A few days ago, I got into a brief discussion with a member about his CrossFit T-Shirt addiction. Right away, I knew exactly how he felt and understood the psychology of his impulses. We both concluded that buying T-Shirts was his way of reinvesting into himself and his motivation. Given that this is a small expense, I would agree that having the right gear motivates me as well.
And before you think this is a blog convincing you that you should spend more on your fitness than you already do, it’s not. But I think it’s important to identify our individual triggers regarding what motivates us when we’re trying to stay the course. So, here are some ways that you can invest into your fitness that are free, cost effective, or just make sense.
Walking, running, adequate sleep, hydration, stretching, and meditation are all free. Whenever I struggle with my energy levels or feel off, I usually pick something on this list to work on. To be transparent, the one that I struggle with the most is sleep. For years, I couldn’t sleep more than 5 hours a night. So recently, I’ve been tracking it with a goal of 6-7 uninterrupted hours a night. Most nights out of the week, I get 6 solid hours, so I have some work to do.
In the grand scheme of things, buying healthy foods, getting an adjustment or a massage, and yes, you guessed it, having the right gear are all lower cost. For me, it’s having the right groceries in the house and food prepping. Trust me, I was in the restaurant business for 10+ years and I, too, love to eat out and be waited on, but eating most of your meals at home will keep those extra pounds off and fuel you appropriately for the rigorous way we like to train. I usually like to eat out once or twice a week. Any more than this, is overkill.
The right gym membership (duh), or a sick home gym, hiring a nutrition coach, booking a vacation as motivation, or surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals are all worth the expense and time. In my early twenties, I would go book a trip to Mexico or Miami, and 6 months out I’d purchase “Structure” Jeans (the original Skinny Jeans) with a waist I couldn’t dream of putting my arm in these days. I would then hang them up in my room so I would have to stare at them day in and day out. That’s all I needed to clean up my act and stay focused for the majority of the year.
In looking back over the years, I’ve used all of these tactics, at different points, and they all work. Whatever it is that keeps you on track, run with it; if it’s a T-Shirt or Sneakers, wear it with swag. If it is meal prepping or going to bed early, that will 100% give you the energy you need to perform at your best. And if it’s Skinny Jeans or bathing suits, buy them all and book that trip baby! At the end of the day, strive to understand what motivates you to stay the course.
At some point, you’ll look back in your later years and thank our younger selves we made the sacrifice to stay healthy.