MORE THAN MUSCLE
Posted on 23 January 2017
WHAT TRAINING MEANS TO ME
It is easy to see the gym as a place of physicality. As a simple equation of calories eaten to burned or the breaking down of muscle to build muscle.
But those are just the most superficial layers to what really happens. You see, the gym is a place of creation. Its a place where you can truly learn yourself. Its deeper than science. It cannot be measured by the pounds lifted, or calculated by the calories burned. Its more than muscle...
I grew up as an athlete, so I learned the power I withheld at a young age. I actually distinctly remember the moment when I realized that the miles pounded on the pavement during my training runs weren't really about winning the next race anymore. It became a test of my will power, a challenge of guts, and about how far I was willing to go. It became about me and my mentality of life. As I grew older and life provided me with experience, it became even more clear. Everything I was putting my body through was a metaphorical representation of what life would put me through.
Life Lesson One. The Squat.
Technically speaking in that moment when the weight is on your back and gravity is pulling you down, everything is working against you. However, you take everything you have within you to get up against what is pulling you down. The result of doing that over and over again is the definition of becoming stronger. Something that wouldn't happen if you just gave up and didn't get up.
Life Lesson Two. Reps.
You learn quickly if you are a glass half empty or half full type of person based upon how you use “reps”. You see, they can either limit you or push you. Self sabotage is so common when we doubt our ability. Every time, the goal should be to become better and to do more. There is a time and a place for counting. Sometimes taking away the ability to measure forces one to feel.
Life Lesson Three. Plateauing.
Comfort is a test of temptation. It is a place that is easy to stay and confuses your mind with stability as a form of success. If you settle you will stop seeing change. Period. However comfort protects us from what we fear most, which is moving forward without knowing if failure is around the corner. So many people let this fear control them into not even trying, because staying where they are feels better than the potential of failing. Reality is on the other side of that failure is a whole new level of progress that is waiting. To me, the thought of the next level of progress waiting unfulfilled is scarier than any failure can ever be.
Life Lesson Four. Excuses.
Another form of limitation can be found in excuses, which simply are justifications for your current circumstance. All derived from the fear of the unknown; limits, excuses, and temptations are created in the mind. When they are repeatedly thought of, they physically manifest and stop you from reaching your full potential. Rather than facing the weaknesses we need to improve, its easier to justify why they exist or only focus on the strengths. Like the guy in the gym who only works chest because it is what he is strongest at, those weaknesses are only growing greater and will limit his overall growth and progress. Just as in life, providing excuses for avoiding what are not good at is only creating an unstable structure which can fall at any moment, no matter how strong we have built the rest.
Life Lesson Five. Pain.
The most important lesson of all. Without pain we wouldn't experience the true triumphs of growth. Most people live life avoiding what hurts. They skip the struggles, the challenges, and the hardships. But at the end of the day its the pressure that creates you. The struggle makes you.
Maybe this is where I gained so much passion to become a trainer. Because I knew my purpose was to share. Share energy, share knowledge, share perspective. People getting results is simply a by product of the process. A side effect of the journey. My reward is seeing someone gaining the deeper meaning. Everything I do is for those moments. Every time I have helped someone see their body is a means to reach a higher self in life without limits is my paycheck. My success at the end of the day will be measured by the number of people who have a vocabulary that doesn't include the word “can't” and lives every day knowing they are unbreakable.
For me, all this. The Instagram, the videos, the clothing, the training, is all.....More than Muscle.
- Emily Meisner