In my teens and 20s, all I cared about was my looks. That’s all I trained for. Well, that and my ego. Trying to punish myself to be the strongest and fittest person in the gym (I never was).

My early 30s were about the same. Although with less ego and a kinder approach towards myself.

Sometime in my mid-30s, the goals shifted towards health and general fitness for life. Some of it had to do with becoming a parent. It has a way of changing the perspective of how we see the world and ourselves in it.

But it was only in my late 30s that I started to seriously think about training and aging. Not to chase the glory days of my youth but to train in a way that supports me today and for the next however many decades.

Now, in my 40s, one thought illustrates my training. It goes through my head at the start of every workout: “I better do get-ups today to keep the hips and upper back loose.”

Obviously, I am still thinking about the looks. But compared to my 20s, it gets about 20% of the attention instead of 100%. And that focus mostly shows in my diet, and not in the way I train.

There are so many things I wish I could tell my 20-something self. Wisdom that would’ve saved me a bunch of injuries and a whole lot of misery. But then again, there’s no way I would’ve listened to some dinosaur in his 40s.

What about? How have your training goals evolved over the decades?

-J