“Strong people are harder to kill….”

by Barry Hill

We are honored to have Jake Platt, President and Founder of Northwest CrossFit, as one of our physical training advisors. You may recognize Jake from The Admiral’s Comeback Story as he directed the Admiral’s rehabilitation via CrossFit.

We caught up with Jake to share some of his thoughts towards the value of physical fitness.

A while back I attended a lecture by strength coach Mark Rippetoe in which he said something like this, “Strong people are harder to kill and all around more productive in life.” I believe Coach Rippetoe wasn’t making this observation in regard to physical violence between people per se, but rather about the negative aspects of how our modern sedentary lifestyle plays an adverse role toward our physical and mental preparedness. This quote resonated with me in such a way that I have made it a permanent mantra of our gym. Thanks, Coach Rippetoe, for this simple wisdom.

The people featured in the FitBehavior eBook further validate Coach Rippetoe’s theory. These amazing people have been able to overcome so many physical and mental barriers in order to enjoy a healthy and fit life. I believe we all have obstacles we need to overcome in order to share a similar experience. One of the biggest stressors in our modern times is the convenience we have built into it. Unfortunately, and without really being aware of it, nature punishes us for taking advantage of these conveniences by making us weak, both physically and mentally. Although the intention of pharmaceuticals, electronics, and a long list of lifestyle shortcuts may have been to improve our lives, instead they have led us toward chronic pain and despair.

Think about it… A couple hundred years ago, people had to be strong and fit in order to survive the everyday stressors of life. Walking long distances and carrying heavy objects were a normal everyday activity. Unfortunately, most of us nowadays sit for long periods of time, weakening our legs, backs and cardiovascular system. Many things that required physicality now can be done without leaving our home or even our desk.

Today, we have an obesity epidemic and it’s getting worse every year. I believe that the Fit After Fifty approach to inspire people to become active is one of the best gifts we can give people today that are interested in becoming healthier. Everyone needs to know that you’re never too old or too out of shape to start changing your life for the better.

Having coached thousands of people over the years, I’ve spent most of my career trying to convince people that being physically active and eating well will not only add quality of years to their life, but also, add to the quantity of those years. Many people do not know that they can add another ten years or more to their life by becoming active. The biggest point to this is that not only will you add years, but you’ll enjoy the life you lead so much more. What an adventure!

I am humbled by the stories that these great people have left behind for the generations to come. They are invaluable gifts to humanity and I am hopeful that we all celebrate their spirit by turning off the TV, putting down the soda pop and getting off the couch. Let us use their example to get us inspired to be courageous and leave a mark on this world that we were not only here, but participated, 100%, living an active fulfilling life.

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