Everywhere you look these days there are all different styles of “fitness,” and people are posting about why their way of “fitness” is better than yours. There is a style of exercise for just about everything you can think of. Each one of these have a different approach to how to get you fit, and will have a different viewpoint on what “fitness” actually is.
I truly believe that the word “fitness” means something different for everyone that you ask. Ask an Olympic weightlifter, a marathon runner, a group fitness instructor, a yoga teacher, a Planet Fitness gym goer, and a stay at home mother what their definition of fitness is I guarantee that they will all give you different answers. If you look up the definition of “fitness” online, you will be greeted with many extremely vague interpretations. Fitness has never been ultimately defined by anyone so everyone has their own interpretation. Each gym that you enter and every person has a different motivation behind their personal definitions of fitness.
The Definition Is Constantly Changing
What makes defining fitness even harder is that our definitions of fitness for ourselves and other people are constantly changing. My definition now is fueled by the fact that I am a CrossFit athlete, a full-time CrossFit coach, I am constantly trying to keep my back safe after having broken my spine in 2011, and stay healthy overall to have a good quality of life. When I was in high school and college my definition of fitness was how fast I could run down the soccer field, how many goals I scored and how close I was to having a six-pack on my nothing but carb heavy diet.
As we grow and change as individuals, our fitness should grow and change with us, and I find that to be very important. Our lives change, our goals change and with that our versions of what we want for fitness in our lives should be changing as well.
If we get stuck on one way of thinking, close our minds off to exploring new ways of fitness, and only seek out one specific goal for our whole life journey than we may never see the potential that our bodies have and what we are really capable of achieving.
My personal definition
How I currently define my fitness:
Remaining active in all areas of my life to keep my body strong and healthy for a lifetime of physical strength and adaptability, and never being limited by having a body that cannot handle what life throws at me.
I am working hard now to develop a strong and healthy body that will allow me to live a long and meaningful life. I love the way that I train and the strength that I have and how I keep surprising myself every day at what I can handle.
5-10 years from now I expect my definition of fitness to change again. I believe that it is important for all of us to allow our definitions to change as we change through life. Our definition will grow with us and change for the better based off things that we learn and how we choose to develop our lives. A couple years from now I may not be competing anymore, or I may have found an entirely new way to be competitive. Maybe I will have chosen a new sport to be a part of. Maybe I’ll have to endure another physical setback that I am working through. Whatever it is that happens, my definition of fitness will adapt to it, and will always be based off of keeping me healthy and physically ready for whatever comes my way.
Define your own fitness
Your definition of fitness may be completely different than mine, and that’s totally fine, but I encourage you to define it for yourself. Once you find out what fitness really means to you, you will have a better understanding of why you are doing what you do and have more motivation to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. So, what does fitness mean to you?
You’re strong enough to do it. So go do it.
Written By: Lindy Barber