Happy Ides of March to you!  I have taken a few weeks off from blogging to keep my ideas fresh.  So here goes with some fresh ideas.

It is time to ask ourselves, just exactly what is fitness? Is it looking good, or is it being able to perform well?  I think that if you can perform well, you will also look pretty good.  But let's face it.  We are hostages of our heredity.  And that heredity dictates our body's size and shape.  We can only alter it in small amounts.  It is my opinion that it is best optimized for performance, not looks.

So, in my and many athletes' opinions, fitness is the ability to perform athletic feats involving speed, strength, coordination, endurance, and general conditioning.  There are as many ways to train for this as there are trainers.  I will not go into that here.

But what are you training for?  If you are a football player, do you do anything else during offseason other than play football?  What other sports do you do?  I do not come from the traditional ball sports athletic practice.   I chose active outdoor sports and have done them my whole life.

I encourage all you ball sports athletes to find some sort of outdoor activity that you can in not only for additional cross-training, but for plain old fun.  If nothing else, play golf.  Many football players do it, and that will do.  But also, many take up snow skiing.  It is a great sport that encourages total body functional fitness.  Others like scuba diving.  Both sports lend themselves to exotic travel.  Then there is surfing.  New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been to Costa Rica surfing.  You can too.  Even though I am from the Texas gulf coast, I did surfing in my youth.  Former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski surfs, and so does Chicago Bears (formerly Denver Broncos) head coach John Fox.  Even if you do not live near an ocean, you can do stand-up-paddle boarding.  Believe me, it takes total body functional fitness, and a session is quite a workout.

Later in life i picked up backpacking in the Rocky Mountains.  Even if you just do day-hiking, this is a great way to get outdoors and travel and see nature and really get a good workout all at the same time.  There are many places to hike in the USA.  Most states have some great hiking trails.  If you want to get way far in, you might as well spend the night.  That dictates a backpack with food, sleeping bag, and shelter.  It weighs at least 30 pounds.  It is quite a workout, especially in steep terrain at high elevations.

A neighbor down the road does Tough Mudder sometimes.  He says that it is a teamwork obstacle race that takes about 4 hours to do.  That sounds like fun.  It reminds me of some of the mountains I climbed when I was younger.  If you do Tough Mudder, you need to train for it.

Finally, CrossFit enthusiasts meet and have CrossFit Games.  I have been to one and they seem to be having fun.  So, whatever you train for, be sure to DO something with your fitness.

Here are our fitness sandbags.