Everyone at some point or another has stood in front of the mirror–naked perhaps–and thought to his/herself, that he/she wants something tighter, smaller, bigger, and possibly tanner.
You know that no two fingerprints are identical–well, the same goes for the human body. Your body is unique to you, and although you may not be completely satisfied with your physique, know that someone in this world would trade places with you in a second if they could, so you should appreciate it.
When I first started CrossFit, one of the things I loved the most about its gyms was that there were no mirrors. Instead, the emphasis was placed on being the hardest worker in the room; a novel idea in the fitness industry, if you ask me.
If you look around class, you’ll notice that even our top performers don’t necessarily have a perfect physique; they may be attractive to us because they look like poetry in motion as they perform their daily workout. Most, come to love their body because it serves them well in competition. Shorter limbs don’t equate to not being able to wear a certain style of clothing; it simply means they’re quicker at most barbell movements, squats, and definitely burpees. Longer limbs can be helpful when it comes to monostructural cardio tasks, as well as hitting that wallball target without having to jump.
But the truth is, until you can accept your body and appreciate it for what it can do for you, you’ll always want something tighter, smaller, bigger, and possibly tanner.
It wasn’t until I found CrossFit that I understood that health and fitness wasn’t only about physically looking good; it was about getting healthy on the inside and improving my work capacity. The harder I worked in the gym, the more confident I felt about my body. I stopped looking in the mirror as much. Instead, I became enthralled with the process, which has not steered me wrong yet.
Now that I’m in my 40s, I’ve accepted all the stages of my body and performance. And although I, too, want to look good naked, I’ve accepted my body type. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to make tweaks to one’s physique, but I’m never going to look like Coach Chu, LP will never have legs like Coach Megin, and no matter how much Coach Kyle can squat, or how fast he can run, he’s not going to wake up and look like Tommy Wood.
My advice is simple for men and women:
First, love your body because it’s yours and yours only. Don’t obsess over being built like someone who you are not meant to be built like. Third, if you want change, focus on being healthy, strong, and the hardest worker in the room. Put the work in and fall in love with the process.