What is Fitness?
Instagram persona’s, models, and actors. We perceive people who look good to be in our definition of “fit.” What’s more is we have been told that this is what looks good through popular culture and social media. If we think about what these people are like, what characteristics make up a fit person, some people might say they are genetically gifted or even vain, self serving, and egotistical.
Our culture is conditioned to value looks over health, surface image over depth and truth; this creates massive dissonance with people looking to become fitter and the results they are chasing.
We have newly tapped into what fitness actually is, Fitness is only decades old and is it any wonder that most of us struggle greatly when it comes to becoming fitter?
Yes, looking good is a byproduct of fitness, but Fitness is really just working hard in different ways to better oneself and initially has nothing to do with our image.
We all have many reasons for this self improvement and most of these reasons are not so self serving and not at all vain.
Fitter people are statistically around longer for their children, are more helpful in society, more mentally stable, have better relationships, are more successful, and have a positive impact on the economy.
We might be financially, socially, mentally, and spiritually very secure, but there is another security 66% of our population doesn’t have: Physical security. For so many years, western culture has focused mainly on being financially and socially secure, which has left our health and wellness to be neglected. Rather than a proactive approach via healthy diets and exercise, we have pushed our physical well being aside until it becomes a problem and then we still look for the easy band aide solutions with pills and supplements.
Dedicating time to our fitness is like depositing money into a savings account or investments to increase wealth, if we are never depositing we run very large long term risks.
As we put more emphasis on our Image, we create an illusion of fitness that becomes dependant on others and the way they project themselves. We view an instagram page that looks sexy & happy, and it creates an influential internal need for us to project a similar persona because we want to be viewed as being “fit” or sexy and happy. On goes social media’s marketing cycle, with more time spent on the apps and more likes for the “fitness influencers.”
Our own capacities and true health & fitness become hidden through our outward obsession. The answer, if not outward, can be found inwards.
So, What is fitness really?
Fitness is our physical well being, our health. Basic human functions like being able to move ourselves around without aide, being able to move our joints through certain ranges like full depth squats, push-ups, pulling ourselves over objects, and even being able to move heavier external loads through these ranges, like picking things up off of the ground and putting them overhead.
When we have developed these capacities to a basic level, we can look to broaden our perspectives to long and short time domains, along with more advanced movements like Olympic weightlifting and athletic endeavours.
Fitness is human capacity, what can you DO? It’s nice to have great abs and usually being fit leads to this and more aesthetically, but just because some of us have acquired great abs does not make us fit.
Fitness is difficult, it’s not a quick fix and it never stops, because our human capacity can always grow, even to simply maintain, fitness is a daily chore. The CrossFit Games athletes are the guinea pigs to all of this and they continue to surpass expectations of what humans are capable of. 10 years ago people said it was impossible for a single human being to run a sub 5min mile and squat 500lbs, that ceiling was smashed a few years ago.
Underneath all the daily fist bumps, the celebrations, the things that seem to outsiders looking in as overzealous, we know we are celebrating each other’s ability to constantly push the corners of what it is to be a physically capable human being. We are developing our human capacity and it has become the best part of our day.