Lifts. Reps. Sweat. Sacrifice. Countless hours spent in the gym. We long for it. We crave it. We need it. But for what? Confined to the four walls of the gym, does all that effort become little more than sport?
I’m beginning to believe that what society has now popularized as an activity in itself - training - was never designed to be confined to four walls. The gym was merely meant to be the practice arena. An area to refine the craft. To bring it back out into the world stronger, faster and better than it was before.
I realize now that the hours of training were never meant to be the end result, but what allows us to interact with the world in ways we couldn’t have before. And that realization prompted a single question to run through my mind over and over…
WHAT AM I TRAINING FOR?
From that simple question came the idea to find ways to play, practice and move the way I do in training, anytime, anywhere, with anything available to me.
My goal became to redefine “training” from in a gym to anything I would interact with out in the world. And to incorporate anything I want to do in the outside world, into my training.
We’ve been given this ability to move, to use our body to do things and take us places. To not use that, to not expand that, and to not push that potential into the world you interact with every day, is a shame. My goal was to not be limited in my thinking and to be able to adapt my skills, my movements, and the body I’ve worked so hard for, to any environment. To force my mind and my body to change the way it took shape, performed movements, and interacted with what was in front of it.
MY CHALLENGE TO YOU
For any of you that want to push yourself in an unorthodox way, I challenge you this: View the world in front of you as if it was your only gym. Take what you wish you could do in the world and bring it into your training.
Let those neat and tidy lines that have been place in front of you begin to blur. Rather than being guided by the railings and fences the world puts up to move you as it pleases, let them become obstacles to jump over.
THE WORLD CAN BE YOUR PLAYGROUND
Let those buildings at city hall, not only be a place to pay taxes, but a playground to move, jump, sprint, and adapt to.
Let the park behind your house transform from grass and trees to a sports arena.
Those 30 stairs in front of you. Let that be your gym for box jumps, inclined sprints, or uneven squats.
Park benches. Dips, push ups and elevated planks.
That overhead pipe in your underground. Chin ups, leg lifts, single arm hangs.
Transform your world from a concrete jungle to an endless playground. Allow everything around you become something you can navigate and play with. Limited only by what you can see, let even the simplest things, like cracks in a sidewalk, become a chance to refine your jump skills and co-ordination.
BLUR THE LINES
When you begin to blur those lines, the world around you changes. You realize that with nothing more than creativity and effort, all of those hours spent in the gym can and will go so much further than looking and feeling good. You will begin to adapt to any environment.
My challenge to you is to go to a park or any other public place and look for new ways to practice what we’ve so easily confined to a gym. It doesn’t matter if it’s push ups, squats, crawling, or trying to walk on your hands. Just find some ways to apply your current craft to the environment around you.
Find a park bench and choose three ways to play on it aside from sitting. Figure out three things you can do with a wall besides leaning on it. View your environment through fresh eyes and see what is around for you to play with.
Before you know it, you will begin to see new uses for everything around you. The bland will speak to you differently and the most boring of places will become your playground. The world around you will become your gym. And it is always open.
Written by Julian DeSchutter
Julian is the co-founder of Chasing Sunrise, a community that understands with each sunrise, we are given a choice to make. We can either stay in bed waiting for life to come to us or we can get up and get after it chasing what we want.