We all get that question, when your at the gym doing kettlebell swings and burpees;
“What are you training for?”
A few years back I lived to answer that question. Even if you didn’t ask, I found some way to work it into our conversation. “Actually, I play college football.” At some point in the last five years I transformed myself from a football player to an ultra-marathoner, then a CrossFit owner and athlete and finally a triathlete. Yes, I made sure to talk about all of those things. My training plan and race results. My eating habits and my heart rate.
Sure all of those things were fun, at first. They challenged me. I made progress and earned results. But, I gave up way more than I received. I spent hour after hour in the gym, at the track, on my bike, and in the pool. I obsessed over workouts and PRs. At some point, it stopped being fun.
Recently I figured it out. I wasn’t fulfilled in other areas of my life so I tried to create an identity for myself through fitness. I thought if I were fit, if I trained hard and won races I would find myself. I would be happy. It didn’t work.
While I was building myself up physically, everything else around me fell to pieces. All of the things I wanted to be and all of the things I truly cared about were replaced by the need to train and race and compete.
All of the training and racing gave me something to do. It took up time. But, no matter how many miles I logged I never got any closer to where I wanted to be. I wasn’t gaining any ground on the guy I was chasing – myself.
Training for Life
Let’s revisit the question I opened with; What are you training for?
Now when someone asks that question I know how to answer. I’m training to win at life.
For me that goes way beyond being physically fit. You better believe I still exercise. I lift heavy things. I sprint. I swing kettlebells. Health will always be essential to winning at life, no matter who you are. But I use exercise in a way that allows me to be better, more energized and focused in other areas of my life.
Those other areas of my life are centered on Health, Happiness and Hustle. In short, success is a byproduct of being healthy, finding purpose and working really, REALLY freaking hard.
How to win at life
When we first started Hybrid Athlete the name was meant to represent different sources of exercise. The word hybrid means “from different or multiple sources”. In our case, we wanted to show that fitness can come from multiple sources – running, lifting, yoga, CrossFit, biking, hiking, bodyweight training, etc. Combine those things any way you’d like and you can find fitness.
As time went on the website gained some popularity and our audience grew. When that happened I grew right along with it. Hybrid began to take on a whole new meaning. It was about more than fitness. It was about living like you train. It was about life outside of the gym. The multiple sources that Hybrid represented evolved to include a mindset and motivation. It wasn’t only about being fit for competition. We were talking about being fit for life. Every part of it.
It finally made sense. The emails, comments and text messages had been saying it the entire time. This is bigger than fitness. We all want to win at life.
How do we do it? How do we win at life? I realize that’s a loaded question, but when I think about it I keep coming back to a few words…
Do good, be good, look good, feel good.
Yeah, that about sums it up. When you choose the right action based on the right intention, things seems to work out.
In case you’re not satisfied will the simple do good talk, here’s a more complete explanation of how I plan to win at life.
Read, speak, and write on matters of history and the heart, philosophy and productivity, exercise and emotions.
Train, test, and continue to transform my brain and body, to grow my mind and muscles.
Give more than I take — to give relentlessly in fact. To give for the sake of giving and expect nothing in return.
Cast off balance in favor of building a life worth living, as no persons are remembered for the balance they’ve maintained, but for what they achieved as a result of their willingness to forgo it altogether.
Earn a living and engineer my life in a way that coincides with my convictions; never contradicting or compromising them.
Explore people and places, ideas and interests without hesitation.
Be good and do good – always.
Are you training for a race or winning at life? Maybe you’re doing both. Tell us all about it. And, email me if there’s something I can do to help.
Joe is a writer, trainer and fitness entrepreneur who co-founded Hybrid Athlete LLC, Kettlebell Cardio™ and Race Day Domination. Currently building @fittinsider, a platform for founders, executives, & investors redefining fitness/wellness. Investing in health/fitness companies