Have you ever wondered what all of your time in the gym is preparing you for? Sure, us Miss Fits compete twice a year in power-lifting meets, but I’d say the majority of us don’t go to the gym to stand on a stage in a onesie. Most of us have a few common goals: to get in shape, gain confidence, lead a healthy lifestyle, and for some of you out there, to meet your soul mate. (I’ve found this last one unrealistic and therefore have given up on using the gym as a form of matchmaking.)
But what about everyday life? How in the world does squatting, dead-lifting and bench pressing apply to my daily tasks? Well, folks, I’m here to tell you about my real-life applications of fitness.
I’m the youngest of the Miss Fits, but I’ll be honest, there are times when my 23-year-old body feels much older. I was very serious about track and field in high school and found myself constantly overworked. I’ve also had an adventurous side that has taken me horseback riding, rock climbing, hiking and laboring away on the farm. I’ve had tendon replacement surgery, stress fractures in my shins, something funky in my shoulder that would sound like bubble wrap popping if I moved it wrong, and to top that off, jacked up muscles from poor movement.
This would make everyday tasks kind of challenging, not to mention all the fun things I enjoy doing. We underestimate the benefits of movement; the engaging of the proper muscles like our glutes and core. Before I thought about powerlifting, I had to learn to use my body, which took a lot of time. I was used to intense warm-ups, excruciating cardio and your classic static stretching. Since starting with Jim, my warm-up has changed significantly, and it’s something I can’t live without. I’ve started to understand the difference between flexibility and stability. For more understanding of the difference between and importance of them, visit Mike Robertson’s page here. If our body can’t stabilize properly, we begin to feel broken down, lack the results we’d like to see, and hurt constantly throughout the day. Foam rolling daily is a must for me, improving my tissue quality and breaking down scar tissue. (If you don’t have a foam roller, get one!) The video below will help many of you learn to warm your body up properly for a workout, and function for life.
I’ve had many experiences where I am so thankful for my strength, like lifting a lot of groceries, the occasional moving of residence, and standing up and sitting down. And just yesterday I had to push-start my car, which required me to have functioning hips and an engaged core! In a week I’ll be hiking down a mountain in the country of Haiti with my belongings on my back. I’m definitely glad I’m fit for that! My personal favorite application of fitness is sprinting through an airport like I’m being chased by a clown (which is a frightening thought) with a backpack, purse and small suitcase. Let me tell you, this happens to me quite often, and my ability to make sharp turns with excess luggage gets better every time, though I may take down a few innocent bystanders. I couldn’t be that swift and chronically late if my body wasn’t moving properly and was hurting constantly like it has in the past. So, thank you, Jim Laird, for eliminating my excuse to miss a flight because I couldn’t get to the gate in time.