During the winter of 2006, I was in the best shape of my life. I could sprint up and down a basketball court for hours before sensing any hint of fatigue.
During the summer of 2010, I was in the best shape of my life. I was well-toned and nearly benching twice my weight.
During the spring of 2014, I was in the best shape of my life. I had just completed my first Tough Mudder and felt like a million bucks.
It seems every four years, I find myself in a different state of “being in shape,” but these high points are just that — single points in time that come and go rather quickly.
I have a horrible tendency to strive for an achievable goal, accomplish it, and then take a nice long rest until I start seeing my physical appearance change or realize I can’t sprint for more than five seconds without begging for oxygen.
For many people, this would be a sign of an unsustainable practice of some sort, but I can’t really use that as an excuse. It’s something far more complex, and as I make a big shift committing to a long term approach to fitness, I’ve discovered I’ve unintentionally put myself in some sort of fitness journey limbo.
I’m stuck in a three way battle with Who I Was, Who I Am, and Who I Want To Be.
Who I Was
Who I Was is easily accessible, anxiously waiting to be recalled from the forefront of my memory.
Who I Was can be subjected to relatively objectionable, non-judgmental evaluation because the past is the past, and Who I Am doesn’t really care about the actions of Who I Was other than for the lessons he learned.
Who I Was did a lot of things right, which is actually why Who I Am is in such a quagmire at the moment. If Who I Was had simply been less curious, less dynamic, Who I Am would have no reason to be stuck in an endless state of contemplation.
Who I Was just had to go jump down a rabbit hole and go on an endless fitness journey to who knows where, only to happen upon a shapeless, colorless room with zero indication as to which way is forward.
Who I Was created Who I Am, and because of that, Who I Am begrudgingly gives thanks.
Who I Was experimented with so many fitness ideologies that a formula began to take shape, but unfortunately, he couldn’t quite finish it. Therefore, he left Who I Am to finish the work.
Who I Am
Who I Am is often much more difficult to place a finger on than Who I Was.
Who I Am, like the majority of his kind, struggles staying tuned to the present. He tends to dream about Who I Want To Be, often taking the good pieces of Who I Was and adding on some features that have yet to be earned, rather than grasping a full understanding of his present self, first.
Who I Am spends most days on the precipice of greatness, but chews on the idea of it more than taking the actions to become it. This is not a common practice as Who I Was could attest to, but lamenting on the past is counterproductive for Who I Want To Be.
Who I Am is used to taking measured, highly probable steps forward. He never makes decisions without diligently mulling things over, so no matter how close Who I Was came to cracking the code on the future of his fitness journey, Who I Am will make sure 100% of the solution is known before continuing.
Who I Am spent many early mornings, daydreams, and late evenings reviewing the work Who I Was put so much time and effort into, and has finally come to a tipping point.
Who I Am came up with the words you see on this page, and he is starting to make sense of it all just in time for the New Year.
Who I Am isn’t one for New Year’s resolutions, so he’ll pretend that’s not what he’s about to pursue (but it really is).
Who I Am is ready to make Who I Want To Be a reality, and the prospect of that is exhilirating.
Who I Want To Be
Who I Want To Be is an interesting profile to describe.
Who I Want To Be appears crystal clear to Who I Am, but Who I Was knows better than to live with this false notion. The only problem is Who I Am hasn’t been able to access this lesson from Who I Was.
Who I Want To Be is a bit like the unobservable universe—Who I Am knows it exists, but to what end and what dangers lie beyond the known?
Who I Want To Be wishes he could travel back in time to knock some sense into Who I Am because he holds a justifiable fear that their roads will never actually cross.
Who I Want To Be understands his existence is a mere fantasy, and always will be. There’s no way to get around the physics in this situation. But, he knows he plays a very important role in Who I Am’s life, and he doesn’t take that responsibility lightly.
Who I Want To Be builds up energy over time, so he can provide electrifying moments of indescribable motivation within Who I Am. He has applied a variety of inspirational methods, and has over the past year has started to find the core of what drives Who I Am.
Who I Want To Be is stretching out his hand, closer than ever to making contact with Who I Am, and is able to produce a connection that is nearly everlasting. Virtually every day of the week is filled with a transfer of unrelenting energy, pushing Who I Am to the brink of wonderful discoveries.
Who I Want To Be is itching to become Who I Am, and as momentum continues to build, his existence begins coming out of the cool, dark shadows of unexplored spaces and into the light everything that is known.
Enough Play, What Does This All Mean?
This is the undeniably confusing state of my fitness existence. But now that I’ve been able to put my confusion into a somewhat digestible format, it has brought me to a place of unification.
This revelation about my three states of existence has brought me a newfound clarity I’ve been without for quite sometime. Now that I can point to these three characters inside me, I can connect the dots to my past, present, and future with confidence.
This is what I needed to jumpstart my longterm journey to fitness, and in one way or another, it will take me to places I’ve only dreamt about.
As the New Year approaches, Year Zero will begin, and a five year journey of epic proportions will take control. Join me, and we can explore this wilderness together, hand-in-hand.