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Confessions Of A Squat-A-Holic

Putting the “Fun” Back in Functional


When did your training become a job?  Did it start out that way or just become a bi-product of focus and routine?  Are you still having fun?  I hope so.  If not, let’s evaluate.

First and foremost exercise is important for good health, but there are additional, optional benefits to be had as well.  Why “optional?”  Because these benefits are up to the trainee to recognize and embrace.  Benefits such as fun, stress relief, play, camaraderie, competition and self-fulfillment.

I’m a big proponent of a “stop and smell the roses” philosophy.  The mundane and routine in a person’s life can often bog down the gray matter.  In today’s world it actually takes more effort to recognize your surroundings and to be present in what you’re doing than to sink in to that malaise.  One of the best opportunities we have to get away is through our training, our exercise, our “play.”  You have to set your mind and take the time to feel the endorphins and to enjoy what you’re doing.  Why do you think “runner’s high” exists?  Nobody actually enjoys running…it’s because they’re so bored from doing the same thing for 2 hours that their mind is clear enough to recognize the endorphins.  It’s science.  Caveat: I’d also add that it is my religious belief that you pretty much have to be high to enjoy running.

I see and hear folks around the gym who seem frustrated with their workouts or progress – I do it, too – so much so that it seems like they hate what they’re doing.  I’m sure the majority of those folks are able to let that go when they leave the gym – but what about optimizing the time while you’re there?  Don’t let your workouts devolve into paralysis by analysis.  Don’t let missed reps preside over your training day.  Have a goal movement you just can’t seem to hit (i.e. muscle ups?)  I assure you allowing it to define  your thoughts and attitude will most certainly not help you achieve it.  Missed or failed reps and stuff we can’t do are part and parcel of any training regiment, and failure in general is an essential factor in growth as an athlete and as a human.  They are a reason to keep training.

Enjoy the folks around you in the gym.  You’ll share a lot of sweat equity with them over the years, so introduce yourself, get to know them, encourage them and be encouraged by them.  Your social interaction within this gym can and will enrich your life, at the gym and away from it.

Compete in something.  Join a team, take on a 5K, marathon or triathlon, join a weight loss challenge.  Compete with yourself every day, with that aspect of yourself that wants to limit what you can gain and achieve.

Exercise your body, exercise your mind and take the time and make the effort to enjoy what you do.  This is not some new age philosophy, it’s a choice.  You have a choice: let exercise and training be another thing that stresses you out, or let it be the thing that releases you from that stress.

-MIke K.

One Response

  • dannyAugust 19, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    i say put the fun back in dis-functional!


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