Oprah got Lance Armstrong to fess up, and I couldn't be happier. Not that I want to see anyone's career ruined, but because I want people to know the truth about sport, fitness and what we see.
I find people are strange. As soon as they figure they can't be as good as someone at something, they give up. I like to go for rides on my bike, but I will never be as fast as Lance, so I may as well not even go see the scenery. Right? Wrong.
If you have never cycled for hours, got tired and stopped to take in a beautiful sunset with loved ones, you my friend, are missing out.
As a strength coach, I have been jaded. If you ever do a Google search on athletes/celebrities busted for performance enhancing drugs, the list is way too long. That list is also just the list of people who got caught -- how many have cheated and never been busted? Sport and athletes should not be our role models, they should be someone or something we watch while we are recovering from our own day of fun and adventure.
No one reading this is ever going to play pro sports and get paid millions of dollars. Well probably not, I don't know who actually is reading this. But you may have children, family and friends who want you around and want to have fun with you. What is more fun than playing?
Play time and adventure is something that this nation lost a long time ago. Fitness, exercise and health moved into the gym. People got bored and intimidated because they had to go somewhere specific, do something specific, and do it over and over. No promise of a six-pack will ever replace overcoming boredom and the fear of being shamed at a gym. Athletes at a pro-level get paid millions of dollars to go to work, and do the same thing over and over. They are not the picture of health -- they are the picture of resilience. They are confident in the physical capabilities. The gym is home to them. For me, and my clients it is a means to an end. To get outside and have fun. I put my clients on 90-day challenges all the time. We do it online, in person however. The goal: take 90 days, set some goals and get a little more active each day. Nothing big, and often, the gym never factors in. Sounds great right? Back to being healthy and making memories.
Stats Can releases an update on our activity level. It is far from where we should be. It is this update that has me working with corporations and Virgin Health Miles to get people to at least take 10,000 steps in a day on average.
The benefit of professional sports is that we have learned new tips and tricks to make training more fun in the gym. The goal of your time at the gym should be to make getting outside and interacting with nature safer and more enjoyable. Go see the world, explore, have an adventure. What works for me is being able to run two miles in 20 minutes without a problem, be able to do 10 chin-ups, 20 push ups and have the get-up-and-go to answer any challenge from any friend. At any point in my life, if someone tells me there is fun to be had, I am healthy enough to go do it.
What do I take away from sports training? Functional fitness that lets my body move and adapt to the world around me. Why do I love Sunday football? I get to sit down and rest on the couch with the girl I love after we have made a week of memories. Usually couldn't name a player on the field, but love to watch as they do their thing.
Sport training is also why Danielle(my girlfriend) and I put an application in to the Amazing Race Canada. We want to make memories that require healthy bodies and strong minds. I even put our audition tape in this post. Fit people win the Amazing Race. We want to prove to the nation that fit people have more fun. I also would like to meet Ben Mulroney, but that's a post for the hair care section of the Huffington Post.
So don't beat up poor Lance, no one should be surprised. He's a pro athlete, told to win at all costs. He was just doing his job. He isn't your role model. Your role model should be someone who works all day and still has the energy needed to play with kids, cook, laugh and enjoy this world. You get one shot at this life, what works for me is fitness to make memories.