Monday, August 4, 2008

Working With Your Genetics...What a Concept!

Last week I was in a dead heat on the bike, doing my intervals and having a sweaty, out-of-breath conversation with another girl at my gym about (gasp for air) why I (wipe sweat from my brow) torture myself (crank down the resistance) to reach my (pant, pant) MGP. I swigged some water and told her I wanted my body to reflect the work I put in. She looked at me puzzled and asked,

"exactly what do you think you look like?"

I had to admit that I had no clue. Like many women, I don't really know how I look to other people. I know I am not fat, but I can't tell you much more than that. I know its crazy. I'm working on it. LOL

And then one of my training partners said, "You can't fight genetics. You have to work with them, not against them." I amped up the resistance on my bike and headed into another interval and wished I was that evolved.

Sure, I've gone through a few times where I "accepted myself" and relaxed...just long enough for the fire to gain some momentum and remind me that no, I don't do that. I've always wanted more than the cards I was dealt; I've never been satisfied with status quo. So I don't ever see myself settling for the default settings.

But I do think it is important to take genetic potential into consideration when creating goals for yourself in the gym. That is why my goal is to reach my MGP (maximum genetic potential) rather than an elusive body composition that may not be realistic for my body type. Someone recently asked me to name a person whose body I wanted mine to mimic, and I refused - comparing yourself to someone else is futile in the long run because we're all working from a different set of plans. Instead, compare youself against your potential and what you believe you can accomplish.

I finished my intervals and got in the car and blasted the air conditioning. As I drove, I thought about whether I was truly working with my genetics, or fighting a losing battle by working against them. In the back of my head, I know there are certain things about my body that will never change, and that there are limitations on what I will be able to accomplish. I still workout despite that because of my sheer love for it.

But at the end of the day, everyone needs a carrot on a stick. And for me, that carrot is the curiosity of wondering if I can.

1 comment:

EDP said...

It's true: Most women have no idea how they look to other people. That being said, I get the sense that you are working because a) you enjoy it and b) you want to be the best Heather you can be. I'd be worried if you said you were working out to achieve a certain celebrity's body, but you aren't doing that. But once you are no longer overweight, I'd imagine that the goals become a bit more nebulous, other than keeping the weight off. I look forward to finding out!