Small Business Development Center

Metaphors from Body Building

Metaphors from Body Building


Authored by: Haley Halverson

Sometimes, I joke that bodybuilding gave me enough (and sometimes a false sense of) confidence to do the MBA program. Also, that it humbled my ex-full-time-yoga-instructor-self about the “ease” of yoga. Both statements are actually 100% true, for which, I am extremely grateful.

Undoubtedly, we all know there are tons of health benefits from exercising. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Lifts mood 
  • Reduces feelings of depression
  • Improves strength and heart health 
  • Increases longevity and quality of life 

We’ve also seen the articles about the most successful CEOs and business owners who swear by exercise as a means to optimize their performance; the theory being that a physical prime is directly correlated to performance in other aspects of life. 

Which… going back to the health benefits of exercise: 

  • Builds confidence 
  • Advances learning abilities and creativity 
  • Keeps you competitive 
  • Boosts energy and productivity 

While I believe all those things to be true and fabulous, I, Haley, the program manager for the WWU SBDC, like exercise because it’s symbolic (blame the creative in me). Without further ado, here are a few reasons I like the gym:

Gives shape and tone to the day.

Five years ago, a piece of fitness advice I received and reflect on often is, “It can get pretty crazy out there, use this for stability and sanity. Be consistent here and that will follow you.”

I work out in the morning (and, honestly, often at night… cardio, yoga, dance class, etc. I’m active, okay?). It gives me a space to spend time with myself, listen to me, decompress and assess what is truly important. Even when I stall or dread it, finishing a workout is one thing accomplished and checked off the to-do list. 

Anyone else feel like crossing one thing off a list allows energy for, “I am a finisher. What’s next!?”
Trims the “fat” out of life.

When I started working out regularly, it changed so many of my habits. 
1. I ate out less ($$$ savings!!).
2. My true friends stuck around because we held similar values for ourselves, lives and time. 
3. I simplified in general and deeply understood discipline. Focusing, being thorough and really successful at a couple things is really hard work. Ain’t no wool being pulled over anyone’s eyes for experts in any field!
4. I can get more done and know when I can take on extra things because I identify my needs and priorities. 

Resistance training for life.

Simple: look at all that hard stuff you just did! What else can you show up for like that and kick booty? 

This is tenacity. 

Exercise is a ritual that facilitates my ability to be my best self. I don’t think your ritual necessarily has to be the gym (Although, as mentioned, there are real physiological and psychological benefits because of… biology and chemical transfers… but we won’t get into that:-). Alternative examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Make your bed
  • Schedule “off-time” or “Me-time”
  •   Schedule your time, in general
  • Meditate 
  • Writer

The key is finding daily, grounding habits for your day-to-day that inform, advance and punctuate your other activities.