Playing Games – Impulse Training

Playing Games

Evan Ferwerda | May 30, 2019

The InBody can be a bit daunting, so I wanted to share some more insights that will help you in your journey. It has a lot to do with games.

There are two types of games: finite and infinite.

Finite is a game with an end. It has an outcome that all sides agree to. Once that end point is met, the game is over (think basketball games, baseball, etc.). The goal is that you are playing for the outcome, the win or the loss. This also applies to our Myzone challenges.

Infinite games, on the other hand, are games without an end. They are something you do to get better. There may eventually be an end, but right now, it is a focus on the process. These are games without a clearly defined end, where there are no agreed upon rules for when it is over or what the measurement is.

The clear distinction is playing for an outcome (finite) vs the process (infinite). Yes, process eventually leads to outcomes, but if your process skills are flawed, then the outcome will never be what you want.

I believe most of our health pursuits fail because we fixate only on the outcome. We want to fix the variables so that the outcome is what we desire so that we can win a finite game. However, when we try to fix the variables (i.e. training wheels on a bike), then we shift the focus from process to outcome. The illusion is “I have learned to ride a bike.”

Juggling is a process; you need to learn to toss then catch. This is a basic building block for every skill. Toss and catch, and when you are better, add another ball. But on route to adding more balls, you are going to have to drop a lot. You might think progress is about getting better at catching, but it’s about the throwing. Better throws = better catches.

This is the same for riding a bike. Yes, the outcome is riding upright, but the process is learning to balance and being able to get back up when you fall.

The point is, becoming healthier, having better InBody screens, and getting 1300 MEPS each month, is not about the outcome or the catch, but about embracing the process of improvement. It is tough to measure. Once you “made it”, do you quit? No. It is about meaningful, often incremental, progress.

At what point do you “win” at being healthy? What are the rules? Who are you playing against and are they playing by the same rules as you?

Your health is an infinite game. You continue playing to have a better quality of life for a longer period of time, not so that you can win on an invisible scoreboard that others are not using. (read that again, and one more time after that)

That’s why short-term diet fixes don’t last. They work the same way training wheels on a bike do. They fix the variables and change the game. It is no longer a focus on the process, but the outcome. Riding a bike requires balance, grit, and the ability to get back up if you fall …just like improving your health.

Getting on the InBody is scary. You might not like where you are, but if you want to improve, then embrace the process of the infinite game. Do your best, then do it again. And again, and again …

The game of good health is never over, so keep your focus on the process.

Evan Ferwerda

Evan has been a professional in the fitness, lifestyle and sport performance industry for over 6 years coaching numerous general fitness individuals and athletes in order to improve their physical health and performance. He's worked with individual clients to achieve fitness goals as well as leading large group training sessions. Evan spent the 2015-16 season working with the Ohio State Football strength and conditioning staff in Columbus. Evan graduated from Malone University in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

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