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WHAT IS A ‘FIT PROFESSIONAL’ AND WHY MIGHT IT MATTER IN BUSINESSS & CAREER?

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

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ARE YOU A FIT PROFESSIONAL?


There is a transformational experience waiting for you. The degree to which it positively ‘hits you’ depends how far down the fit professional path you are already. Those of use that utilize sport, exercise, and various athletic endeavors to both challenge us and find joy understand the multiplying impact to the rest of our lives. Doing something hard on a frequent basis that provides challenge to our mind, body, and spirit is just plain good for you. The sense of who you are combined with who you are becoming while in the middle of a difficult hike up a fourteen hundred vertical feet climb, or in the twenty-second mile of a marathon, or whatever your target personal best is, creates immeasurable satisfaction. Your confidence soars and suddenly who you were is no more. You are more confident, have more courage, and more energy to tackle what life, career and time must challenge you with. It is hard to visualize a transformed state of being at that moment of your first step. With consistency and discipline in activity and magnitude of effort directed at a goal, it just isn’t too many steps before you notice the beginning of the transformation. The point is not to climb the highest mountain the fastest. The point is to climb your version of the mountain at a faster pace than you have before. For many, it’s just a matter of starting. The point is to challenge yourself for personal growth. The benefit is progress spills over into the rest of what life might challenge you with. It really does. Check this out with your friend that might seem obsessive regarding a sport or physical activity of some kind. Invest the time and listen to their story. You’ll soon realize that the person is not obsessive, at least not like you thought. They are after their best life, and this athletic activity is just one part of a much larger and likely very successful pursuit of what life has to offer. They are living their best lives because they ‘do’ hard things with purpose, with consistency, with high magnitude of effort, with a direction at an objective. The discovery for these people that this spills over to creating a better life was made a long time ago. Fit professionals continue. They know the benefits await them; and these benefits are as multifaceted as the life they have chosen is. Get after it. Its time.


A fit professional understands this transformation. A fit professional uses sport, exercise, fitness, or challenging activities with a physical component that trigger, then challenge, all your mind, all of your body and all of your spirit to complete. There may be competition, but the primary competitive element is vs. your own personal best. A fit professional understands it’s a journey. A Fit Professional understands progress in one part of life positively impacts progress in the rest of their life. Fit Professionals don’t acknowledge the end, but rather the next milestone or personal best. Consistency over time and sustained magnitude of effort will produce results in this transformation; guaranteed. It’s part of the human condition in my humble opinion. I’ve lived it, so this is my evidence. I’ve seen it and asked, and confirmations from Fit Professionals shower down with affirmation; yes, this does work. Or more powerfully, this is a key component to their success and happiness.


You will reach a moment when you realize you’ve reached a personal best. You’ve performed and created a result that you have never obtained. In this moment, you will also have the realization that this personal best just achieved is not the end but can be the new beginning. Here is a choice. Continue to improve, or stand pat. Fit Professionals make the choice, every time, to continue the journey and improve more. The current personal best is simply a milestone on the way to becoming all you can be. The benefits start to pour over into other aspects of the Fit Professional’s life. In this moment the exhilaration is profound but fleeting. It will pass, so enjoy the moment. Let it pass. It is part of the process to becoming your best self. You realize you cannot stand in one place. You must continue the effort toward the next result. True discipline emerges. The exhilaration of personal best moments, and the realization you will have many, becomes familiar. You come to understand the epiphanies and intense satisfaction of these moments are short lived and you change back into your version of work mode to pursue the next. You have transitioned to a being that pursues excellence, achievement, and the joy that accompanies each milestone. The drive becomes joy of the process, not so much the results. They start to pass like delineators on the interstate while driving 88 mph in rural Montana on the way to Big Sky to ski! You have transitioned to a discipline, healthy, focused, and happy human being because you DO. You do it. Happiness is doing. The Fit Professional knows this and practices it. Happiness is indeed the opposite of boredom as many philosophers and authors have pointed out in their own way over millennia. Doing creates happiness is not new, but rather part of the healthy human condition identified in the very distant past in the human journey from the stone ages to this century. You do what needs to be done. You chase the personal best in your favorite thing, and you will come to chase your personal bests in all activities you do. Discipline, skills, and knowledge spill over form one activity to the next. Soon ‘all of you’ is improving, achieving, attempting, and living in ways you haven’t experienced before. Reasonable goals emerge. Not crazy goals. Goals in areas of your life you didn’t bother to have them before. You knock them off successfully, one by one. You get more focused and discover this new focus is precisely aimed at that best life you are after. Momentum picks up in all areas of your life. Each effort pushes the quality of life to a better spot. The place you intend to be, arrives. You enjoy it, and you understand you can continue; another epiphany, you realize you will continue growing. As you grow you come to know your pace, your capabilities, your learning curve requirements. You come to know what your body, mind and spirit can endure; you find the line whereby you work up to it, but not over it. You also discover sleep, recovery and rest are needed for all things, not just something athletic. And you develop your own approach regarding how to dial up what it takes to accomplish the next thing. The process becomes clear. You apply it to all aspects of your life eventually. Hard things. Everyday there is a hard thing. Humans need rest. So maybe not every day you overcome a challenge. But most days you do. The realization that rest and recovery are part of the process becomes clear early in this new road you are on. The fatigue chasing your personal bests has a certain sweetness to it. When this fatigue is upon you, more satisfaction shows up given you know your effort was spot on for what needed to be done. And ‘it’ is done. And the deliberate effort toward and objective, simply practice with sustained effort magnitude, shows up most days. Deliberate practice, that is, aimed at the result you are after. Most days progress is made. You take a step; maybe you want to write that book you’ve been thinking of; type that first word, then the sentence. Maybe you want to discover cycling; pedal that first 500 feet, then in time, it’s the first fifty miles. You do the ‘thing’, the mind, body, spirit thing; deliberate practice or activity aimed at an objective and sustained over time. And the process repeats. You have transformed into a being that thrives on continuous learning and improvement. You have moved the bar in every aspect of your life that is important to you. You have done hard things. You see more to do. They no longer intimidate, stagnate, or change your mind. Rather, they motivate, drive creative energy, and pull on all your faculties. You realize you will find satisfaction and a happier state of being in the pursuit of the next thing. More to do? It is not in a panic, not spastic, and not with the old stress level. You no longer over book your day. You book your day’s activities aligned with objectives. You learn to say no; NO to most things. Distress becomes eustress. The challenges now excite you. The ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is reachable. Another hard thing to do. Possibly in yet another important aspect of your life. The momentum by now is gigantic. It spills into a well thought out plan of attack toward your very best life; that is, regarding what to do, it’s clear now. And you start the activities. They are focused, directed toward the result, and contain deliberate practice. They challenge mind, body, and soul; and routinely in a very significant and difficult way; on purpose. You start to notice your pace of concurring obstacles is on average faster than it was. You start to notice the optimism that shows up, not giddy stupid wishes, but true centered energy that says, ‘I can, and I will.’


You might be a fit professional if you have a sporting activity you are passionate about. That sporting activity consumes you and you know your goal immediately when asked. Your current personal best is clear, and you are training most days to obtain the new personal best. You might be a fit professional if you have a relationship or work situation you need to improve. And the hard things to say are sourced in the courage and confidence you obtain from your athletic foundational activity; or active study with deliberate practice regarding how to have difficult conversations. You might be a fit professional if you are working on keeping your career skills current on your own time; or getting another degree that will facilitate your next career step; this is hard, but you endure motivated by each new skill you obtain. You might be a fit professional if you are getting up an hour early most days so you are ahead by the week’s end and can attend your kids’ athletic event or extracurricular event, so no career conflicts interfere. You might be a fit professional if you have just begun running and have noticed your new interest in Boston Marathon just summarized on ESPN. You might be a fit professional if you ran across a book on a work topic and had the thought that might make my workday easier; you buy it and have started to read it. You might be fit professional if you just started jogging, first day 200 feet during your evening walk. Second day 300 feet, and you have realized that if you add just a bit each day, or each time you walk, you will eventually get to a mile. You stick with this and now that mile happens. Your mind goes to ‘what if I did this until I could cover the distance in a half marathon?’ And that happens. Now you enter and complete a half marathon. The entire time your work colleges, your family, and your friends have all noticed your energy level and other positive changes in your attitude, physique, effectiveness, and demeanor. Your life is more positive. You can tackle each day’s challenge now. And still have the energy to smile and embrace your partner at the end of each day.


Find that activity that can merge the effort magnitude in mind, body, and spirit; all three. The hard thing, those activities you need to be consistent at, take endurance and strength, take courage, and focus, and take desire and faith. Find this and you have your best road to more quickly impacting your entire life in a positive way. Family. Career. Health. Athletics. Friends. Then what needs to show up in those specific areas of family, career, health, athletics, and relationships will show up. It will become clear what hard thing needs to happen with deliberate practice toward an objective. Might be to really listen to your partner and really practice listening. As in having the forethought before coming home from work to think and commit to execution of; ‘tonight I’m going to really hear what my spouse has to say.’


A fit professional has a short list of primary activity focus. This list works first for the individual. This is not greedy or self-centered. Rather the fit professional realizes taking care of herself first enables better care of all others in her life. Passion lives there. Joy, and the state of flow. Personal bests are not obsessive (although ‘outsiders’ and those that aren’t fit professionals will accuse you of obsession) but primary. The first passion drives everything else. The second activity drives more. And so on. They become smaller priorities as you move down your list from the first. You’ve said no to other priorities because the road to your best life is clear and you are determined to become what you aspire to be; so benefit flows from you to others; achieving creates a freedom to move beyond yourself. ‘No’ is actually a gateway to the ability to eventually help more people. But the sum of your primary activities (work, sport, family, etc. which sum to your best life) are all the important elements. Excelling at the primary moves everything to a better spot than it was. Fit professionals make the decision to chase their best life. Fit professionals look until they find the ‘first’ activity that drives the widest positive impact on the rest of their day; and contains the requirement to apply all of your mind, body and soul. They chose the hard activity. Always including in at least one of their primary activities the one requiring courage, discipline, effort and more. Fit Professionals likely don’t come across as obsessive in all things. Even one thing. Many are properly quiet about their real passion. When you hear about it finally you’ve been invited into their space; you must respect this. They have conveyed much trust. Fit professionals understand the next personal best is fleeting and maybe not obtainable; so, sharing is sharing at a deep level; there is risk for the Fit Professional because they know they must stretch and improve to get the result. But, they know they will become more in this pursuit; and they do; watch, you’ll see this. Then my hope is you too, will start your journey.


When you get invited in, respect this, show support. It will come back in a positive way to you from a relationship with a fit professional. It is about the process to the fit professional. Yes, the result does matter, but the process makes the result, or the best result they can do, and they know this. The process rules. The process is maintained. The process is discipline, and the discipline is the process. The Fit Professional must think practice. But add deliberate practice toward an objective. Fit professionals need to be athletes in something. One cannot leave the body out. A walk is great. The same two mile walk forever three nights a week is great too. But this person may not be a fit professional. There is not a continuous improvement element targeted at a new personal best. There are exceptions of course. If the same person doing 2-mile walks three days a week is diagnosed with terminal cancer and has physical, mental, and emotional issues creating a declining health state, then most certainly everyday walking to maintain some distance is a form of personal best because the context is changing adding challenge to do anything. For an individual fit professional in a situation similar to this the added benefit of hope emerges. Others will be inspired to become their best because of the efforts displaying courage, grit, and determination of the Fit Professional’s pursuit. And this is most certainly a gift. All fit professionals when observed honestly in their pursuit of their personal bests will have the power to inspire. This is simply a sensationally inspiring and positive by product of the fit professional’s tenacity toward consistent and deliberate practice toward their objective. Let the efforts of others in some way inspire you. Your efforts will do the same for others. And the cycle repeats. Fit professionals observed and appreciated properly are contagious with regard to positive influence on others; that is should the ‘others’ choose to really see the Fit Professional for who they truly are. Be a fit professional for you; others may or may not understand. Most will.


The beauty of adding something athletic, something fitness based, that is challenging for you is not only foundational to all other things, but the joy also you will experience is comprehensive to your being. With this goes the assumption you also address and improve both sleep and nutrition. Great subject for guest blogs in the future. Must have those two under control first. Next is your athletic pursuit. Leave it out of your life at your own parrel. A clear common denominator with a fit professional is an athletic pursuit, often sport, that fuels passion, activity, and accomplishment. The activity has challenge and pushes growth inside the activity itself and outside making contribution to the growth of the individual to be a better version of themselves in all things. It is more than the healthy state one gets from athletics and fitness; it is the continuous improvement and the resulting growth in the activity. A Fit Professional will overcome the inertia often caused by fear or pain or conflict to ultimately maintain the process of improvement. The pursuit drives the rest. Consistent and deliberate practice toward a result must be present. Challenging the mind, the body and the spirit must be present. A couple thousand-word blog likely does not capture the fit professional phenomenon. It’s an advantage relative to non-fit professionals; in all things, family, friends, career, and life. Again, if you aren’t sure, find that person in your social circle or work that is passionate about an athletic or fitness activity. Maybe they have even annoyed you in the past. Take that filter off, that of annoyance, etc. and observe. It’s quite likely you’ll find more than average results in more than one additional aspect of their life. You’ll find that even though the sort of athletic aspect is important, and seemingly obsessive, it is not actually the top of their priority list. You’ll find their priority list looks an awful lot like yours; maybe identical. You’ll see they have made progress to their best life. Fit Professionals are typically very successful in family and career. Again, there are always exceptions, but if you look at several individuals you would guess are fit professionals, it won’t’ take too many to see some positive differences. To see results in areas of their lives that are exemplary, or at least above average.


It’s hard. Creating a life with deliberate practice toward an objective in an athletic, career, or life pursuit. Continual improvement is hard. Sticking with what it takes over long periods of time is hard. Doing improvement activities for the rest of your life is harder. Fit professionals don’t see the end to the bike ride, or the marathon, or the MBA, or the early mornings to facilitate family time. The concept of retirement is confusing to a Fit Professional. If career was a primary activity, ‘retirement’ likely means a shift to a for compensation activity that fits their passion more. Might be teacher to a bike shop mechanic, might be an administrator to a cross fit phenom, might be a general manager to a road cycling animal, might be a dentist to a cross country skiing competitor, might be a pilot that crushes cycling gravel races, might be a banker to a guy that recovers during a five hour ride, where my personal best watts for an hour is after two years of training, might be a trainer to a world class body building champion, might be a house wife to a tri-athlete, might be … we’ll, you get the picture, and all these people know who they are. And most of them are NOT retired. I am not jealous of any of them. They all inspire me to do my best. To train a bit harder. To utilize what the good Lord has given me to the best I can. That is all we can do. I can’t keep up with any of them in what they do. But I am better at living my best life in all I do. Thank you, Fit Professionals, for your unintended inspiration that hits me. Thank you. These references are real Fit Professionals I’ve had the joy of knowing and anticipate knowing many years into the future.


Fit professionals generally only see the next personal best. And they understand the pacing it takes to make the changes they need in precisely the right aspects of their lives. Action starts. Action happens. Action doesn’t stop. Its paced. Action produces results. Results beget more action, and the cycle repeats. New elements of life might be added. Same thing. Up, up goes the quality of life. Resulting in your ‘personal best life’. It’s a moving, ever increasing, bar. But its comfortable because you understand your pace, your goals and your capabilities given all the small win’s you’ve had on the journey. Aim high? Maybe. Just don’t aim flat or down. Improve. Chase. Be honest about the context. Enjoy immensely each milestone. Be grateful for the ability to chase the next.


Are you a fit professional?


I’m excited for you! Life is about to get interesting, satisfying, and motivating. The transformation awaits you. Get after it!

And, if you haven’t already realized it by now, simply re-read the blog and you’ll realize if you insert organization, team, company, department, etc., you’ll see all of this holds for organizations. After all, organizations are made up of individuals. Organizations full of Fit Professionals have an edge to be sure!


You can contact me and explore the coaching services on www.thefitprofessional1.com if you would like to explore how you can be supported in this journey. Let’s get to work.



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