Challenge, competition and camaraderie
“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”- Dr. George Sheehan
Creating new challenges has been the best way for me to stay in shape and continue improving my fitness level. Since our bodies adapt quickly, every six weeks I design a new routine for my fitness boot camp that always has fun, new exercises that must be mastered to challenge the nervous system in a new way.
The motivation, intensity and energy that I feel from group fitness, whether instructing or participating, is much more powerful than exercising alone. Other People are the key ingredient to a better workout because on my own I might not push myself to the same level. Scheduling workouts with a training partner that I respect and admire has always helped me to have fun and succeed as well. For many years I would meet with a friend for strength training who was a little stronger than me. In addition to the camaraderie, this always created a healthy competition and drive to improve.
Since I’ve been very active in strength training and bodybuilding competitions for many years more recently I have focused on triathlon competitions, cycling and running. Signing up for races and competitions helps me to improve by setting goals with a definite timeline. When I have a weak area, like swimming, I schedule workouts with a trainer or friend to force myself to practice and improve on something I would not do on my own. FITNESS IS AN EXPERIENCE.
By Ian Kelley
From The Essex Edge On Fitness quarterly newsletter 2011