One of my consistent, mid thirty-something students was commenting that friends her age complain to her that they don’t get hit on much anymore, and, when they do, the guys aren’t as attractive as they once were. My student, who has a rocking toned body, said that she gets hit on more than ever and the guys are hot!
Much as we talk about exercise being good for your health and peace of mind, that isn’t enough motivation for most people to exercise. These are the reasons people got sold on eating vegetables growing up, not reason enough to make time during the day to drag your ass to the gym. Exercise is more than just about hard to quantify, abstract notions of health. It can completely change your life.
With nothing else to go on initially, we are judged at first glance by our appearance. When you see a fit person, you think that this is someone who manages their time well enough to find balance in their life and make good decisions about food, sleep, and exercise. When you see someone out of shape, you immediately question their ability to make good decisions about time, health, and priorities. Fit people are more likely to get asked out, hired, friended, or have people eager to do business with them.
I have a student who wanted to learn to play tennis so I started hitting with him last fall about when he also started training at my studio. He got the tennis technique down but there was no power behind his shots. We didn’t hit at all during the winter but he did my classes regularly and got in very good shape. When we resumed hitting in the summer, he was immediately better without having hit a single ball since we last played. Whereas his balls barely cleared the net before, they now penetrated with power and spin. He could get to balls with ample time and be ready to take a full swing. Improving his fitness radically improved his athletic ability.
I have another student who was in a dating funk when he started training with me. He was dating someone who was one of the blandest and boring people I had ever met. The relationship languished until my student got dumped. After a year of getting fit and being around more active and exciting people, my student resumed dating. He went on couple of dates, and I asked how it was going. He said he was going to end it. I asked why and he said that he didn’t find the person “attractive, funny, or interesting.” A year before, with his lower standards, he would have stayed the course.
I have students who I have repeatedly corrected and improved their posture via yoga and massage. These slouch masters have commented that when standing upright, they initially felt silly as if they were strutting and puffing up their chest. However, when shown themselves in the mirror, they realize that they look normal. People who slouch don’t just look like they lack confidence, they actually do lack confidence. It’s amazing to see the emotional change that tracks a physical change. The mind and body are extremely linked; more so than most people realize.
One of the most touching moments I have had was working with a woman who was in her fifties and had been a somewhat reluctant house wife and stay at home mom for years. She told me that she had always felt like she was supposed to do more in life. I introduced her to acrobatics and she really took off with it. She commented that she felt exciting again and like she wasn’t just a boring middle aged mom. It’s a total thrill to help someone relight their pilot light and see them fan the flame of passion. Your body is the only thing you ever really, really own. You better damn well take of it and explore all the amazing things that it (and you!) are capable of. Whether you are going to climb a mountain, a rope, or on top of your partner to have amazing sex, being fit will change your life.