As the old saying goes, “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

And I’m guilty of this too. Since my training and experience is in athletic preparation, I tend to think of everyone as athletes. No matter what you do, no matter what your station in life, I believe you should think of yourself as an athlete too. Here’s why…

The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) defined “fitness” as “the ability to meet the needs of your everyday life, with ease and a little room left to spare, in case of emergency.”

Some of you might not immediately sense the relevance of this, especially if you’re sedentary. But it’s still VERY relevant. Just to cite one example, sitting for long periods is VERY stressful and potentially damaging to your lower back. So if that applies to YOU, you should give some thought to how you might better prepare yourself to withstand those daily stresses.

Think of structured, purposeful physical activity as a necessary counter-balance for your artificially-sedentary lifestyle and surroundings.

It’s also very insightful to study the athletic perspective on training, competing, and winning and losing.

Successful athletes are purposeful. Training is undertaken for a purpose, not simply to burn calories- that’s why couch potatoes use the word “exercise” and athletes use the word “training:” “training” implies a purpose for the activity.

Commonly, the ratio between training time and competition time is skewed heavily toward training. Olympic discus throwers for example, might spend fours years of hard training, culminating in only a few seconds in the circle. Executives understand this implicitly: a smart exec might spend months “training” for just the right opportunity in front of a hot prospect or client.

Interestingly, a lot of pro and Olympic athletes spend a lot of time resting and recreating. Note that second word: to “re-create.” Training is intense, competition is intense…the creative wellspring must be replenished. Professional entertainers understand this also.

An old coach of mine used to say “There is no joy in winning, no agony in defeat.” It just means that you shouldn’t get too happy about your wins, because there’s always another competition to prepare for. And of course, no point in wallowing in a defeat…defeats provide the opportunity to learn and mature- IF you have the right perspective.

So let me urge you to think of yourself as an athlete in whatever game it is that you play- business, parenting, teaching, learning, creating value for the World using your own unique skills and talents, whatever they are. Don’t shortchange the World by neglecting your physicality, because you won’t be operating at peak efficiency. Life is holographic- your intellectual, spiritual, and emotional strength depends on your physical strength, and vice versa.

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“One of the signs of a great teacher is the ability to make the subject matter seem simple. Charles Staley is one of these rare teachers. After listening and talking to him, you suddenly achieve a new awareness of training. You go to the gym and, suddenly, everything makes sense, and you wonder why you haven’t been doing it his way since day one.” – Muscle Media 2000 magazine August, 1999


Prominent both the United States and across the globe, Charles is recognized as an insightful coach and innovator in the field of human performance. His knowledge, skills and reputation have lead to appearances on NBC's The TODAY Show and The CBS Early Show, along with numerous radio appearances.


He has authored more than a thousand articles for leading fitness publications and websites, and has lectured to eager audiences around the World.


Charles is not only a thinker, but also a doer: At age 54, he competes in the sport of raw powerlifting, and is a 2-time World Champion (220 and 198-pound weight classes). Find Charles online at www.TargetFocusFitness.com.