Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Do It Yourself

I'm a big do-it-yourself fan, not just around the house with hammer and nails, but in life generally. You know the old saying “If you want something done, do it yourself”? Well, that is my mantra. Don't rely on your boss, your neighbour, your family or friends – even though some of them may be absolutely trustworthy! Don't burden them with your responsibilities. Rely on yourself.

As a fitness trainer, I believe that same premise is an important foundation for anything and everything you try and achieve. If you want to run a race, in the end it's only you who can do it. You want better health and fitness? You want to feel happier within your own skin, you want more control over who and what you are? Well, the only person who can really make those decisions is you.

Not all training is fun, exhilarating or as instantly gratifying as those temptations in the fridge, on the plate, in that bottle or on the telly. I'm from the real world. I get it. My point is that once you've decided that being fit is what you want for yourself, once you've set the goal to be a better physical version of yourself, the only person who can make that transformation is you.

I am not a fan of gyms. They are factories filled with equipment to artificially move and challenge the body. We created gyms because we no longer rely on activity and mobility to live. We don't need to chase antelope or run from leopards to survive. We used to run and hunt and dig and climb and throw just to put food in the fire pit. In our modern day to day lives most of us hardly need to walk around the block, so we pay to go into a factory and hitch ourselves to machines that will replicate what the human body was designed to do in nature.

There's nothing wrong with joining a gym and engaging a personal trainer. I'd be out of a job if everyone decided to take my advice, but don't believe the person or corporation behind the smiling facade at reception has only your interests at heart. Sure, there is a duty of care and that's because there are penalties for negligence and bonuses for attracting customers. Sure, there are personal trainers who will commit to helping you but they are also running a business and your best interest must compete with their best interest. That's human nature.

So you have to wise up. Do you want to be lean, fit, fast, strong, healthy? Good. Then you have to do the work. If you choose the gym or a trainer to help you, good for you. If you can't afford to do that or there is no opportunity because of where you live or the hours you keep, that shouldn't matter a jot. If you want to do it, take responsibility for yourself before relying on a fitness corporation or a trainer.

There's a thing called the internet where you can find research material, download apps, learn about food, get training information and motivation – it's all there at your fingertips. At a pinch, you and some intelligent research will have you up and running, figuratively and in reality. Promise this though – once you've found what you're looking for, get up out of the chair and switch off the computer. In the end, an app can't do the work for you, just as a personal trainer can't do the work for you. When it comes to fitness, there's only one mantra that is an absolute truth. Do it yourself.

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