I have been working in the Technogym Gym in the Olympic Village for almost two weeks now.
Never before have I been in one place and seen such a diversity of cultures, nationalities, sport disciplines, training regimes all mixed up with such friendliness and beautiful movements.
Just observing athletes and the effort they put into their training is a priceless education. They spend hours performing set after set of powerful, fast moves. You can see athletes watching each other, in turn, spurring themselves on to train harder. The atmosphere is contagious.
The Divers spring onto plyometric boxes
(sturdy boxes for jumping onto) that are stacked on top of each other, over a
metre high, from a standing jump (not a spring board in sight).
The Gymnasts stand on their hands motionless, holding the pose for several minutes and then proceed to do stretches that make your eyes water just watching.
The Weight Lifters clean and jerk the most crazy loads and sometimes the bar even flexes under weight.
The Boxers skip around the gym in flicking
motions, darting invisible punches and wearing sweat jackets with their hoods up.
The Sprinters have phenomenal calf muscles and are clad in sponsorship clothing.
The volleyball players are so tall that they have to duck under every doorway and the GB Team give off a hint of arrogance knowing that they are competing on their own doorstep.
The training environment stirs a gentle rivalry amongst the Coaches themselves. They suddenly want to prove that despite having let their bodies become slightly less of a temple, and more like the London Millennium Dome, that there is still that athlete lurking in there somewhere.
I have been cataloguing new exercises and taking pictures for reference, and I am eager to improve my own training as well as pass on tips to my clients. It is a huge priviledge to be able to do this, and I think secretly deep down there (or under there) is an athlete in all of us, just like there is one in the Coaches. It is never too late to learn new skills or regain past achievements, so long as we are willing to put the effort in.
All the athletes push themselves well out of that comfort zone, they train to their full potential, their training makes them sweat, pant, sometimes cry out in frustration, but they don't give up. That is what sets them apart.
Never give up. It is far harder to train your brain to accept this, then to physically train your body. We are all capable of getting the results we want, but they don't happen overnight.
You have to accept the commitment, accept that it is hard work, and accept
that your excuses are EXCUSES!
But you know what? Training is fun too if
you let it be. I feel like a big kid in a giant toy box in the Olympic Village, Technogym Gym. When I train my clients, I want to pass on and inspire the sense of fun that I get from training. Just in the same way the athletes in the Olympic Village inspire me.
I want to feel like I can push myself to the
limits, to feel that huge satisfaction that I have achieved something, and have fun doing it. Most of the athletes aren't going to win medals but they have set themselves goals of their own to strive for. They enjoy what they do.
Once you have managed to get a base level of fitness, a whole new world opens up for you, you can do things you never thought you would; trek mountains, kayak
down a river, row a boat, play football with your kids without being exhausted, enjoy even the simplest things without getting out of breath.
Why limit yourself and your access to what is out there.
You have a choice to
live without limits.....