What Would You Tell a Younger Version of You?

20s

Everyone can benefit from experience.  Given your own experience, what would you tell a younger version of you to reach your fitness goals?  Here’s a great story form a personal trainer who reflects upon his years of learning and what he would tell a younger version of himself if he could.  

As a personal trainer and dedicated gym freak for over a decade, I’m pretty sure I’m close to hitting Malcolm Gladwell’s famous 10,000 hours mark (the amount of time it takes to become truly proficient at a task). While I wouldn’t want to proclaim myself an iron-pumping genius – plenty of others have done twice as much time in the gym – I am confident that I’ve seen and done it all in the gym.

Along the way, I’ve learned a lot of lessons – often the hard way, by failing or making mistakes and looking back in anguish. With those (often painful) reflections in mind, here are seven things I wish I could have told my 20-year-old self.

Less is more

One of the fallacies of youth is that you feel as if you have an endless capacity to perform and push through pain, tiredness and a host of niggling injuries. While you have a lot of natural vitality in your 20s, it by no means excuses you of the necessity of adequate rest.

I was hit hard with overtraining syndrome several times in my mid twenties, to the point of developing enlarged lymph nodes in my neck, frequent throat and eye infections, palpitations, dizziness and fatigue. On one occasion I recall driving to Wales on a whim and taking four straight days to recuperate.

Those occasions were severe but rare; the real danger was the toll, day after day, of leading a caffeine fuelled lifestyle that wasn’t backed up with enough sleep. I now realise I was probably in the early stages of adrenal fatigue consistently from age 26-30.

Like so many others, I needed a better balance. I felt like I had to burn the candle at both ends to attain a degree of success in my industry – but with just a little thought I could have worked just as hard while still getting enough rest.

Looking back, I fear I accelerated my ageing process in those wired-and-awake years.

Keep Reading: Seven things I wish I’d known about fitness in my twenties

thumbnail courtesy of telegraph.co.uk