It’s easy for me to get nostalgic about my early days of training. When I discovered Muay Thai, it quickly became my sole passion. It did for me what true loves does for most people. It captivated me, thrilled me, challenged me and made me want to be a better person. Not everyone may feel this way about a sport, but everyone that becomes a fighter or even becomes good at Muay Thai feels at least a little like this at some point and remembers it well.
I started Muay Thai in the spring of 2002 in Philadelphia when I was 24 years old. I was dating a guy who trained, and he wanted to teach me, Muay Thai. At the time I was bartending in the city after graduating from college. I hit up Bally’s to work out a little on occasion, but had little clue about fitness other than what I gathered from playing basketball in high school and reading Shape magazine – and I had never taken a martial art in my life.
This is me, probably thinking about something to do with purpose 😉
When I have a consult with a new client I ask some unorthodox questions about their life. I want to know if they have long term and short term goals. I want to know if they enjoy their work. I want to know their priorities, passions and focus. Essentially what I am getting at, is do they feel they have a purpose? The average client usually looks to hire a personal trainer because they want to lose fat, feel good physically and look better naked. What I have discovered over the years is clients rarely succeed at this if they are stressed, unhappy and/or hate their life. I’m not a therapist, but find my job does include a good deal of life coaching, as well as fitness and nutrition tip; especially since what motivates people is so closely tied with their priorities and their general attitude.
Today I’d like to take a closer look at one area people usually think is unrelated to their health goals, but is incredibly important: Purpose. There are many aspects of wellness. As a culture we tend to think that if we just control what we eat and do enough exercise our bodies will magically be what we want them to be and we will automatically be free from disease and illness. This black and white thinking based solely on calories in, calories out leaves out a major component of wellness, the mind. If our minds are not healthy, we are not healthy.