We train for many reasons. Some of want to look better. Some of us want to be stronger. Others want to feel better or be able to do more. And some just want to be able to have better control of our bodies. Although there are as many reason to train as there are people training what unites us is the fact that training is difficult to sustain.
Life always gets in the way. Job, bills, career, family, kids, the world. As a matter of fact while getting fitter is a single goal that's easy to put in place between it and us there are usually countless obstacles we need to get out of the way: equipment, gym membership, gyms, money, time, the weather, our frame of mind and all the myriad life issues we already know come up.
That's where RPG fitness is different. When you play a role you are more than just yourself. Whatever worries you might face, whatever issues might come up well now they're no longer your concern. You're the hero in Hero's Journey making choices that will affect your journey into peril. You're the lone fighter in Avatar Upgrade each day helping you forge a new you, each victory (or loss) affecting your armor, speed, endurance, flexibility and combat skills.
You are the nameless hero in the Age of Pandora exploring a post-apocalyptic landscape, trying desperately to remember who you are as you're learning to survive in the hope that you might reclaim a lost world.
In those scenarios the pressures are real, immediate, pressing. With life-and-death choices to make and the fate of worlds hanging in the balance, determined by your actions and choices there is no time to think of all the self-doubts, all the obstacles that stop us from training. We are geared to overcome the things that try to stop us from becoming a better version of ourselves. The reasons we don't always succeed is because we are also responsible people. We feel that worrying about the bills is more important than spending time training, for example and focusing on our jobs should come first and above learning how to kick like a ninja.
But health is also important. Our quality of life is key to actually feeling that we enjoy living. When other things take priority, consistently, over this then, at some point we end up unfit, unhealthy, inwardly wishing we could change and unsure how to best go about it.
RPG fitness is a mind trick we use to force our brains to shut up long enough for us to get fitter and healthier. They are a clever way of using our hardwiring to take control of our mind, first and our body, next. By making it a mission to do something that is important in a context (unite opposing camps, fight the monsters, face the next Boss) and by slipping into the hero's role in that journey, we become responsible for others through the actions we take.
Fitness then becomes easier, personal improvement goals become important and the obstacles that stop us from becoming as fit and healthy as we want to be tend to fade into the background. They will still be there when we emerge of course, but by then we will have worked out, be fitter, stronger and a little bit more heroic.
Age of Pandora - Post Apocalyptic Fitness Quest PDF & Web App + interactive map
Avatar Upgrade - Upgrade your character in real life (avatar charts supplied)