Gone are the days of rocking out with Richard Simmons and his seemingly endless supply of energy on Sweatin’ to the Oldies. Today, fitness trends push for bigger, harder, crazier…literally; with titles like Insanity, Extreme, and don’t even get me started on Burpees (there is a good chance they were named this because of the burps turned vomiting that occurs after doing them). But the titles aren’t the only things getting crazy, and buzzwords are popular in more than Nutrition alone.
Now don’t misunderstand, I enjoy a good death-defying, brink of physical collapse workout just as much as the next masochistic fitness junkie, but at what point do we listen to our bodies and ignore the hype? Infomercials, magazines, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook…everywhere we look we see images of tight, toned bodies who we are told achieved their results with XYZ workout. And many times, feeling less-than and inadequate, we buy into their story. Only their story isn’t the “whole” story, and even more importantly, their story is not YOUR story.
Hand me a ball and I have got this covered. Feats requiring balance? No problem. However, put me on stairs and suddenly I have the grace and agility of a toddler who only just found his legs. So running stadiums is probably not the greatest fitness idea for me, regardless of it’s purported weight loss/fat loss/strength gain/performance improving benefits. There are other ways to achieve these results, and in every instance I can think of, injury impedes progress – it doesn’t encourage it. So if balance is your nemesis, standing on a bosu ball while holding 50lbs above your head probably isn’t a recipe for a good time; unless lengthy hospital stays and pain and suffering is your cup of tea.
This isn’t to say that I will never be able to run stadiums. Perhaps one day, when I fully grasp the concept that stairs should be taken with the feet and not the face, and definitely aren’t meant to be snowballed or butt-to-the-ground slid down, I will conquer this beast. But until that day, gaining strength where I can and doing what I can should be enough for me. And it should be enough for you. More is not always more. It’s easy to be seduced by the allure that accompanies fitness buzzwords, but understanding that your body’s potential is, in many cases, vastly different than what media portrays, will help you appreciate fitness that fits YOU.