There are some intelligent, passionate, and mindful people in the online health and fitness community. Observing people, who endeavor to evoke thought and promote dialogue on a variety of fitness related topics, by way of the internet. They do so in recognition that they are not experts, but insightful enthusiasts who wish to exchange values and ideas with others connected to this world-wide platform.
There are many more who possess even higher intelligence, without the quality of mindfulness. I refer to these people as experts. I view their websites and read their blogs, and I see layer upon layer of intelligence and expertise – intermingled within layer upon layer of agenda. Agenda, even above misinformation, is one element of the internet which can make learning sketchy, if not dangerous. Where is mindfulness? Where is discussion? Where is respect? Agenda disallows these.
I’m not even an expert on me, let alone on anyone or anything beyond me. I’ll master me first, and then perhaps then I will move on to mastering you. In the mean time, I just want to talk about exercise and where it may, or may not, fit into your own agenda, in this era of modern man. I wish to cultivate and share some good conversations about fitness and exercise along the way. I am passionate about exercise. I believe in the values of exercise. I believe this would be a better nation if everyone invested in daily action.
There are many genres and subcultures of exercise touted in the online fitness community. The Primal or Paleo lifestyle. Kettlebells. CrossFit. Yoga. Pilates. Running. Kickboxing. Triathlons. Spinning. Participatory sports such as soccer, softball, tennis, golf, etc., all have their online platforms and devotees. There are also Tai Chi, martial arts, and the like. There are obstacle courses being built in parks and strip malls all over the country, and blogs which tell you how to best utilize them, and the list goes on still. Then, there is bodybuilding. In the case of bodybuilders, they are to the online fitness community, what Israel is to the global community; nobody likes them, everyone is critical of them, but one would be wise to appreciate and respect their fortitude and discipline. Afront all of these disciplines, are many self-christened experts – leaders prescribing how things ought to be, and how you and I ought to do them.
There is plenty of science to back up what the experts of these disciplines preach, and they are quick to pepper our computer screens with buckshot blast after blast of numbers supporting their agendas with that science. Within the science though, there is always contradiction. These contradictions make for heated discussions, elicit passionate dialogue, and create divisiveness among the experts and constituents alike. This is the point when leaders, wanting to be heralded as masters, begin to lead from the front of the line, and not from the back – where from great leaders usually command.
Obscured by this comotion is the much larger picture of what, I believe, exercise and fitness should be about; play and prayer – for the mind, body and spirit. Exercise and fitness, in any form, can be the play and prayer from which one can better cultivate one’s inner and outer self – in ways which might eventually promote an expertise of one’s self. In the contradicting agendas of how we should play, it is lost by the experts that what matters most is that we play.
That which I play, I play wrong according to many experts, and they are quick to tell me. Wrong according to them – just right according to me. I just like to play. I like playing with weights. I like to play with hiking trails. I like to play with kayaks. I like to play with sprints, pull-ups, push-ups, and do so daily. I even like to play with modern electrical cardio equipment too. My exercise is both my play and my pray – despite that my protocols of play may not be consistent with science based agendas of the experts.
Lest the experts not forget, it is play. I wish I could make a COEXIST-type logo supporting all disciplines of exercise; an ecumenical trademark of exercise tolerance, promoting the sharing of, and the respect of commonalties among fitness values and ideals. A statement denouncing the contradictory behaviors and agendas which so many have with regard to the exercise platforms and protocols of others.
Time stands still. I’m fortunate; I get to do summer vacation for a living. Those who aren’t as fortunate need be thrifty with their decisions of play – make your fitness work for you, guilt free, and strive to become an expert on yourself. Consider that both play, and pray be at the core of your daily action. That’s my agenda and I’m sticking to it.
This post was inspired by my online friends, Dr. J and Gal Josefsberg. Please visit their blogs when you have time. They are two of the more mindful bloggers I read. I respect each of them for their lack of agenda, and they’re willingness to share and promote dialogue. It’s an online kinda of fellowship. Be well. rc