What the Actual Heck is "Training?"
An excerpt from chapter 3 of More Inclined Towards Adventure, available digitally on this website (and part of the membership), and in analog form here. Training is not what we can do in the gym, but what the gym can do for us. What is the gym preparing us for, and what is that preparation going to look like? That’s what a training program is. Preparation for the real movement, the real challenges, the real adventures.
We move to experience. We train to be able to move. The training is not meant as the total experience, just the preparation.
I hope that we can all get to the point where we can ponder if the training we like is actually making us better, or if we’re simply getting better at the training we like. Free from cognitive dissonance, this answer might be annoying. Or life-changing.
Training is skill building. Training is learning movement and creating strength. Practicing your art of using your body. Training is your ritual for embodiment. Then get out. Go live. Create your masterpiece. Training in the gym means preparing to enjoy passion beyond the gym. Train well. Live bigger. As my client and friend Pixie put it, training allows us to be more inclined towards adventure!
Working out is just getting your sweat on. Nothing about it truly leaves the gym, except stinky clothes.
We are born into bodies that are fluid and free. Yet for most of us, this state of grace is sadly short lived. Judgment, emotional wounds, fear and loss become stored deep inside our muscles and bones, leaving us with shoulders that sag, hips that are locked, arms that can’t reach out, hearts that beat behind a stone wall.
When we move our bodies we shake up firmly rooted systems of thought, old patterns of behavior and emotional responses that just don’t work anymore. Rhythm, breath, music, and movement become tools for seeing, then freeing, the habits that hold us back. When we free the body, the heart begins to open. When the body and the heart taste freedom, the mind won’t be far behind. And when we put the psyche into motion, it will start to heal itself. — Gabrielle Roth, 1941-2012
Training is learning the rudiments, practicing your scales, learning to read and write notes, harmonies, and rhythms. Life is the song. Train the skills in the gym, then let those skills leave the gym and go make some goddamn music.
Training should be simple. Training should build a solid foundation from which to then shake up who we are and what we can do. The training, in itself, is the impetus. The training itself, however, is not the breadth or scope of our movement practice. If our training becomes the grand total of our movement (as it has for a vast majority of the fitness seeking population who’s only movement participation seems to be their workout), our experiences suffer. Train to move. Then get the frickity- frak out of the gym and actually move! “When the body and heart taste freedom, the mind won’t be far behind.” Or as John O’Donohue put it:
“Our bodies know they belong. It’s our minds that make our lives so homeless.”
Over.on YouTube, I show, yet again, why I'm not one of the cool kids. This video is a must-see for trainers, and a nice companion to that little book I wrote that is quoted above.