I have never gotten a tattoo. It is just not me. I’ve nothing against tattoos, some look quite good, impressive works of art adorning arms, shoulders, backs and legs, some people look natural with ink, I just do not see myself as one of those people.
If you type the word ‘fitness’ into the Google search engine, you get – in less than a second – over three and a half billion search results. Fitness, on the internet, is big, big business.
As anyone who has worked in a gym for more than six months will probably know, people tend to be somewhat overly optimistic about how much weight they can lose and how long it will take them to do it, especially when holiday time looms.
Strange times. As we, over generations, have moved toward a, supposedly, fairer and more equal society, where increasingly below average is accommodated and the highlighting of an individual’s inability to complete a given task is seen as bullying, it is in stark contrast to media, social and other, portrayals of what one’s expectations should be in life.
What defines a great sportsperson? There is the obvious answer; being very good, exceptional, at their chosen sport. There are many world class sportsmen and women. I define world class as being of a high enough level of competency to compete on the world stage, regardless of the sport.
Every four years, athletics becomes a global event as a city host the Olympics. Hundreds of athletes representing countries from all over the world gather in one location for a two-week spectacle of speed, strength, endurance, skill and mental fortitude. Though the athletes represent a country, most of the young men and women who compete do so individually, even often times competing against fellow countrymen. With the exception of a few team events, athletics is the ultimate individual sport.
I am starting this blog quite late in the day as I have been sidelined with my other passion, filmmaking. My body is still aching from the battering I have put it through this week and the shock of working for eight days in a row – I’m barely used to working two days in a row, further more eight! My training has been intense this past week, really showing me how much I have slacked off.
One of the elements that attract people most to a concept, idea or course of action is its possible ease of execution. Given the choice of two possible options, people usually opt for the easier one, whether that ease is financial, time saved or physical exertion depends entirely on the individual in questions view of what is easiest.
The vast array of diets and exercise plans with the promise of rapid results feeds into that human desire for the easiest route. Adverts for meal replacement drinks, point system diets, twelve weeks to a bikini body, lose ten pounds in a fortnight, plus the ever popular before and after pictures of people losing ten, twenty and even thirty kilos, help to fuel the notion that it is easy.
As I travel home from a post-work training session, happy that I was coerced into joining a track session, I now know the scale of the task ahead of me. I have an inkling of a plan to compete in Masters athletics once again, it gave me a target, a definite goal to aim for. Having not raced for nearly a decade, my training has been very generalised, no specific aim except to retain a modicum of fitness.
I have a confession to make. After all my proclamations about being healthy and how mental health is paramount for any and every individual’s happiness, it turns out I only care about how fitness makes me look. As well as being fit, I like to look the part as well. It is partly my ego and looking better makes me feel better.
It is probably over a decade since I was fighting fit. I have always been fit for purpose, but not since I last competed on the track have I been the model professional or set an example as a beacon of health and fitness. A lot of it can be put down to complacency and a certain level of comfort zone embracing. One settles into a routine, living life on automatic pilot.