There is a gross misconception that there is one holy grail answer to all of life’s mysteries. There is one ultimate solution to all issues. Whether it is fitness, nutrition, religion, child rearing, education, taxes, government, or any other issue that brings warring sides to battle, each person has his or her own version of the truth. Here lies the rub. We live in a world that is ever evolving, changing, and growing, whether we like it or not. New discoveries are made, an alternative view point on a problem is presented, and questions come faster than answers. People are quick to choose a side and fight, tooth and nail, to prove that their opinion is fact. This type of thinking and behavior causes a short circuit in the growth process and inhibits our natural ability to adapt to new information. When we close our minds to alternative options, opinions, and critiques, we become stale, fragmented, and disconnected.
I view the world in a much less “black and white” fashion. I try to see all sides of the board when I am playing a game and do my best to understand opposing views. My reality is a fusion of multiple ideas that converge on one another to create a beautiful mess of information that I can sift through. I attempt to find new and different ways to expand my thinking and evolve my methods to become the most well rounded human possible.
I used to think that weight training was the be all end all form of exercise. If a person wanted to get strong, lean, and fit, he or she had to lift weights and the gym was my sanctuary. Eventually, I couldn’t touch my toes or recover from injury quick enough. I took incredible amounts of supplements to improve my training edge but neglected the natural ingredients from fruits and vegetables. Protein was my only objective. I built a body that looked good on paper, but, when put to the test, it crumbled in the functionality department. I began to wonder if my version of truth was the “whole” truth.
I timidly began to reach out of my comfort zone. I attended a hot yoga class and added more vegetables to my diet. I rearranged my supplement intake and focused more on total body movements in the gym. I started sprinting periodically, as well as researching the benefits of saunas and cryotherapy. I quickly realized that I was missing a gigantic chunk of the puzzle. I had been locked in a one sided mentality that caused me to have unnecessary negative ideals about other forms of fitness. I was instantly humbled in that yoga class, immediately felt the benefits of adjusting my diet, and started to feel more mental clarity after long sauna sits. The true benefits of health began to manifest once I started playing with all the pieces on the board. The one size fits all mentality simply does not exist. It takes a collection of different stressors and an open mind to reach the full potential your
body has locked inside.
Total Human Optimization is my goal. I want to be functionally fit from as many angles as possible. The world is full of different and exciting ways to test my grit, endurance, strength, speed, and mental focus. The only way that I can build the body that can handle the world around me is to incorporate an ever expanding list of differing disciplines. It took me years to realize this irrefutable fact. You can begin by seeing the whole picture and start placing the pieces that form the best picture of health imaginable. Don’t get bogged down in one sided views, stereotypes, biases, and ignorance like I did. Bring together the most holistic fitness approach you can and your body will certainly reward you for it.
If you have a certain goal in mind, like getting big and strong, then focus on the tools needed to reach that goal. But, don’t neglect the wide array of disciplines that can help bring your fitness to the next level. Attend that yoga class, check out martial arts training, sit in a sauna, go for a swim, eat a piece of fruit, or take a day off. Listen to your body. Expand your mental boundaries. Explore the wide and wonderful world of fitness. Find what fits you and Wreck It!