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.
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.
Being in the fitness industry, you would consider it is a given that I like sports and you would be right, I do like sport. Though I like sport and enjoy watching certain sports, I am not a lover of sport like some of my friends and peers. I, of course, being a kickboxing instructor, enjoy and appreciate combat sports. I know what it is to face someone in a ring, what getting punched feels like, what is required, fitness wise, to be a fighter.
It is an ironic truism that if I knew ten, twenty or maybe even thirty years ago what I know now, my life would be very different. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Probably not with decisions of the heart, they have always been made in a foolhardy and reckless manner. With other life decisions, jobs I have taken, options I have chosen, some of those, I would like to think, would have been different.
There is a popular notion in the western world, sort of a natural offshoot of the ‘be positive’ and ‘what you believe you achieve’ mantra that has permeated society. The notion is that if you follow your passion, you’ll never work again. Hmm. Now I am not the first, second or even third person to think – and now write about – this being a little, um, bullshitty.
When I was a child, growing up in south London, everything was a competition. You wanted to be best dressed, … More
The question that comes up often when it comes to gifted or talented individuals, whether it is in the sporting field, business or academia, is whether it is nature or nurture that has helped to forge them. We humans like an explanation, it is just how our brains work. As much as we can accept that some are obviously more blessed in their genetic makeup, whether that be physically or mentally, we still want to and need to look beyond that. If we were to believe that there was some inherent predisposition to a skill, thus making it impossible for anyone who does not possess that particular gene to acquire such skill, the human race would never progress.
This is a question for the pet owners: how much ice cream do you give to your dog or cat? How about chocolate? Donuts? Microwave meals occasionally, no? How about a nice bit of fruit cordial? I am being facetious of course, no self-respecting pet owner would feed any of those foods to their beloved pooch or kitty. They’re not trying to kill them. We mostly save such great foods for ourselves and our children.
I can tell you what is most valuable to you. Health, of course, is very important, without your health life is pretty miserable. As well as one’s physical health, one’s mental health is also of paramount importance. Still, neither is the most valuable commodity.
In our consumer crazy world, we purchase items, subscriptions, take holidays, accumulate stuff at a ferocious rate, hoarding phones, computers, televisions, buying designer clothes, going organic, because it looks good and buying fresh produce, having a night out at the cinema, theatre or just out for a meal, all of these things and experiences add to one’s life and general enjoyment. In that respect, all of the aforementioned is valuable.