A Boy In Flux
I ask myself often, what is the real purpose of exercise? I can argue all day, and have for many years, about the utility of exercise in the modern world. In recent years though, I have gotten quite good at arguing against exercise. I suggest that, the car with the most and the hardest miles on it will go to the junkyard first. Today though, I’m back on board with the concept of exercise – for now anyway.
The Story Of Problems
Writer’s block had woven its way deep into my psyche and I was trying to think of something – anything to fill the sails of my stagnant thoughts. A fly landed on my left hand and diverted my attention away from my lack of any attention. He had been there several times before and was beginning to annoy me. I kept my hand still, that I could prepare my other hand to strike. I raised my right hand as my eyes locked on to my target. I was ready to strike when I chose not to…
He’s just a fly – doing fly things, I thought. I’m, maybe, millions of times his mass and power, and really, he was not harming me, only annoying me. I shooed him away. I would have to do that many times over because he kept returning. But in all of his returning, his purpose was never to harm me, only to exist doing fly things, and it was only his existence on my skin which annoyed me.
Why is it, I wondered, I first felt compelled to kill him…? Ten psychologists would have ten different answers to that question, and they would all be wrong. But I answered my own question immediately, and correctly. Rather than solve a problem, I simply wanted to eliminate it. In this case, eliminating the problem involved killing which I don’t like to do, even flies.
Killing notwithstanding, I think this is a good way to be – to seek to eliminate problems, rather than solve them. In solving a problem, one is really just walking around it, denying it, or bowing down to the power of the problem. Eliminating a problem is where peace is born, where cooperation manifests, and growth often begins.
The Problems From A Lack Of Fitness
Where do I begin….? Obesity. Diabetes. Hypertension. Low self-esteem. Poor balance. General weakness. Lack of stamina and energy. Poor flexibility. Heart disease. I’m stopping there, but I could go on – and on. This list of our potential physical whoas seems to increase as humans socially and technologically evolve. I’m not a math whiz, but that doesn’t add up. We’re socially and technologically evolving, but our decreasing physicality flourishes within this so-called evolution…? I have said before; among the worst unintended consequences of advancement, is…
… is a lack of advancement.
Minimizing The Problems, If Not Eliminating Them
I’m not a big fan of Western medicine. I have friends that cringe when I tell them my last physical was my discharge physical from the US Coast Guard – in the 1980s. I’ve never had a colonoscopy, a bone density scan, nor a prostate exam. I’m just not wired that way. If it happens it happens. Look, we’re all going to die. This may be naïve, foolish, and outright self-destructive, but I believe my daily movement (can help to) minimize and even eliminate a lot of those kinds of problems.
Strength training. Cardiovascular/cardiorespiratory exercise. Stretching. Balance work. Plyometrics movements. Static exercise. Mindful eating. Et all, these elements of my weekly fitness agenda may not wage absolute war on the unknown carcinogens and circumstances lurking to enter my body and conspire against my tomorrows, but I can say this very clearly:
I look around at men my age – younger even, and how they live and how they function, and I can say unequivocally that my daily action puts me in much better field position to live a longer, healthier life, and a more active life. Practicing my daily action, I have served to minimize a lot of potential problems with my health, and even eliminate a few. I also suggest that with my daily action, I have made a contribution toward eliminating the logistical and economic problems of a clogged healthcare system, high insurance costs, and a need for so many handicap parking spaces at Wal-Mart.
And I wonder, if everyone took time – just a small portion of their day to exercise and eat just a little bit better – just a little bit, what problems might be minimized, or eliminated…? But it’s easier I guess, to solve our problems with pharmaceuticals, medical appointments, devices, and other instruments of progress. But in doing so, are those problems ever really solved, or is the power of those problems just bowed down to…? Be well. rc
Oh, and there is this by Tjinder Singh and Cornersop. Enjoy…