Fitness has become porn. The clothing, the selfies, and the spray on tans. The pony tails, the hipster beards, the tattoos and the colourful runners. The colourful summer running events that aren’t even for charity. The Beats headphones, the New York Yankees ball caps, eye lash extensions and the tight-tucked tee shirts. Boy, don’t you look great on instagram.
I was told “we’re not about vanity here”, when I first came to Talisman Centre. I’m not sure I understood, at the time.
I wanted to summarize 2 and 1/4 years of my learning at the Talisman Centre. And this is it. Of all of the things I’ve learned; this is the post. I’m a “bottom line” kind of guy.
Heal your body. Heal your heart. Heal your mind. Do this, and you’ll take all of these words and be more complete than you’ve ever been. You see, when I first came to the Talisman Centre in January 2014, I knew what I wanted. “I’m here to get healthy, but I don’t need a have to buy a new wardrobe. I can’t afford that”, I said to Jackie. “We’ll see”, she replied.
I was wrong. Jackie was right.
I started at the Talisman Centre with 1990s methods of fitness, it was all I knew. I was dated, but eager. I started heart broken, lonely and lost. I started saying “I don’t want abs, I just want to trim up my core”.
Feeling strong feels good, I’ve learned. I’ve also learned that I don’t like feeling weak. Not like how weak I felt when I started. I started at the Talisman Centre distracted from the Talisman Centre. I was SO busy. I was important. I think maybe I just felt important and busy. David said, “Courage, is what matters most. Have the courage to do it”, he said. Integrity is self-accountability, but courage means “cor” (in Latin) and that is your heart. I learned from David, that if I apply my heart, I will have all things.
Jackie was right. And David was right, too.
I think back to all of these conversations, and I remember them vividly. Sitting in the Personal Training Studio office with Jackie on my intake interview; standing on the track talking to David. It’s all so vivid. I’m proud of the fact I listened. In fact I listened very carefully. I’m not sure I believed it… or at least my ego was filtering the message. But I heard what they said. And maybe it slowly took me 2 years to get it, but I get it.
Healthy living is a life choice, and will be completed, one way or the other. Your health is like debt on a credit card. Let it slide, and you’ll pay interest trying to get caught up for the rest of your life. Pay off your money-debt or your health-debt… and you’ll feel amazing. I now feel health-debt-free. At the same time, I am now also credit card debt free. Now isn’t that amazing how my fitness habits have translated to real life? I’m not prepared to call it a coincidence at all.
“I’ll know you’re in, when you come here without David. That’s how I’ll know when you’re truly in”, said Jackie. Now I go without David. “I have to do SOMETHING today”, I’ll say to myself. Even if it means just hitting golf balls at the Golf Dome waiting for summertime… I will do that “something” today.
The PUSH Challenge has been patient with me. Talisman Centre has been patient with me. Each year I have made some amazing gains… knocking almost 15 minutes of a 20K bike… knocking 4 minutes off of a 3K run… or almost 10 minutes off a 5K run. (I still don’t like running, btw… I’ve also learned that’s OK too). Each of those, and many other victories, are something to be proud of. But after my 3rd PUSH Challenge, I can’t help but look back at those cumulative accomplishments.
When you make a decision about what you want to do with your life, you can choose the porny places with tight booty shorts, muscle shirts and pink racer back strappy fancy sports bras that are in the mirror. Or, you can instead look inside yourself… and forget the shallow vanity of what “fitness” has become. Pornification of you? Some magazine’s expectation of what you SHOULD or WANT to look and feel like?
My suggestion is to choose between 2 things. What do you want? Seriously deep down, WHAT DO YOU WANT? If the answer to that is to want to pornify yourself, then you go ahead. But I’ll gladly bet, that’s not what you WANT. That’s what you’ve learned to want.
And here is what I’ve learned.
Humility is humility
Integrity is integrity
Hard work is hard work.
Heart is heart.
Commitment is commitment
Listening is listening
Succeeding is succeeding
Porn is porn
And courage is King.
It all sounds so simple. And it is. I have had help. I’ve dislocated joints, had MRI’s, seen numerous specialists, had allergy tests, seen nutritionists, chiropractors, and my friends have been awesome. I’ve had surgery. I’ve seen countless massage therapists, torn ligaments, rowed until I puked, had hours of counselling and I’ve slept. So many people have touched my success, and I’ve needed them all. But the team at Talisman Centre is the core of it all. I always said “I wanted to trim up my core”, little did I know that when I said that, I was going to trim up the “cor” of my character.