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Fit for Life: Become the Best Version of Yourself

Saturday, October 27, 2018


If you stripped everyone in the world of every material thing, and we were all on even playing field, what would you have left?

What would you be grateful for?

Would you consider yourself rich and full of wealth or poor and full of despair?

This is an important question to ask yourself because material things can be taken away in a second, however some things can’t, so imagine you and the entire world stripped down to a 1 room house with one set of clothing, and nothing else.

No Mercedes cars, no diamond jewelry, private jets, vacation homes, big screen tv’s, or yachts.

Just people and the bare necessities for survival.

Would you have your health? Would you be able to run, walk, hunt and fish? Would you have the capacity to survive without all the domesticated items that make life easy? Are you vital and full of energy, or are you tired and run down all the time?

How about friends and family? How many friends do you have? Not acquaintances, but true friends that you would trust to stand by your side in a case of emergency or go to war with you. How many family members do you have left, and how close are you with them? What’s your network look like, and who can you count on or depend on?

Depending on how you answered those questions is the true measure of your net worth. That’s the deciding factor of whether you are rich or poor.

We have a tendency of measuring our worth with money and material things. We stress ourselves over what we don’t have instead of valuing what we do have and put a high value on things that don’t really matter that much.

Instead of being happy and grateful for the life we live, and the air that we breathe, we loathe in despair because we haven’t acquired enough “things”, or we get cynical towards others out of jealousy.

You can’t buy fulfillment, and the most fulfilling things in life are usually already in our possession. They are the people around you, the activities that bring us joy, and the life and vitality that is already inside us.

Over the past weekend, I had several moments of deep soul searching and it gave me time to think and gain some clarity.

I was at a conference and the theme of it was #soulright, and that’s exactly what happened to the group.

We got our soul right.

The group consisted of almost 100 amazing people.

Now in my industry, more specifically, at self-development conferences, it is easy to find genuinely great caring people. The reason is because everyone that is there is creating impact on many other people’s lives.

If you are a fitness professional and go to conferences to improve yourself so you can improve others, you care more than just about making money in this industry.

Your heart and soul are part of reaching people deep within, not just creating great workouts and making people sweat.

When and only when you get your mind and spirit right, can you change the lives of others, and you won’t get that from following fitness people on YouTube and Instagram.

You need to be in the presence of others with the same mission.

One eye and soul opening experience was when I went on a hike by myself.

Now don’t get me wrong, being alone has its perks. Sometimes we need that quiet time to reset and move about at our own pace, and I cherish moments alone.

Just understand that being alone and lonely are vastly different.

So, I ventured up the mountain without a map or plan.

I traveled all day and needed to get into the mountain air.

After about 45 minutes, I realized that I was tired winded, and low on water.

No big deal, because I could see the base of the mountain, but when I saw a half-eaten deer carcass, I started to wonder. Should I be here alone?

What the hell ate this deer?

Knowing that the deer was much faster than me, I picked up a good-sized rock and began to head back down the mountain. Quickly.

Fast forward two days later when we went on a group hike. We went deeper into the hills, and saw large animal footprints in the snow, yet it never crossed my mind to go back. Why? Because it was strength in numbers and I knew that regardless of what could happen, we weren’t alone. It wasn’t the risk factor, it was the camaraderie of being surrounded with good people, and that brought out a sense of security.

Although if a mountain lion attacked the group, I’m sure all of would have instinctively ran like hell, but by being in a group, you know you wouldn’t die alone. Being with people gives us strength in numbers.

Another eye-opening statement was from the host of the event, Todd Durkin.

He said to think about the moment you were born.

You were a gift to two people.

A gift that money couldn’t buy.

A gift so valuable that nothing could even come close to the joy you brought.

Now look at yourself today.

You are still a gift to someone, somewhere.

Your existence brings someone joy and happiness. Parents, spouses, children, or friends. You would create a void in someone’s life if you no longer existed.

You matter. More than all the material things listed above, and the only thing irreplaceable in life are the human beings that bring joy to each other’s lives.

So, it is more important to become the best version of yourself that you can be.

That we strive to be better within before we worry about gathering material things.

That you take care of you and serve others by giving them your best.

When we can accomplish that, then we will achieve everything we need.

After that happens, then its ok to acquire the superficial material things that bring temporary joy, because we will have acquired the bond that can’t be broken.

Committed to being better every day,

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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