What is Your Definition of Fitness?

Hi friends!  Happy Tuesday 🙂  I have a 5k tonight and I am ready to get a sub-30!  Wish me luck!!

Turning to the wardrobe challenge:  one of my new goals is to learn how to use my point and shoot (casio xilim) better and make use of the Canon DSLR D70 that I have access to.  I love learning and I want to know about white balance, aperture, shutter speed and the like.  For now, however, I’m an idiot and didn’t charge my point and shoot I have to use droid photos.  Monday’s (Day 7) outfit:

  • Black wool blend jacket- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2005) Repeat
  • Black wool blend pencil skirt- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2005) Repeat
  • Black and white patterned shirt- Banana Republic (purchased January 2008)- Repeat
  • Black slim leather belt- Banana Republic (purchased January 2009)
  • Red open-toed pumps- BCBGirls- (purchased Spring 2007)
  • Silver heart necklace- Tiffany- gift from Bri (August 2008)

Thoughts on this outfit:

  • I purchased the jacket and skirt together, along with a pair of matching black pants, for all of the interviews I was going on during law school.  That is one of my top tips: if you can purchase a suit with both pants and a skirt- DO IT.  What could be one outfit is instantly transformed into a number of versatile pieces.   I had the opportunity to do this with a brown Banana suit that I own but I didn’t.  I went back to get the skirt and it was gone.  Sad face.  Anyway- lesson learned.
  • I haven’t worn the red BCBGirls shoes in quite some time.  I like to typically wear them with a black dress; it adds an unexpected punch and funkiness to the outfit.  The challenge is definitely causing me to rotate items I typically don’t wear, so I guess it is working!
  • I have never worn a skinny belt over a suit jacket.  I’m not sure how I feel about it but I definitely felt more stylish by taking a risk and wearing it.  Whatever works!
  • I have two foam rollers and you can see them in the above picture.  If you are a runner and do not have one, purchase one STAT.  It has been SO helpful with my IT Band issues.  Do it up!

Tuesday’s (Day 8) outfit:

I know you can barely see the clothing in the pic but I am usually in a rush, as I feel like a bit of a weirdo taking a photo of my outfit in the bathroom.  Yeah.  Moving on:

  • Berry cardigan- J Crew Factory Outlet (purchased January 2009) Repeat
  • Yellow tank- Banana Republic (purchased Spring 2010) Repeat
  • Black wool blend pants- Express (purchased 2004) Repeat
  • Black pumps- Nine West (purchased 2009?)
  • Flower Necklace- Purchased in Hawaii on our honeymoon ❤

-closeup of the necklace taken at an earlier date

Thoughts:

  • The challenge is starting to get old.  Ah, love it.
  • I call this look “raspberry lemonade.”
  • I normally would never combine a berry cardigan with a yellow tank.  However, I kind of like it.
  • The black shoes in the picture are ones I would typically wear all the time to work.  I tend to go through black heels very quickly.  I especially like these because the heel is only two inches. 
  • Did I mention the challenge is getting old?

—-

Okay, onto the fun part of the post.  A while back Bri wrote a post about his definition of fitness.  You can tell it was a while ago since he refers to me as his soon to be wife.  Heh.  I credit Bri with turning my health around; prior to meeting him I subsisted on bagels, cheezits and risotto and didn’t have a gym membership.  Now I am a runner, yogi, eat mostly well and feel as fit as I have ever been.  Without futher adieu:

My soon-to-be wife has asked me to write a blog for her outstanding website.  I have been into fitness practically all my life and was recently certified as a Level I Crossfit trainer.  I played Division I sports in college and have been active in everything I do.  While I commend anyone who takes the time to exercise, I do believe in efficiency and efficacy in work outs. I wanted to start a discussion to explore, comprehend and dissect the word, fitness.

We have all heard and seen the term, “fitness.”  We see it everywhere in the United States.  We see it in the names of businesses, magazines, and books.  But, what really is fitness?  When is a person truly fit?  Is someone fit if they can run a marathon but cannot pull their bodyweight? Or, are they fit if they can clean and jerk over 250 lbs but cannot run a mile?  With an industry of 45 billion dollars, very few people can agree on what is fitness.  How do you define fitness?

The first place to look for the definition of a word is the dictionary.  Merriam-Webster defines fitness as: (1) the state of being fit or (2) the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms.  The first definition is completely unhelpful.  This is the frustration of the dictionary sending you on a scavenger hunt.  The second definition is also not all that helpful, except for one key point – the capacity to survive.  Survival in the 21st century has changed significantly from even a century earlier.  Most believe that modern medicine and agriculture has significantly improved our lives, but has it made us more fit?  Are people in today’s society more capable of surviving?  No.  The expectation is that most are not capable of successfully confronting unexpected events in daily life or even disasters. Obviously, the degree of this on each individual depends on the occupation and environment of an individual.  A person who works behind a desk would normally confront a substantially different subset of unexpected events than an infantry Marine.  There are similarities though – balance.

Balance is being equally successful at all of the physical skills.  What are the physical skills?  Cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, speed, power, acceleration, coordination, agility and balance.  Being equally good at all of these allows one to adapt to an entire universe of events.

The fitness industry these days, however, promotes specialization.  What is specialization?  Specialization is the concentration on one physical skillset at the cost of another.  This is particularly true of the weight machines that isolate muscle movement and even ellipticals.  When in the world are those specialized, isolated movements going to really come in handy in the real work.  When you pick something up, do you really do a strict curl?  No, you employ the core, the shoulders, the lats, the biceps, triceps and many other muscles.  Similarly, you see bodybuilders with huge upper bodies but they are so tight, they move slow and one wonders if they could touch their back.

Turning to what most of you love to do, running.  A runner concentrates on cardiorespiratory endurance and stamina, but the runner sacrifices power and strength, flexibility and many other skills.  Do not misunderstand what I am saying.  Individuals who run a marathon are absolutely impressive and something that many of use cannot accomplish, but that same person could probably not lift their bodyweight over their head.  For the women- I know women that can lift their bodyweight over their head and they are not built like a Russian beat farmer.  In fact, they look like the women you see on the cover of a fitness magazine.  Moreover, I saw this principle when I played Division I lacrosse, where I didn’t have to think twice about my cardio-respiratory during a game but I couldn’t do 10 strict pull-ups.  It was not until I got into Crossfit that I saw a different approach to fitness.  Now Olympic athletes are absolutely great at their sport and are in shape, but can we really say they are truly “fit?”

This is why I have accepted and agreed with Crossfit’s definition of fitness: the ability to statistically perform the best across an entire of universe of repeatable, measurable, observable tasks. 

So, how would YOU define fitness?  Do you agree with Brian’s approach? 

Also, I’m curious- have you ever tried Crossfit?  If so, what are your thoughts?  I attended a “scaled down” class for new people and WOW.  The workout lasted for 18 minutes but was so intense and effective.  I was cursing Bri the whole time (love you honey 🙂 ) but afterwards I felt amazing. 

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22 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Wardrobe Challenge

22 responses to “What is Your Definition of Fitness?

  1. I loved this post! I love Brian’s philosophy- fitness is being able to live an active life and have functional fitness. I never feel more out of shape than when I have to hike a hill! Gym training does NOT do that!

    • Thanks Yelena! I agree! A few years ago I was in the gym a few times a week, thinking I was in great shape. My booty was handed to me on a hike and I learned the hard way that I wasn’t, haha.

  2. Good luck at the 5K! Each time I read one of your wadrobe posts, I’m still amazed by the fact that you know when you bought each of those pieces!! Oh, and on fitness…I definitely think balance is key.

    • Thanks Abbi! I remember the most minute things. I just think back to where I was when I bought it and what point I was at in my life. It usually brings the date right to me 😀

  3. Good luck tonight! So looking forward to reading the recap. 🙂

    You pose an interesting question, and I do really like Bri’s philosophy. It’s something I’ve pondering a lot lately as I try to get more into strength training.

  4. Also, I want to try CrossFit but it is ridiculously expensive here. 😦

    • Sadly, it is ridiculously expensive EVERYWHERE (like, 125 a month expensive). Bri wants to open a (small) gym when he gets back… if you move to upstate NY you can come on the friend discount 😀 haha

  5. lowandbhold

    That necklace is beautiful! I love reading about the challenge, even if it is getting old for you 🙂

  6. Love that necklace!

    Great post. I think I define fitness/fit as someone who works out consistently. It doesn’t have to be every day.. or even every other day.. but they consistently include exercise in their life and enjoy being active.

  7. Pam

    I’ve never tried Crossfit, but I’d LOVE to if given half the chance.

    Now for the important stuff… I really like the skinny-belt-over-suit-jacket look! ROCK IT!

  8. Katie – looking lovely! Love your choices 😉

    Bri – great post! Got me thinking about it. What sport did you play in college?

    Hmm – my definition of fit …I guess if I feel in good shape and healthy. I’m a pretty big believer in listening to my gut. I know when I am in good shape (for me) and when I’m not.

    Thanks for motivating me guys!!
    xoxo

  9. Darlene Cardillo

    Good luck. Hope you had a great race.

  10. J

    Hope the 5k went well!! I have been looking for your post about it on daily Mile – did I miss it somehow?? Ill have to go back and re-check! lol

    I agree with the Crossfit definition of fitness. I have never tried Crossfit but I think it would fun! Great post by Brian!

  11. Oh my gosh, I LOVE that flower necklace!!! It’s beautiful! 😀

  12. Okay, I LOVE those red shoes. And I’m currently trying to find them somewhere online 🙂

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