Are you stuck in a box?
One day I was sitting there in my large metal box I call a car, grateful to be escaping my working box otherwise known as a cubicle, driving to my CrossFit box to workout and it hit me;
I live my life in a box.
I felt trapped like a panther in a cage. Sure I was in decent shape because I work out at least five times a week but I was pasty white and my eyes could barely handle the sun when I walked outside.
My job consisted of staring into a box and talking to people, who I never saw, over the phone. I started to think hey I could do this in a prison cell and I wouldn’t even have to make my own food.
I started to think what was the point of all my staying in shape, working hard and earning money?
Was it really to live my life in a box? The walls don’t care if I can do 40 pull-ups in a row.
We all reach that point at some time or another, and if you haven’t yet you will.
The point where you start to wonder if it’s worth it to wake up at 5 am to get to the gym. Where you say to yourself, “look I’m in good enough shape I can skip today, it’s not like I’m a professional athlete”.
While that feeling and those thoughts are normal they will never get you to where you want to be in the gym or in life. So, what do you do when the “I don’t want to” hits?
You find something bigger to hold on to.
When I started doing CrossFit I told my coach that I wasn’t worried about my weight or putting on muscle I wanted to be able to just go out into the woods and run and jump and enjoy myself without feeling like I was going to die.
Eventually, I lost sight of that and working out became about just, well working out.
The thing is I would never be the best worker outer. It wasn’t motivating for me.
I had lost my sense of adventure and the thrill of life.
I had lost my why and I knew that I had to get that back to keep me going.
I knew I had to get back outside, put my fitness to good use and go on an adventure. The minute I planned that first adventure I began to look forward to the gym again.
Look outside the box
For you, that something bigger could be called your why, or your purpose, or your driving force.
It might come in a different form like the 63-yr-old lady we have at our gym who comes every day and pushes herself whether she wants to or not so that she can play with her grandkids.
It might come in the form of the 20-year-old kid who needs to lose 50lbs so he can feel comfortable with his body for the first time.
Maybe it looks like the new mom whose purpose to workout every day is to instill in her kid the idea that you can do hard things. Whatever you call it and whatever it looks like for you, you need one.
You need to look outside the box and find something bigger.
When we find our why we are able to attach the hard, boring, or sometimes painful tasks to the larger purpose of our lives.
We can create each day, or moment, or task as an adventure. This is what is so amazing about fitness, is it allows us to apply this concept to a small time frame.
When you reach that point in the workout where it feels like one more rep, one more step, or one more pound might do you in but you reach down and do it anyway, you are connecting to your why.
Here is the amazing thing about that. When you know you can do it in a workout you then know you can do it in life.
You know you can make that career move you’ve been wanting to make. You know you can have that crucial conversation with a loved one you’ve been needing to have. You know you can create the kind of life you’ve been longing to live.
The #1 biggest impact on your life is…
There is no other habit that will have such a far-reaching and profound impact on your life as fitness will.
It affects all aspects of life, the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Fitness is the keystone habit that supports everything else we want to do.
It is just that sometimes we get stuck thinking inside the box and it feels painful, boring, or just not worth the effort. It is time to think outside the box, think bigger, and create your why.
Author Shawn Achor quoted the ancient greeks saying, “Happiness is the joy that we feel when we’re striving after our potential.”
This is why in the middle of a marathon or an intense workout when the body is experiencing high levels of pain and discomfort people can report high levels of satisfaction and happiness.
They have attached their effort towards reaching their potential. When you create your why you are glimpsing your potential and you can create each task as a part of the adventure of reaching that potential.
Life is the ultimate adventure and we get one shot at it as far as I know. By taking care of our fitness and doing the “hard” things we will reach our potential, be happy, and be fulfilled when we reach the end of it.
Get out there today and give it everything you’ve got. Push it to the last rep. Live on purpose and create each task as a piece of your larger adventure.
Live life inspired! Live life adventurously!
Guest Post By Craig Shumway
Craig is a former owner and coach at CrossFit Mesa. He comes from a background in cross country and track.
Currently, he owns and operates Ultimate Adventures where his mission is to inspire people to make each day an adventure.
He teaches people how to put their fitness to good use and embrace life.