Updated: May 4
When it comes to our personal health, we all have our internal struggles and external naysayers. At True Adherence, we believe that there is no one way, or person, by which we should define our fitness. Rather, there are many different ways we can embrace our health that are perfectly fine.
It was a pre-COVID era event. I was pitching True Adherence to a variety of fitness professionals at a large conference. The responses were mostly positive. Overall, I was excited about what our technology would do to enhance the in-gym exercise experience. That was until I got verbally backhanded.
“You're not fitness enough. You need someone else to endorse this product.”
The above quote was a little bit devastating. It came from an industry veteran who has hawked a variety of products through the years and been a side stage exerciser on some notable fitness videos through the years.
Granted, this event occurred during a physical low for me. I had an erroneously diagnosed foot injury (two blown tendons is not the same as plantar fasciitis) that led to some considerable weight gain on my part (60+ lbs.) So, I understood where it was coming from. However, I was still lifting some considerable weights in the gym (600lb deadlift right before getting the correct diagnosis on my foot.) So, I had to ask myself, "what is 'fitness' really?"
What is Fitness?
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, physical fitness is defined as “a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.” The "attributes" are specifically:
The fitness I was being accused of lacking was clearly body composition. However, on 3 of the 5 above, I was quite fit at the time. (Hint: cardio has never been one of them for me.)
For fun, I looked up some of the top athletes in the world. Here is what they look like:
In no particular order you have the following represented:
So, here are six of THE top athletes in their respective sports and what they look like. So, in your humble opinion, who is the fittest?
My FAKE opinion? None of them. Crossfit owns the titles "Fittest on Earth" and none of those athletes are crossfitters.
Thanks for indulging me on that one.
My opinion real opinion? It depends on who you relate the most too. The thing is, that can change over time. Maybe we want to focus on strength and therefore need to gain some weight to push heavier weights around. At other times, we want our joints to feel good so we focus on flexibility and take a ballet/barre/yoga class to resemble that.
I submit to you, dear reader, that fitness is in the eye of the beholder. It's how our efforts make us feel and view ourselves that determine what fitness is. If we can enjoy an activity that gets us moving and engaged with other people, that's an activity worth doing.
The quote this article generated from made me live one of the most awkward moments from the not smash hit by Dana Carvey "Master of Disguise." I was not fitnessy enough for the fitness club. (See the Turtle Club scene at the end of the article if you are unfamiliar.)
However, it depends on the fitness club I am trying to be a part of. Same goes for everyone else. If we want to be a strength athlete, gaining mass is the name of the game sometimes. If we want to be a dancer, we have to be flexible and have cardiovascular endurance. Most athletic sports involve a fine balance.
The only thing that remains for each of us is to decide, what facet of fitness do I most want to work on today? Let's just focus on today.
Enjoy the "Turtle Club" clip: