By definition Zen means ‘A Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through meditation.  Everyone has their own interpretation of ‘Zen’.  For some their place of Zen maybe sitting Indian style in a quiet room chanting.  Others find Zen through Yoga.  Some go on spiritual retreats.  I drive about ten minutes South on the  freeway to find my Zen.  It was not always that easy for me.  I could not sit still for five minutes let alone meditate.  My mind would travel the world many times over but I never left my house.  How can that be?  My mind would continue racing from through to thought.  I have heard it described as that ‘hamster wheel in the head’.  I am happy to say that my place of Zen is the gym.

My Zen slowly begins when I wake up.  I get dressed, pack my gym bag, prep my meals for the day then head out.  I pull up to the gym parking lot.  I can feel my Zen getting stronger.  I get out, walk through the door, scan my badge, say hi to the desk clerk then head to the locker room.  I put my bag away, fill up my pre-workout bottle, grab my foam roller, resistance band, two 5 lb. dumbbells then sit on the warmup mat.  I drink my pre-workout, put in my earbuds then take a moment.

This is where my Zen is at it’s strongest.  I begin my stretching, foam rolling and shoulder warmup exercises.  I am really focused now.  I finish my warmups then sit back down.  I sit against the wall.  I close my eyes and focus on what exercises I will be doing for the day.  I can see myself as I perform the exercises.  I can see which weight I use and who I interact with.  I actually leave my body and watch myself as I go through my routine.  I cheer myself on.  I tell myself that I am doing great.  I coach myself on ways to improve and push myself to do one more repetition.

I see myself finishing my workout.  I see myself drinking my post-workout shake.  I see myself looking and feeling better when than I arrived.  I go deep into thought.  I completed my workout without moving a muscle.

I open my eyes, get up then start my workout.  I do this everytime I lift.  I have found my place of Zen.

You Cannot Outtrain A Bad Diet,


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