Although this conversation happened today it is one I’ve had so many times over the years that I’ve lost count. This typically happens when I run into a former client or an old acquaintance. The conversation goes like this:

Friend: It’s been too long. You look amazing. What’s your secret?
Me: The same things I’ve been doing for years. I haven’t changed them since last time I saw you.
Friend: You must be doing more cardio, running or lifting weights?
Me: Nope. Just Pilates, walking and other Bodyweight exercises.
Friend: Yes, but you’re so lucky because you work out all day.
Me: I never work out when I teach, don’t you remember?
Friend: Just good genetics then. Sure wish I looked like you.

This is no joke. It’s a real conversation that I really dread having. Why? Because my friend isn’t me and neither is anyone else! Show my belly and I have scars, stretch marks and loose skin like everyone else. You don’t want to look like me you just want to be a better version of you!

I really have no secret pill, powder or workout but I do have solid habits and a long term goal.

My fitness goals may not be yours. My vision for my future and what I want to do is unique to me. The secret to being in good shape isn’t the shape of your body it’s the consistency of reaching your goal. Health isn’t the newest fitness fad or the latest crazy diet. It’s what you need, now, tomorrow and into the future to be your best self.

My goal is to be strong. I swing on monkey bars, cartwheel and do handstands with my kids. I play soccer and catch with my son. I bounce on the trampoline with my daughter. I play because play is important to me. I want to be playing this way with my grandkids. That’s my goal.

My goal is to be flexible. I move and bend easily and want to keep that ability so I can bend down to tie my shoes, reach over my head, twist, touch my toes and age gracefully. I’m 45 now and I want to do these things when I’m 90. That’s my goal.

My goal is to be mobile. I get up and down off the floor without my hands. I challenge my movement forward, backward, rotating and sideways everyday. I practice the splits. I roll and bend my knees, hips and ankles as part of my “mobility” training. I want to do these things to have better quality of life as I age. That’s my goal.

My goals aren’t to be skinny or be a certain weight. I meet people every day who have problems that are so much bigger than the size of their pants. It breaks my heart because many of them fell for the newest trend or fitness fad and now they think their last resort is me. Maybe I am. I know I can help them. I just wish they’d paid more attention to their bodies before it got this far.

You only get one body. Treat it like a Ferrari. Pamper it. Listen to it. Give it regular check ups. Work it but also rest it. Feed it premium fuel. Lastly, don’t ignore the signs it’s faltering before it breaks down completely.

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