Recovery Slogans Tied to Fitness
By O.R. Marv
The following are my own interpretations of sayings I’ve heard over and over again in the rooms of recovery that I find can be applied to fitness, especially when working out in a gym.
These are my own opinions, and I respectfully tie them to fitness, while recognizing that their original intent is FAR more important than any superficial correlation I can create.
“My ego is not my amigo”
Ego in the gym is a huge contributor to poor form and therefore poor results for both sexes.
For some reason, we as guys, want to impress total strangers with the amount of weight we are moving.
We walk into the gym and want to lift ALL of the weights at once.
For women that may translate into fearing trying to learn new movements, in particular heavy weight training movements, and not wanting to look or feel “silly.”
So you know what – DROP YOUR FREAKIN’ EGO!!!!
Who cares what these total strangers may think?!?
They’re too worried what others are thinking about them to pay any mind to you.
Proper form and correct exercises will always reap the rewards.
This means using less weight and taking the time to properly learn the correct form for important lifts (i.e. squats, rack pulls, pullups, overhead presses, bench press, rows etc.).
Stop worrying what other people may or may not think of you – that’s a quick route back to insanity and self-doubt.
Unless athletic drugs are used there is no quick fix to physique enhancement outside of two specific scenarios – either you are lifting “heavy” weights for the first time ever, or you are returning to the gym after a long period off but you developed quite a bit of muscle in the paste
This is also true for a return to health after years of abuse.
There are no magical pills, powders, regiments, at home exercise equipment or routines that will take all the work out of the equation.
Physique enhancement and increased fitness happens very slowly – this is why most people give up before they see any improvement.
Be realistic, but know that like long term sobriety with active recovery it requires work and it does pay off…..every…..single…….time.
“One day at a time”
Bruce Lee famously said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
Fitness, like recovery, is a long-term endeavor.
Fitness, like recovery, is a journey not a destination.
Consistency is what creates results, not shooting star quick-commitment that burns out faster than it started.
Fitness stems from proper hydration, nutrition, rest, weight training, conditioning, yoga, stretching, active recovery, etc.
Just like recovery, it’s intimidating to think about having to do those things for years upon years; but a single day at a time mentally makes it much more manageable.
“Progress not perfection”
This has been a huge struggle for me over the years as I had developed pretty severe body dysmorphia in my early to mid 20’s.
I am always my own harshest critic so I never took pride in my improvements but only picked out my inadequacies.
Most of us will never achieve a perfect physique….but that’s ok.
I for one am no longer willing to trade in my well-being to have my outsides be deemed as “perfect.”
Take pride in the accomplishments you’ve reached and not what you are missing – this will enable you to hold your head higher and may improve self-esteem slightly (although it’s important to not have your physical appearance be the only thing your self-worth is based upon as I once did).
“Cannot substitute one drug for another”
Just because you put down the recreational drug doesn’t mean you can pick up an athletic drug.
I tried to do this and every time the recreational drugs and alcohol always came back eventually.
A drug is a drug is a drug.
I know multiple people in recovery who feel that since they are not mood-altering they don’t count and therefore justify using them.
That is of their concern and their own personal choice.
All I can say is that for me you bet their ass they are mood altering and addictive.
“Keep coming back”
Plateaus are inevitable.
They are also very disheartening and can sometimes get people to give up and quick exercising altogether.
This is when it pays off to remember what you are doing is right – that you are working on bettering yourself.
If there were no such thing as plateaus we would all be bench pressing cars and frankly I have yet to see that.
This is also when a very carefully and well-constructed training regiment is required that takes periodization into account (this means structured rest and “back-off” weeks to prevent psychological, physical, and nervous system burnout) as well as adequate nutrition and active recovery.
“Give yourself a break”
This is true in pretty much any circumstance you can think of outside of downright refusing to assume any responsibility.
With fitness this is especially true with less-than-ideal nutrition choices or when having a “bad” training session.
These, like plateaus, are inevitable.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to train with balls-to-the-wall intensity every single time or have absolutely perfect nutrition.
Don’t beat yourself up nor assign some insane sense of morality to these things.
“Get a sponsor (you can do business with)”
While fitness is NOWHERE near as serious as endeavor as recovery, it does pay off to have someone with lots of experience and practice to guide you.
This means taking the time to find someone who truly knows their stuff, is honest about whether or not they are pharmaceutically enhanced (a LOT of big names in the industry lie about this to make a living), and is willing to give you their time (and not some cookie cutter “customized” plan).
“Keep it simple stupid!”
Everyone wants to make fitness some complicated formula.
Just like recovery, it’s not E = mc² but 1+1=2.
Yes there are many variables that come into play, but one can only realistically take into account a few of them at a time without it completely consuming one’s life.
Fitness should ENHANCE life, not CONTROL it.
I had it control me for years and it led me to extreme body dysmorphia, low self-esteem, and self-destructive behaviors.
“Make a habit getting comfortable with being uncomfortable”
Get out of your comfort zone – staying in your comfort zone will not change your body.
It’s the act of performing something your body isn’t accustomed to handling that creates the need for it to change and grow to meet this challenge.
If you do the same workout month after month after month, with nothing changing, you bet your ass neither will your body.
Next time you’re at the gym take a look around….even if it’s “rush hour” time I guarantee you only a handful of people at a crowded gym are really pushing themselves hard and creating the need to grow.
I hope you got maybe a chuckle or two out of these connections I made between recovery slogans and fitness.
Until next time…we can do this thing.
One Day at a Time
One Set at a Time
One Rep at a Time