When I started exercising I really thought “if I could just get in better shape, then my life would be great”. “Getting in Shape” to me was completely physical, as I’m sure it is with most of you that are reading this. After years and years of pursuing this, we've come to believe a few things to be true:
fitness/health is multidimensional. It’s not just one aspect
we shouldn’t worry about excess in one category if we are really terrible in another
this isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible.
Fitness/Health is Multidimensional
How do we know this? Well, academically it's been studied and health has been defined for us too. But we all know lots of definitions and that doesn't always help. How do we test this ourselves? Well, let's pretend.
Take one of the criteria above and let's pretend a miracle happened while we were asleep tonight. We woke up and we were world-class at one of the 4 components in the picture above. Let's say we woke up and at that moment, we were world-class at physical fitness. However (and here's the catch), we were really terrible at the other 3 (mental, metabolic, or social health). What would this look like? Well, basically we'd own a Ferrari. We would own a Ferrari but:
we would only drive it alone (i.e. no social health & btw, if you've ever driven a fast car it's about 1000x more enjoyable with someone screaming in the passenger seat!)
our long term enjoyment would be impossible. The Ferrari would, quicker than expected, break down. We have no idea what to fuel the car with (i.e. no nutritional health).
We would either be self-obsessed or too concerned with the opinions of others (i.e. without any mental processes available, this is just one of many examples!)
Capacity and physical fitness are great, but without a comprehensive focus, you can't really expect to be healthy.
We shouldn’t worry about excess in one category if we are really terrible in another.
Every community is guilty of 'over-engineering' one thing while forsaking another.
If we exercise 5 times a week, weight and measure our food, but don't have any friends...is MORE squats and chicken the thing we really need?
If we're meditating, have a gratitude journal, & have a vision board but can't squat with our backpacks on...is a vibrational healing class the thing we really need?
If we're incredibly social and have memberships to three group class programs, but haven't seen any noticeable physical change, ever...is more/better group coaching the thing we really need?
Within our own community, we had over-engineered the physical (specifically "how perfect can we make a workout") while ignoring the nutritional & psychosocial. Why? Because it's easier! It's way less scary to specialize in one thing that you're already 'pretty good at' then continually looking for those things you are completely inept at.
This isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible.
We've found that we can't find many businesses that want to address physical, nutritional, and mental well-being because, well:
the more you add, the more complexity there is
the more you add, the more individuality there is
the more you add, the more you, as a business, have to know!
Fortunately, we've adopted a system that simplifies this:
we collect data
we determine what insight we can discover from the data
we try different "exercises" that should improve that component of our health
This isn't a perfect or quick process. We don't always nail the right exercise; it's trial and error. To say you want to be the best version of yourself takes a long time.
But is there anything better, more rewarding or more enjoyable then constant and never-ending improvement? For people like us there isn't!