Feed Your Soul With Integrity

It’s another week in paradise here at Primitive. Welcome to this week’s blog post! We’re excited to talk about how integrity plays such an important role in getting our butts to the gym and in taking care of ourselves.


It can be a bear to make our way into the gym sometimes. We’re busy, life is in the way adding to our stress, and we simply don’t have the time or energy to work out. This is such a human experience and it’s something we all feel at some point in our lives. At Primitive, we are intimately familiar with that feeling, we see it at times from ourselves, our clients and our community. There’s always another, “I need to cancel, I haven’t slept because xyz, I haven’t eaten properly because I’ve been so busy,” and we understand. The key to success and rising above those feelings is our integrity. 


Our core values mean a lot to us here at Primitive. They were carefully chosen and came under a lot of scrutiny in order to capture the essence of what is important for our team, and how we want to interact with the world. Our personal favorite would be integrity. We believe in doing the right thing, even when no one is around to see it. The choice to be courageous and do what you value rather than what is comfortable or easy is at the heart of how we lead. 


At Primitive there is no action too small to lead with integrity. It’s important to us because it brokers trust and ensures our own happiness. Our success isn’t just measured by the success of the people we work with, but also in how we feel about ourselves at the end of the day. That’s the difference. Integrity is how we show up to the gym even when life is throwing lemons at us. We can’t do our best without integrity. We can’t complete a proper compound movement or progress in our goals without integrity. It shows up in the most minute details. 


Think about all the steps that go into a deadlift. You have to have proper footing underneath the barbell, keep roughly a shoulder width grip, ensure you lead and drive from the hips as you descend to grab the bar and as you drive up to perform the lift, and maintain a solid core foundation all while keeping the shoulders and chest in resolute posture. There is a lot of technique in this exercise, and skipping any of these steps can lead to injury. You have to hold your shape and understand why each part of a deadlift is essential for a successful movement. Structural integrity is as important as moral integrity because when you come to the gym they are equal. For true success, you must commit to the shape as well as to your fitness goals in order to bring integrity into your workout. It’s easy, even comfortable to be lazy and drop technique or feel like a movement is just too hard. That’s where integrity comes in as a reminder to yourself that you value the work you’re doing and it only serves to improve your life. 


As Joan Halifax, American Zen Buddhist teacher, so eloquently states, we have to have a strong back and a soft front. Our ability to practice our values, hold our shape, and maintain that compassion as well as openness for our community is what fuels our work. We also understand that It can be difficult to stand in your integrity. There can be a lot of shame or negativity from other people that serves to make holding your integrity feel like a bad idea. It’s like learning a new movement at the gym, at first it might feel a bit uncomfortable, it might even have you doubting whether this is the right way to complete this exercise. But if you stick it out, the gains are ten fold. 


Let’s dig deeper for a moment, what fuels your reason for coming to the gym? What do you value about your experience here? We have to consider our relationship to ourselves. We can’t show up to the gym or even to the rest of our life if we can’t dig deeper and understand our own motivations. At the end of the day it comes down to what are we valuing so much over taking care of ourselves? 


How do we get to the part where we continuously make the choice to take care of ourselves and stand in our integrity. You need to ask yourself where you are spending your time and whether that correlates to what you value. Sometimes life is difficult, because that job you have is demanding plus you have a partner or family that needs your attention as well. These are important parts of life, and require some deep thinking on where you stand. What do you value enough to make time for, how are you going to take care of yourself. 

Some practical ways to consider what your values are:

  1. Have conversations with yourself and get to know yourself on a deeper level. Where do you want to be at the end of the day? How do you want to feel? What makes you feel a sense of accomplishment? What does it feel or look like when you’re taking the best care of yourself?
  2. Make a to-do list, get organized and figure out what things on those lists are non-negotiables. What must you absolutely get done in order to feel like you are standing in your integrity.
  3. Make your values a priority. Follow through with your ideas and feelings to make those a reality in your life.  After all, that is what integrity is all about. Taking your deepest truth and making it your everyday lived experience. 


Remember integrity the next time life feels like it’s getting in the way of what matters to you. Choose to be courageous and live up to the expectations you have for yourself. When we’re at the gym, especially, it’s our time to be selfish and accomplish what we want. It’s our time to take care of ourselves and refill our energy so that we can show up for the other people in our lives. 


At Primitive, we believe in setting the bar higher and putting our actions ahead of our words. Through love, care, support, and conviction we choose to take responsibility for the quality of life we want our community to have. Our human family only deserves growth, opportunity, and a full life. Thank you for joining us this week, and we hope to hear from you on how integrity shows up for you in your workouts and daily life.

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