Posted by: Aniek


Last week I attended a two day conference for people who work in the fitness industry. Aside from ending up like a caged animal after two days of sitting in a chair for hours on end, it was a largely refreshing experience.

One of the speakers started his presentation with a question – the title of this email you’re reading. What does “fitness” mean to you?”

It was a rhetorical question – we didn’t have to go round the room and give our own interpretation – but it definitely provoked a lot of thought and later discussion.

And it got me thinking really deeply about what fitness means to ME and what it might mean to YOU as well.

The term “fitness” is banded around a lot related to specific achievements – being able to run 5km for example – or as your ability to fulfill a particular role – being “fit for duty”. The term “fitness” is also regularly used to represent physical presentation. Society tells us that a slimmer, athletic build equates to “fitness”. We see images splashed across “fitness” magazines and websites that tell us so. Sometimes the term is used simply to identify the absence of disease – “fit and healthy” being a common phrase you hear. Maybe your personal meaning of fitness is a combination of those ideas and/or others too.

What I’ve learnt is that everyone has different ideas about what “fitness” means to them, different motivations and different reasons for wanting to work on their “fitness” and that is OK.

I thought I’d share with you what fitness means to me, in case it provokes you to think about things a little differently…


To me, fitness is the physical freedom to be able to do the things that make my life worth living.
( You know… all the fun sh*t! :) )

It’s a simple statement that covers all aspects of my life and therefore drives me to keep working on it for all and any reason. It’s transient too. The things that make life worth living in my twenties will look different to those in my fifties or sixties, so it moves with the times as well.It doesn’t define how many miles I can run or my half marathon PB. It doesn’t define what size clothes I wear or the number on the scale. It doesn’t define me because I have defined it.

Don’t let “fitness” define you if you don’t want it to.