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Catharsis in every rep: find your ‘why’

Is it through vanity? A medical practitioner’s orders?

Is it for fun or just to socialise?

Did a family member or friend persuade/guilt-trip you into doing it?

Perhaps it’s simply for the naked definition of fitness.

Often, it is a combination of all of the above, but why does it matter what motivates you? Well, your why matters.

Your personal why can help you reach your goals and can determine whether you stick with your workouts after you achieve them.

Vanity, at times, has a negative connotation so let’s say ‘aesthetically pleasing’ going forward.

We all have certain predispositions on what is aesthetically pleasing in men and women; we seek to achieve symmetry, bigger and more defined muscles, less fat or more fat in certain areas.

We would recommend that aesthetics hold a back seat in the why priority list.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while you can definitely achieve the beautiful body you desire, often it’s after months, or years, of consistently working out.

Aesthetically pleasing bodies are usually a result of constantly, sometimes relentlessly, working out in a social setting.

You and an accountability partner keeping the six-pack dream alive; your gym bro or sis that keeps you honest and tells the best jokes and stories.

They make the sessions flow almost effortlessly.

Being in a healthy social network of like-minded individuals fortifies your resolve to continue on your fitness journey.

Healthy social networks can be your hypothetical psychological sieve that helps you separate and sometimes dissolve toxic stress that is on your mind; catharsis in every rep and every heavy lift.

You can cathect in a workout, and, in doing so, discover that you can only think one thought at a time.

A bad argument or a mistake at work can seem trivial when you cannot breathe after a long jog or when you need to get 100-plus pounds off your back during a squat. Catharsis during or after a tough workout can serve to drop your stress levels.

Your doctor might recommend some level of physical activity to stabilise above-average blood pressure readings; your practitioner might recommend losing an additional 10lb to 20lb to assist in reducing chronic joint pains or to lower your risk for non-communicable diseases — don’t take the nihilistic dietary and fitness approach.

Take your doctor’s advice and reverse some of those negative numbers in the medical result sheet. You’re worth it. That’s why this motivating factor is high on our priority list. Health is wealth.

My number one motivating factor is to simply be fit. What does it mean to be ‘fit’?

Let’s forget the social media ‘fit’ people that are backflipping up a hill with ankle weights on.

The noun fitness means “the condition of being physically mobile and healthy” or my favourite, “your ability to carry out tasks without undue fatigue”.

That could be simply tying your shoe laces or walking/running a 5K.

Fitness gives you the endurance, flexibility and strength that provides new options in your life.

Having the option to do a physical event based on your feeling that day or week is much preferable to having an internal debate about whether you are physically able to complete the event.

Fitness can be considered life’s currency. If you have enough of that fitness currency, you can spend it on almost any activity that your financial budget can afford.

Find out why you work out. You might have another why to add to the list, you know your reasons.

Write them down, update them monthly and continue your fitness journey. Be honest with your efforts and remember that it’s your lifestyle, be unapologetic about it!

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