Just because speedwork, strength training, and other healthy habits are trendy doesn’t mean I have to feel guilty about my lack of trendiness.
You ate five servings of vegetables today. Meanwhile, I ate five servings of tortilla chips.
Oh, you also lifted weights?
And you did speedwork?
You went to yoga?
You avoided high fructose corn syrup, bought all organic foods, and took your multivitamin?
Good for you.
Pat on the back.
And surprise, surprise, I didn’t do any of those things, so now I should feel like a colossal failure, right?
Well, I’ve decided that I don’t.
Keep drinking your green radioactive sludge smoothies, keep flopping around on the ground doing situps, keep lifting weights, keep diligently doing speedwork.
You’ve listened to the fitness magazines. You’ve read the running literature. You’ve scoured all the related blogs. And maybe you’ve got even more street cred because you’ve taken classes and majored in all this stuff, in which case, I am sure many people are impressed by your expertise and dedication to the facts.
I’m banking on the scientists changing their minds in a few years.
I can’t wait for the study that comes out and says, “Five servings of oily tortilla chips found to be more effective high peformance training fuel than vegetables.”
I can’t wait for the running book that comes out and espouses complete abandonment of strength training.
And lord knows, I will relish the day that a fancy scientific investigation finds some fatal flaw in yoga and all you yogaphiles will have to rationalize and justify and feel guilty about your mental and physical clarity amid the ensuing media trainwreck. Oh, that would make me spitefully gleeful!
(If any of these things has already happened, do let me know. I tend to be several years behind the times.)
I’m beginning to realize that there is no point in feeling guilty about my apparent inability to make myself do situps on a regular basis, or do mile repeats at the track, or what have you.
Are we really supposed to do any of that, or do we just think we do because it gets plastered across our corneas every time we find ourselves passing by flashy rows of svelte magazine ladies while we are furtively purchasing a family-sized bag of tortilla chips for immediate consumption?
A lot of these things aren’t imperative to being healthy or being fit to race. They’re just trendy. And we feel validated and great about ourselves for following the rules of whatever is currently in style according to the experts.
On that note, I’m eagerly awaiting the day that my unapplaudable approach of zero strength training, frequent tortilla chip binges, and ambiguous effort-paced speedwork comes into vogue.
Because when it does… for that brief period, I will lord it over all of you while you rush to jump on my tortilla-dominating, anti-strength-training, pretend-speedwork bandwagon just in time for the next trend of health and training advice to filter down from half-baked scientific studies before becoming diluted and taken completely out of context in a ditzy, attractively-fonted two-sentence sound bite juxtaposed against some cutely-attired gym bimbo who looks criminally ecstatic about doing lunges.
Now, I realize my mini-temper tantrum against health and fitness trends is childish and the logic is easy to poke holes in. How, exactly, does one choose which trends to defy?
You might ask, “If you’re such a trend-shunner, Cathleen, then what are your thoughts on, say, drinking water? You gonna give that up too, just because it’s popular?”
At which point I will cast you a pitying glance, sigh importantly, and answer, “Now now, don’t be snide. Hydrating appropriately for workouts is a timeless trend. It’s classic. It will never go out of style.
(Of those three, I have mastered one.)
P.S. This is all tongue-in-cheek. If strength training, speedwork, yoga, and eating relatively balanced meals by consuming only one serving of tortilla chips at a time (how do you do it?) works for you, I’m all for that. I just want us all to stop feeling guilty if we don’t happen to live flawlessly by those rules.
Because as far as I can tell, those “rules” are only around because they happen to be scientifically trendy right now.
You know, in the same way that it was once scientifically trendy to believe that flame-breathing water monsters occupied the edges of our flat non-planet earth and that lead could be turned into gold.
Are there any commonly accepted health/fitness/training rules that you’re suspicious of?
Which training “trends” do you swear by? Which ones do you ignore?