Enjoy Life

BIG PICTURE...


Lately you can find a broad range of new posts and content coming your way.

You may have seen that there have been a lot of kettlebells in my training.

You may have listened to my last months worth of short uses or my latest episode with Vin. 

I've been embracing the larger picture of allowing my time in the gym to serve my life.

There comes a time when you have to really check yourself and ask why you're doing what you do, and don't feel like you have to keep up the current path because of expectations of what you've done in the past or what you believe you're supposed to be doing for any other reason than your own.

I've been the strength guy for a long time, and for years I've allowed that to mean barbell work. You'll notice that in my videos I'm still challenging myself, but you won;t see any barbells in there...

There are so many ways to challenge yourself and improve, to grow stronger, and it means redifing what we mean by strength.

If we give our perception of strength over to the barbell and basic lifts, we will be clouded by the idea that we cannot be strong without hitting those lifts. I'm here to tell you that while they are very useful, there are endless ways and movement patterns we can use to increase our ability to be useful in this world.

It starts with being honest with yourself.... what do you need to be strong for?

If you're not a competitive athlete, or no one is paying you to lift a bar for any reason, you may not need to spend as much time under one.

Taking a step back and looking at the reasons you starting in the gym in the first place can be a very freeing practice.

Did you start lifting because you wanted to be more capable? Because you wanted to move better, carry objects, lift your kids, hike with friends, be ready to have fun outside and enjoy anything you want to do without worrying if you can handle it? 

Somewhere along the way the goal got lost for the means. Many of us have placed too big an emphasis on what we do in the gym for the sake of it rather than the outcome it provides.

If you want to be stronger, like I do, what do you want to be stronger for?

I'm discovering new ways to train my body while keeping my mind in check and my expectations for the training itself lower so I can see then end.

It becomes about longevity. 

I want to do this for a long time, and I want you to do it also.

The barbell is great, effective, teaching, rugged, and versatile, but it's a tool. If I'm building a house and you hand me a hammer and tell me this will do the trick, there will come a point in building that house where treating everything like it's a nail and needs to be funded in will not make that house any better, in fact, it may stall my progress.

Having access to to right tools for the job will make you able to continue working and improving without hitting a wall, getting hurt, breaking, or becoming frustrated or burnt out because it's taking so much effort to take the smallest step forward, or taking no steps at all.

I've been exploring new ways to challenge myself, and I've been bringing them to you in the form of video, posts, and I hope you can find value in my journey.

You'll see the kettlebell, bodyweight movements such as pushups, pull-ups, squats, jumps, in as many forms as I can imagine them, and then you'll see me exploring new avenues such as gymnastics, animal based movements, juggling, balancing, ninja and parkour style training, hammers, clubs, medicine balls, anything that will force me to move outside of the handful of basic patterns I've spent so many years living within.

So I leave you with this, keep the end in mind, the goal, the vision of who you want to be when this training works to serve your life.

For me, I will be having a very easy time getting down on the floor and playing with my daughter, feeling light and energetic as I jump around and run and enjoy the outside with her. I am able to to hike with friends, go on dates with my wife that involve rock climbing, exploring a mountain, swimming in a lake, paddling a boat, riding a bike....

I won;t feel broken down from my training, so sore I can;t enjoy my life to it's fullest, so caught up in what I'm going to be doing in the gym that I am neither mentally present or physically willing to engage in my life because I want to be prepared for that training.

It has to serve your life.

We aren't meant to live within our training, we are meant to smile, enjoy life, as humans we can move and run and play and we should choose activities that don't make us frustrated for sake of doing them within the gym.

Get better at being you, be happy about it, smile more, sweat, breathe heavy, lift things and yourself in different ways, stay challenged, but stay open to the big picture of your life.

Ryan Parr