Competing against myself and no one else

Last week, I decided that in 2017, my goal would be to compete in a men’s physique competition.

This week, that is no longer my goal.

My journey to stepping on a stage ended before it even began, mainly because I never really wanted it to.

Sounds weird right? Why did I decide on that goal if it wasn’t actually my goal?

In the fitness world (especially on social media), there is so much pressure to compete. To get shredded and show off your perfectly sculpted physique for a panel of judges.

And for a week, I bought into it.

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I am more proud of the picture on the left, carrying 120 pounds during a Spartan Race as an example of functional fitness
But that’s not why I got into fitness. It’s never been about showing off my body. It has always been about using fitness to set myself up to lead a fuller, richer, more active and vibrant life with my family. To be there for my children for as long as I possibly can.

Make no mistake, it is a fantastic side effect that my body has changed so drastically and that I am muscular and defined.

But when I think about my goals for the next year, I get excited thinking about pushing my body to achieve greater things through functional fitness.

Pushing my body to do more and achieve more is far more rewarding than quasi-starving myself to get to an unhealthy body fat percentage to be graded by a panel of subjective judges. More power to you if that’s your thing.

As for me, I’m much more proud of the fact that this past May, I competed in a Spartan Race and finished 106th out of more than 3,500 racers, and 6th in my age group. Ten-plus miles, 25 obstacles, cold weather, high altitude. A far better test of my physical fitness, and certainly a mental challenge unlike any I’ve experienced.

So in 2017, among other things, my goal is to compete in a Spartan Race (again, with better training) and a Tough Mudder, and also run a 10K race for the first time since high school.

Fitness and health is not about achieving perfection, because its just not possible. And as I thought about it, the idea of competing was too close to me trying to achieve a level of perfection as compared to others.

In my mind, when it comes to my goals, fitness and health is about getting better every day to be able to achieve more physically and mentally. And for me, my goals for the next year are all about testing those limits and competing against myself and no one else.

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