Everywhere we look we are bombarded by conflicting messages of what it really means to be fit. Some say it is being able to run a marathon and others say it is completing bodyweight pull ups. This is particularly prominent across social media. You have the endurance athletes who post their quickest times, the powerlifters who post their heaviest lifts, the calisthenics experts who post their longest front lever and the bodybuilders who post their rippling abs.
Who is right? Who is fit?
All of them. Each in their own way.
The issue comes when we start to compare our own abilities to these people we follow. We can get caught up with the online community and think we need to do a bikini competition, need to run a certain time or need to lift a certain weight, to be fit. The reality is, we don’t. There is no right or wrong way to be fit. Fitness in itself is subjective, which is the beauty of it. It allows us to interpret it in our own ways and forge our own paths.
Across social media there is a lot of fitness-related bashing going on. Bashing of other peoples forms of training or even their appearances; I’ve seen far too many girls criticising other for being “too lean” or “too bulky”. This needs to stop. We can all be fit in our own way, what matters is that we embark on our own personal fitness journey, one which works for us, one which we enjoy and one which compliments our lifestyle.
One thing I want to touch on in this post is that just because someone on social media is in amazing shape does not mean that they are physically fit. As a result, we need to avoid replicating their fitness routine, simply because we like the way they look or the way they perform. What works for them, may not work for us and vice versa. In the beginning when we often lack guidance, it can be easy to get lost in other peoples journeys and forget about our own and what we really want.
So ask yourself, what is fitness to you? Do you value speed and agility? Do you want to feel strong and powerful? Do you want to be able to control your own bodyweight? Or dance for hours without stopping? Do you want to achieve washboard abs? None of these goals are wrong. None of these goals are better than the others. What matters is that the goals you set are personal to you and what drives you; and that you pursue them in a sustainable, balanced and educated manner.
And what is fitness to me?
It varies. Sometimes its lifting heavy weights and other times its hitting a new running PB. What stays consistent is that it ultimately is about looking after myself. It is fuelling my body with wholesome food and challenging it in the gym. It is enjoying my training and using it to strengthen myself both mentally and physically. It is feeling confident and comfortable in my skin, and celebrating all the amazing things my body can do. It is achieving a balanced healthy lifestyle.
What is fitness to you? Leave a comment below!