last month loves to come. It’s why she told her husband he never has to get her a birthday gift again as long as she can keep training because she feels so much better when she does. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, she found what’s good for her. Then It’s my 56 year old client who is going after the same goal time on the assault bike as my 22 year old client. This is a friendly competition but it shows why I don’t see age. I see what my clients can do. I see how they feel. And I’m so proud of them. Goals may be different for everyone he. Capabilities are certainly different. But that’s all external stuff.
I did a video on external motivation versus intrinsic motivation. When we are focused on external things, such as a perfect body, a goal weight, a waist size… that shit is fleeting. The motivation to obtain those things runs out. And why wouldn’t it? Deep down, those things don’t mean shit in our lives.
But intrinsically, what if we were motivated by a feeling? What if we are motivated by the endorphins and stress relief when we move our bodies? What if we were motivated by pride? By accomplishment? By the fact that we know we feel better when we take care of ourselves. And hitting a goal weight does NOT mean you are taking care of yourself. My 69 year old female doesn’t have a goal weight. Her goal is to keep being able to workout because she feels so much better when she does. My 72 year old male? He wants to be able to keep taking care of himself, by himself. He wants to reach up to the top cabinet, throw laundry in the dryer, pack up his car when he drives to Hilton head. Those are things that keep your self care and moving your body consistent priorities in your life. And when you’re motivated by a feeling, that shit doesn’t go away.
Even if you are a young 22, the same thing still applies. Chasing the ideals is an exhausting chase. No matter how old you are. And forming a good relationship with food and exercise now will benefit you when you are 56, and 69 and 72.
I look at my clients and am so motivated and inspired by them. I see how much it pays off to take care of yourself. I’ve also seen people stop and start the health journey. It happens. But it’s never too late.
So as dave turns 40, I don’t look at it as a big deal. Even though I’m 32, I don’t see an age difference in us. My parents are 58 and 62. They look and act like they are 40 because they have taken care of themselves. My hope for you, no matter how old you are, is to examine how you are taking care of yourself. The days are long but the years are short. If you want to have better health, less pain, or just feel better about yourself, take the steps toward self-care. One day at a time. When you are intrinsically motivated, it becomes a way of life. It lasts.
I would be sad to see you chase goal weights and what you think you “should” be. I want you healthy and I want you able to enjoy your health. Be proud to say your age. Only you know why you are doing what you are. If it isn’t up to your expectations or desires, you alone can change that. Don’t let another year go by wishing you took better care of yourself. In the end, it’s all we have control over.
1. Find activity that you ENJOY doing.
2. Pay attention to how eating certain foods make you feel, then choose accordingly.
3. Rest and Stretch
4. Do not underestimate walking!!!
5. Work from within.
6. Look at the big picture.
7. Pay attention to the feeling and stop chasing the ideal.
40 mountain climbers
30 bicycle crunches
20 jumping jacks