I can't lift heavy weights anymore, actually that needs re-phrasing, I could, but I've made the conscious choice not to. Once I passed forty I gradually came to the realisation and took the decision that any potential ongoing damage to my body was not worth the continued effort. What seemed like permanent back strain just wasn't justifying the benefits.
I still go to the gym, but I've adapted using weights as part of a cardio routine, I run once or twice a week (if time permits) and I attend three circuit training classes per week that have at their core 'bodyweight' exercises.
But there's no denying it, I still miss bench pressing, dead lifting and squats, arguably the corner stone of any weight training, power-lifting, or body-building routine. I'm enjoying my eldest Son 'going to the gym'. Like most athletic sixteen year olds he wants to be; bigger, stronger, faster and as a consequence more attractive. We're having some great conversations at home about his routines, the weights he's pushing, his diet etc. Naturally my thoughts have recently turned to the first gym my Father took me to, there were three huge signs on the walls that immediately greeted you on your entrance, these three key motivational phrases appear to have been ingrained in me and have stayed with me for decades "winners never quit, quitters never win", "the secret of success is hard work" and "when the going gets tough, the tough get going".
Exercise is an incredible form of stress release, our profession is at times very intense and equally sedentary therefore exercise can offer a real relief from the pressures we experience. The mental well being aspect of intense physical exercise should not be overlooked as it's a terrific by product to the physical benefits. I'm typing this article and already I'm beginning to get excited about my circuit training session this evening, a session that I often take. I gradually morphed into taking it by asking the instructor if we could adapt the structure and include some different bodyweight exercises into the routine, it was a polite way of suggesting that the routines had become quite stale. So I began to 'Google' and search You Tube for ideas, suddenly I'd taken on the responsibility to create new routines each week. The numbers have increased and we have a hard core of dedicated circuit trainers so we must be on the right path.
I'll come away absolutely dripping wet through tonight but will have thoroughly enjoyed not only the routine but also the social aspect of the session and the last thing I think about in the middle of twenty burpees/press ups/star jumps, followed by a two minute run, to be followed by the next in the series of exercises, is our industry. The total absorption of training and the form of concentration required takes you to a 'place' where you have no capacity for any other thoughts other than completing the session. Once I'm back home, showered refreshed (both mentally and physically) I'm ready to hit the keyboard again. So how does this relate to trading? Bear with me..
After the devastating Japanese earthquake and Tsunami I heard a Japanese lady on radio 4 in the UK stating that she'd recover as would the Japanese people. She referred to a phrase I hadn't seen written down or heard since I was a very young boy attending a ju-jitsu dojo, the phrase was; "fall down seven times, stand up eight", "Nana korobi ya oki" – 七転び八起き. The phrase Ganbatte がんばって literary "do your best" was also in the dojo. Perhaps now readers can see the relevance to trading…
We can discuss the 3Ms, we can agonise over the use of Fibonacci or Elliot Wave theory. We can create our own version of mini funky algorithms in the form of Expert Advisors to use on our Meta Trader platform, but ultimately at our end of the business it is a 'doing business' that can only be learned through the experience of doing. In any pro-active endeavour, exercise or trading, no amount of theory can ever replace the practical, in our industry practice really does make permanent. No amount of theory will replace the match hardened attitude your psyche will develop as you learn to cope with the huge range of emotions you'll undoubtedly experience as you evolve as a trader. The many trials you'll suffer during your never ending learning curve is a metaphor for life learning and will eventually lead to a clearer purpose. You have to do your best, がんばって and you will fall down seven times and have to get up eight 七転び八起き if you want to win at this business. Always remember, winners never quit and quitters never win.