The other day I went to a supplement store I love going to. The employee that helped me was asking about my current training program and what I was doing. Then he asked “What PR’s (personal records) are you working towards?” I responded, “I am not working towards any PR’s right now.” He looked at me in disbelief and really didn’t know what else to do with me. He meant well, and was looking to make a connection and he truly didn’t understand, because he is in an industry and phase of life where chasing PR’s is the thing to do.
I had a lot of thoughts rushing through my mind, but I didn’t say much else other than “Thank you and have a great day.”
I was second guessing myself for not working towards PR’s right now, not signing up for a race or another competition. What am I doing? I should be working towards the next thing. I must just be lazy. I’m not crushing myself in the gym everyday, maybe I should be. I’m not going all out. Every. Single. Session. I’m not working through the pain and constant soreness.
I’ve been there, done that. I have ran multiple half and full marathons. I’ve had my knees feel like they were grinding against the concrete with every step. I have chased PR’s in strength training and speed and worked at gymnastics movements to achieve more reps and new skills. I have participated in individual and team CrossFit Competitions. I have enjoyed all of those things. Doing those things were all part of the season I was in and the community I was with. It also doesn’t mean I wont ever do any of that again. I love a good competition and there are times I miss it. I am strong and I have grit because of those things.
I also found myself thinking, ‘I am a 40 year old mom, and I don’t have to be chasing PR’s.” While that is true, that’s not the reason I am not doing what I once was. There are other circumstances that have led me to this path. There are plenty of moms and people older than I am crushing PR’s. I hope that if you are one of the one’s striving for the next PR, competition, or race that you give yourself a pat on the back and continue to do so and inspire those around you. Keep crushing it!
But, maybe you used to be a high school or college athlete and after that you found yourself lost when it came to fitness. Your career took over. Your family became your priority. Chasing a goal or win or new PR was the fun part and fitness was a perk. Now you aren’t sure where to look for fitness. You were so used to chasing the PR’s and goals. You see social media and everyone posting about their big fitness PR’s, and the fact that you don’t have something to chase makes you feel as if you aren’t worthy or capable of general fitness.
You feel like your healthy self is a past version of you. And if you aren’t going all out all of the time or working with a team for a win what is the point?
I’ll tell you the point. The point is your life! Lifting for Life! Training for life!
I may not be training for the next competition or striving for some huge sexy PR to post on social media, but I can promise you I am training and working hard. I am training for my life everyday. I want to be able to run and play with and wrestle with my children. I can get up and down off of the floor with ease. I can sprint with my kids. I have balance when my son runs and jumps on me. I can easily walk up the bleachers to sit and watch my daughter’s games. I can carry the groceries into my house. I can do yard work and move furniture when I want to.
I am training for my future self. What I do now will keep me strong and able bodied as I age. I want to be able to walk up and down the stairs, get up and down off of the toilet on my own. I want to be able to pick up my grandchildren with ease. I want to be able to go on adventures with my adult children and their families. If I fall I want to be able to get back up.
I am training for the unknown. There are so many unknowns. I could face an illness and I want to know I am strong enough to fight it. I want to be able to care for an aging parent. I need to be strong enough. What if something happens to a family member and I need to be able to lift them? I want to be strong enough. I used to hate when my coach made us run with an odd object, but then I switched my mindset to ‘well, if I ever need to be able to pick up my kids and get away from a danger I know I can do so’ I am strong enough. Training and lifting for life.
If you are one of the few who crush it from age 20 until you are a gray-hair please keep doing it. Keep showing up. Keep inspiring. Keep doing you!
If you are one of the many you used to feel like you were killing in the fitness area and now you feel lost, because you don’t have some big goal to chase, now is the time to just start something. You can start with a simple walk or getting outside to play with your kids. Find a gym or a coach to put you through workouts you enjoy doing. It’s ok if you aren’t as strong or as fit as you once were. You will get stronger and fitter just by doing something. You may not ever be as strong as you once were, but that’s ok. You will be strong enough and training for life! Don’t let the fear of not enough hold you to doing nothing.
Are you someone who has never really been active? Are you intimidated by everything you see on social media because it looks unattainable or maybe it doesn't even interest you? That is ok. I am here to say, you do not have to do what everyone else is doing or showing on social media. You don’t have to have a goal to run a marathon, or sign up for a physique or bodybuilding show, you don’t have to have a goal to squat 2 times your body weight or do 25 unbroken pull ups. You just need to start something. Remember you are training for life. Again, find a coach or a gym that you can do workouts you enjoy. Go for walks. Do workout videos at home. Now, if you do have big lofty goals for yourself, just do it. Write them down and make a plan and make it happen. I know you are capable of big scary dreams!
I really don’t ever remember a time that fitness was not a part of my life. I played sports and was active through school. I was one of the few I knew in college who would run or lift weights. I lifted and attended group fitness classes after college and then I ran marathons. Then I found CrossFit and loved the competitive side of that. Through life changes and circumstances I am now training in my garage and coaching group fitness classes. I love being outside and enjoying walks.
So, right now I may not be training for a PR other than general fitness and I am perfectly fine with that. I am training for life. My goal is to be able to live my life to the fullest at every age in life. I guess for me that would be a pretty awesome PR.