Training isn’t just great for your body. It also transforms your inner world. We got thinking about all the life lessons we’ve gained from pursuing a fitness lifestyle. How many resonate with you?
10 things training teaches you about life
You are capable of amazing things
What’s your favourite fitness pursuit? Running fast, lifting heavy, climbing things? Whatever you like doing, it’s proof that your mind and body are capable of amazing things. And they’ll rarely let you down, especially if you look after them with decent food, hydration, rest and relaxation.
It’s never too late to learn a new skill
As kids, we learn things all the time – at school, clubs, hobby groups. But this tends to slip away once we leave education and fall into the routine of grown-up life. Sport and fitness are great ways to learn new skills, challenge ourselves, push the boundaries. Which has positive knock-on effects to other areas of our life as we grow more confident and self-assured.
Intrinsic motivation wins every time
When you started out in fitness, chances are you were following in someone else’s footsteps. But that kind of external drive only lasts for so long. You need to find your internal (intrinsic) motivation. That’s what will help you build effortless habits. It’s true for the rest of life, too, do what you love because you want to do it, not because anyone else says you should.
Do what you love and do it often
There are so many ways to get and stay fit. You don’t have to go to the gym or enter 10K races if you don’t want to. Just the same way as you don’t have to get married and have kids if you don’t want to, or work in a 9-5 office job if you don’t want to. Happiness comes from finding what truly lights you up and doing it often.
Quality over quantity
In our younger years, we’re all prone to “going hard or going home”. We see this happen with our workouts, social lives, and spending habits. As we get older, we realise that it’s quality, not quantity, that truly makes the difference. Make your training sessions count, and don’t throw in junk mileage for the sake of showing up.
Success is a long game
Living a fitness lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle. It’s not a 12-week transformation programme or an Instagram challenge. There is no end goal, because it’s about living a healthy, happy life.
Small habits trump big efforts
Big one-off efforts might look impressive, but it’s the small, quiet work that matters. Get comfortable with doing small things consistently – even if nobody ever sees you do it – and know that it all adds up.
Nobody else can do it for you
This hard truth is freeing. You are ultimately responsible for your health and happiness. You get to choose how you do it, what path you take, and what pace you go at. This means you have to be content with ups and downs, successes and backslides. Take responsibility – it’s a good feeling.
Control the controllables
Plenty of things are outside your control in life and in fitness. But there’s lots you can control, too. Spend some time understanding what goes into which category. Then stop worrying about the “outside my control” box, and turn your full attention to controlling the controllables.
Fitness and training are the ultimate gift to yourself. Choosing healthy habits are a way to honour yourself today, tomorrow, and long into the future. If you don’t prioritise yourself, who will? This isn’t the same as being selfish, or ignoring your responsibilities to others. It means recognising that you’re important, and that training is a valid way of caring for yourself.
We’d love to know what life lessons you’ve gained from training or sport. Connect with us on socials and share your wisdom.
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