Fitness Magazine

Is Your Otter Sabotaging Your Fitness Efforts?

By Sbc12 @strongbychoice


Ever heard of these animals before?

Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever, and Beaver?

I am sure you have seen them.  Now before you think I have gone off the deep end (which I have occasionally), at least read this post before you dismiss my madness.

Let me start another way.

Have you ever heard of the Four Temperaments (no, they are not the rival singing group of The Four Tops)?  Hippocrates came up with an assessment on how a person behaves based on their temperament.

Here are the Four Temperaments:


The sanguine temperament is fundamentally impulsive and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are sociable and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However, some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean sensitive, compassionate and thoughtful. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They have no lack of confidence.


The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like. They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were choleric. They like to be in charge of everything. However, cholerics also tend to be either highly disorganized or highly organized. They do not have in-between setups, only one extreme to another. As well as being leader-like and assertive, cholerics also fall into deep and sudden depression. Essentially, they are very much prone to mood swings.


The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and thoughtful. Melancholic people often were perceived as very (or overly) pondering and considerate, getting rather worried when they could not be on time for events. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry and art – and can become preoccupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world. Often they are perfectionists. They are self-reliant and independent; one negative part of being a melancholic is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of others.


The phlegmatic temperament is fundamentally relaxed and quiet, ranging from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be content with themselves and are kind. They are accepting and affectionate. They may be receptive and shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant, qualities that make them good administrators. They can also be passive-aggressive.

However, I like the version of Gary Smalley where he uses animals to describe the Four Temperaments which are Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever, and Beaver. In his model, the Lion would be Choleric, Otter would be Sanguine, Golden Retriever would be Phlegmatic, and the Beaver would be Melancholic.

Now why bring this up?

Glad you asked.  I am beginning to see that my personality (primary: Otter, secondary: Golden Retriever) plays a role in my fitness.  As an Otter, I love fun.  I want stimulation and dislike routine.  As I am inching back into fitness, I realize that my training need brevity (Otters have very short attention spa…LOOK A SHINY PENNY!), fun (party in a box), and random (routine smotines, PFFFT!).  Now that I starting to understand myself, I need to find ways to awaken my inner Otter and allow him to have fun while accomplishing my return to fitness.  If I don’t, Otter will sabotage my fitness efforts.  He may even eat my min-van.

What about you?

What animal do you think you are?

If you want to know, click on HERE to guess which animal you think you are.

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