What is your why?

I find myself having this conversation a lot lately, and the more I have this conversation the more I realize it’s not something people have spent much time thinking about. What is your why? Not the “I want to be the best version of myself” cookie-cutter bullshit that you tell everyone. No. I mean, the real, deep-down reason that drives you to invest thousands of dirhams and hundreds of hours into your health and fitness. I believe that everybody has a strong ‘why’, a deep-rooted and meaningful motivation that drives them; most people just don’t know it or haven’t taken the time to figure it out.

Everyone wants to “be fitter”, “get stronger”, “look better”, “be healthier”, “lose weight” etc, and although there is nothing wrong with having these generic and superficial (as in, surface, not stuck up) training goals, they will not be able to provide you with enough motivation when push comes to shove. There isn’t enough depth of meaning in wanting to just “look better” to motivate you to get to bed early so that you don’t hit snooze the next morning.

Wanting to “be healthier”, isn’t going to persuade you to turn down a second piece of pumpkin pie. Training to “be faster” isn’t going to fuel you to dig deeper when your legs and lungs are burning and you’re on the final stretch and a second off your PR.

These are good umbrella goals, but they don’t define your ‘why’ in all of its glory. The human mind is complex, and you’re better than just “I want to be the best version of myself”.

Yes, you want to look better; but why? So that your partner is more attracted to you? To give you more confidence? Because someone called you fat when you were a kid? So that you don’t have to feel self-conscious on your boat party?

You want to be healthier; but why? Because you want to be around for your family in 10 years? Because you’d love to see your grandkids?

You want to be fitter; but why? So that people give you the respect you think you deserve? So that you can still beat your kids at tennis when your 54? Because it makes you feel good?

I used to have a superficial ‘why’. I always thought that, if I trained hard and had some sort of evidence to post on social media, people would think I was legit, would respect me as a Coach, and would be more likely to train with me. The problem was, if I wasn’t feeling it on a certain day, I wouldn’t bother pushing myself because I had the option of just not posting anything; no one would know, no pressure. My reason for training wasn’t powerful enough to outweigh the occasional lack of motivation (and we all have those days).

I’ve recently found a new ‘why’, a deeper motivation that keeps me on-track and accountable. It’s important to me, my business, my livelihood and who I am as a person, and is more powerful than the pain of exercise, stronger than my temptation to hit snooze and bigger than a lapse in will power. I get excited when I talk about it and, when I think about it when I’m training, it gets me AMPED!

If you have any sort of training goal, long or short-term, I encourage you to understand the ‘why’ behind it. Have a conversation with yourself, a loved one, your training partner, or even me, and go deep in to the reason behind your goals. Why are you at the gym 6 times a week? Why put yourself through all of this hard work? Why do you really want it? You’ll know once you get there; it’ll give you goosebumps, a new lease on training, and you’ll want to throw your cookies in the bin and head straight to the gym.

What is your why?