I decided to title my guest post for Juli’s blog, “Learning How to K.I.P.”, where K.I.P stands for “Keeping (it) In Perspective.”  Many of us, as athletes, business people, stay-at-home parents, students, and human beings, may occasionally need a friendly reminder that at the end of the day, we’re going to the gym to work out, and that is should be fun.

CrossFit (the fitness program that I follow) can have a strange ability to consume many aspects of a person’s life, from their sleep patterns, to their diet, to their dating habits (I’mTalkingToYouJuli).  Yet, while there are many positive outcomes that can come from hard work in the gym, we sometimes forget that our lifting, running, jumping, and throwing are supposed to be FUN!

I’ve had the honor of coaching some amazing individuals in my years as a CrossFit trainer.  Almost every single milestone that one of them hits makes anything I’ve “accomplished” as an athlete, myself, pale in comparison.  That’s because their achievements are rarely about the number of pounds they put over their head.  They’re not about the time they dropped re-doing a workout.  The focus isn’t just about how low (or high, depending on the circumstance) the number on the scale is getting.  The reason that I am so pumped when I hear these success stories, or even better, when I get to witness a special moment in person, is because of the profound impact that their accomplishment can have on the REST of their life.  When someone walks in the door of the gym for the first time, and after a few months of hard work they hit their first pull-up, or make it through their first 200m run without stopping… those have potential to be life-changing moments.

There are times, however, when we can become our own harshest critics.  If EVERY lift isn’t a PR, if EVERY run doesn’t feel fast, it can be easy to get down on ourselves.  “I’ve done this before, why can’t I do it now?”   “I wanted to work out today, but work ran late so I had to miss the gym.“  “I ate poorly this weekend.”  With every one of those situations, your best course of action is probably going to be to relax!  One off day doesn’t mean you’re getting weaker.  One missed class at the gym doesn’t mean you’ve lost all of the progress you’ve already made (your body could probably use the rest, anyways).  One “cheat meal”, or a vacation full of indulgence, doesn’t mean you will never reach your goals with food.  Instead, view those “set-backs” as opportunities to refocus yourself and get back on track.

With nutrition, find food that is good for you and that gets you excited to cook (like the meals Juli shares with us on PaleOMG.com).  With training, set specific goals on things you would like to accomplish, and work towards achieving those goals.  Having milestones can be great in boosting our motivation and confidence levels!

The truth is, a lot of us tell ourselves that we’ll “never be able to” do things.  When those things that we knew we’d never accomplish actually start happening because of our hard work, those walls of self-doubt slowly start to come down and the floodgates open for what we believe we can accomplish in life.

But please, realize that most people in the world don’t care if you can Squat Clean 300lbs or run a mile in 5:00.  If we remember that most of us are trying so hard in the gym so we can keep up with our kids or grandkids, or carry groceries upstairs by ourselves, or see our blood pressure drop without the use of “drugs” (just a clean diet and a regular physical exercise)… then it will all make more sense.

By “Keeping it In Perspective,” we can remind ourselves that being active and healthy is what life is all about.  Let go of the pressure, and have fun with what we do!  Remember to K.I.P., my friends!

Tom is another one of my friends that has A LOT of abs. I love posting these pictures.

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  1. Stephanie Hobbs says:

    Thank you for posting this. I sprained my ankle last Friday and its been really hard to not be able to exercise like I normally do. But reading this reminded me that I can take a week or two off and its okay. I wont lose all the progress Ive worked for, and people will still love me even if I have to take a break from my weight loss!

  2. Ingrid says:

    This is a GREAT post!! Thanks so much for posting!!!

  3. Jenny says:

    I love this post… cause K.I.P is usually something i struggle with and have been working on. This was so helpful! We start focusing on what we cannot do or have not achieved yet, or what we perceive is a fail, rather than enjoying the journey of building up to get to where we want to be, and if we do what we do with joy in our heart, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. I continue to learn this lesson, slowly but surely. Thanks Tom!

  4. Aaron says:

    Great article Tom! Important topic and well written. All the punctuation in the right places too…don’t know what you were so worried about.

    Here’s a thought I had (and Facebooked, because I don’t have a blog and what’s the point of having a thought if it doesn’t end up on FB right?): Though you strive to be more, never think yourself not enough – me

    And for Tom’s admirers…Juli is being nice. She didn’t show you his green eyes or you’d all be hopelessly in love 🙂

  5. Linda Kiker says:

    Thanks for the post. True, true, true. I will K.I.P.!

  6. Heather says:

    Shared with my coach. She declared it was an awesome read!! Good reminder to have fun and the goals will come.

  7. Melody says:

    holy cannoli, you have good looking friends, Juli!
    Thanks for the post, Tom! K.I.P! Love it!

  8. Kate says:

    I just injured myself at my first crossfit competition and havent done any type of exercise in over a week! This is nice! Thanks! I’m gonna kip now!

  9. Wendy malmkvist says:

    Thanks for this post. I think we get too caught up in our failures and pay too much attention to other’s successes that we forget why we started to crossfit. I’ve never been competitive in sport, but somehow there are days where being competitive is all I think about and I don’t like it. I want to workout with my friends and family and just enjoy it. To embrace all that crossfit has offered me and do it because I love feeling like a kid again.

  10. Ashleigh says:

    Tom is a good chap! Thank goodness he cut his wooly mammoth ‘do! KIP is important for our sanity everyday!