Monday, July 22, 2013

Why Work Out?

When the hit movie 300 came out I was anxious to watch it. Not only had I heard how incredible the cinematography was, I am a Gerard Butler fan and having 300 warriors in nothing but fight scenes is truly a manly sort of movie so I just had to take it in. Not only was the movie really good, I was truly amazed at the physical shape that Gerard Butler and all the actors were in.

Having an inquisitive nature, I had to research what it took for them to get into this kind of shape.  Amazingly, Butler worked out for nearly 8 hours a day for several weeks to get into shape for the movie. He stated it was the most grueling thing he had ever done, but in shape he was!
You might think the point of this article is “if you want to look like Gerard Butler in 300 you have to lift weights eight hours a day for several weeks!”  While that is one reason to work out, I want to look at a very different perspective.  What impressed me most about the movie was the community and support the 300 warriors gave each other.

We all know exercise is good for your body and mind, but one of the best reasons to start an exercise program is the overwhelming support, love and friendship you will receive from your fellow athletes! While many clubs or organizations can have their social flaws, I am continually amazed at the outpouring of support, love, encouragement and friendship I find in the endurance and work out community.

I recently completed my first Half Ironman Triathlon in Raleigh on June 2nd and I could not have done it without the support of the endurance community made up of family, friends and yes even complete strangers.  I worked at this goal for three years and never once along the way have I encountered anyone that was not encouraging, supportive, passionate and friendly towards me and my efforts.

As I crawled out of Jordan Lake, there was Scott Prince with words of encouragement.  As I entered the transition to run, there was my wife, daughter and friends cheering me on. On the run I encountered many of my fellow workout partners, suffering in their own right cheering me on.  Ann Prince could only say “Chris I am so proud of you!”  In fact some of my fellow triathletes didn’t even race that event but went to Raleigh to cheer us all on, making everyone feel like professionals! I even received high fives from complete strangers!  The top competitors were cheering on those at the back of the field, encouraging them all the way home.

I will never been an elite competitor but I will always compete, mostly because of the sense of unqualified belonging and support I get from those that workout as well.  I have made new friends, am in the best shape of my life and always feel a part of something. No matter if it is the Princess Running Club, a yoga class, Masters Swimming or running with friends, it’s a powerful community! That my friends is one of the best reasons to start exercising. You belong, let us show you what it is all about!