The Oversimplification of Fitness: Long Term Sacrifice for Short Term Convenience

A couple days ago, I was watching the movie Now You See Me and became increasingly irritated with Morgan Freeman. Well, I was irritated with his character, not the actual Mr. Morgan Freeman, the man with the second most awesome voice in cinematic history. {The first most awesome being Mr. James Earl Jones, of course.} Anyway, the reason I was irritated was that I simply couldn’t tell whether his character was a good guy or a bad guy. I needed to know if I should be rooting for or against him. I really like to know where I stand with my movie characters, damn it!

Life is so much easier when we can see things as black or white, right? That way, we know for whom to root. We know what’s good or bad for us and can make informed choices accordingly. But, life is rarely so cut and dried. As the characters in recent shows like Breaking Bad and Scandal have illustrated, good and bad frequently exist simultaneously, to varying degrees, within the same people and their choices. And, if my forty years on this planet have taught me one thing*, it’s that life is the opposite of simple.

This brings to mind one of my favorite movie quotes:

The world is gray, Jack! 

~ Ritter to Jack Ryan, Clear and Present Danger


And yet, we are constantly seeking to simplify and streamline our lives. So-called experts compress information into The Top 3 Foods You Should Avoid lists or 140 character Do This One Exercise tweets. We seem to crave bite-sized do or don’t directives all in the name of expediency. {Because our To Do lists are long and there’s an entire season of House of Cards that won’t binge watch itself.} It’s understandable that we prefer clear cut mandates from health and fitness professionals, but if we want to make informed and meaningful choices, we must recognize what we’re giving up for the sake of convenience: sovereignty over our individual needs.

sensory compass


Buying into the oversimplification of fitness slowly erodes our awareness of ourselves. We lose touch with which movements satisfy our unique body’s needs. We become sensory handicapped, less able to recognize our internal compass for the intensity and duration of exercises best suited for our joints and muscles, in this particular moment in time.

Losing our sense of self increases our risk of injury and fosters greater dependence on someone else’s expertise, both of which continue to put our sovereignty at risk.


I’m a proponent of what I like to call Embodied Individuality – we’re all made up of the same parts and living the same life, but the way we experience it all is unique to each of us. Staying connected to our unique experience empowers us to refine and improve it, as necessary, to fulfill our needs.

In this amazing age of technological advancements we’re certain to continue to seek {and find} ways to simplify and streamline. As we do, I encourage you to be ever more mindful of what feels right for you.

*I’ve learned more than one thing. At least a half-dozen things, in fact. Promise.


Share Your Insights.

Which is more appealing to you – a quick and easy or slow and mindful workout?

Research shows we learn best with and from our peers, so please share in the comments below. {Also, I love hearing from you!}



Did you like this? Share it:

Leave a comment


Email(will not be published)*


Your comment*

Submit Comment