Today is the Boston Marathon. It’s one of the few marathons that participants must qualify. I’m proud to be in the city to watch my cousin run.
If you’ve read a lot of my earlier work you may think this post is contrary. I’m generally against long-distance running but not for the usual reasons. Most strength coaches argue that steady-state cardio is a bad use of the exerciser’s time and even potentially damaging in the long-run. I agree with them.
I agree that the benefits of running on aesthetics only go so far and that lifting weights is more efficient. I do however think that Cardio can be a good way for a new exerciser to become accustomed to exercise. It’s a lot less daunting to spend time on a treadmill or elliptical than it is in the free weight area.
The Boston Marathon is a celebration of fitness and dedication. Very few people are in it to win. Most of the participants are so overjoyed to be here that nothing can take the smile off of their faces. They’ve overcame so much adversity to make it to this point and it’s time to celebrate. The journey to both qualify and run the Boston Marathon is taxing and not for the faint of heart. Some will run another marathon. Some will not.
Being in the city these past few days watching men and women proudly sport their participants jackets has changed my view of running. Never have I been at an event where the participants had such a respect for each other. It’s not about the competition or aesthetic goals that are prevalent in the fitness industry. It’s about challenging oneself and becoming a stronger person.
Yes long-distance running is potentially damaging on the body if not matched with an adequate strength program. Yes it’s not the most efficient way to get in shape. The runners will however wake up a different person tomorrow. They’ll have a sense of accomplishment that they’ve never felt before.
Isn’t that what life is all about? Why are your clients exercising? Do you still believe their goals are to lose 5lbs?
Understand what they’re really in the gym for. Your job is to help them become a stronger person inside and out. The program you give them shouldn’t be geared towards to weight loss. Instead it should be geared towards how they’ll feel when they lose the weight.