The Obvious Truth About Aging
People in decline are most obvious -- at the extremities of the head, hands and feet -- not only because they are the most visible, but also because they are the sites that will first suffer from a decreasing effectiveness of circulation resulting in impaired health and functioning.
That is so obvious as to be a self-definition of what aging is about -- the loss of full and effective functioning in those organs that most uniquely and distinctly differentiate individuals in their proficiencies -- most meaningfully. Therefore, to place them in primary importance as an exercise and conditioning strategy, is the only thing that makes sense -- in light of the greatest deteriorative fears of people promised a long life -- by which they hope, to still possess all their faculties -- which are implied to be the critical full functioning at their head, hands and feet -- even while it is less necessary to exhibit the greatest range of movement at the "core" muscles necessary for stability and support -- much more than movement.
That is their proper role -- and not vice-versa, as many are conditioned to think, and therefore act, which is the fallacy and shortcoming of their conditioning efforts to remain robust and fully functional all their life. Many still think such a thing is impossible -- that the head, hands and feet should precede the body in its deterioration, rather than being the smart way not to. In fact, nothing else is possible.
If the circulation is optimal at the extremity, it must be so through the pathways to it -- but not necessarily so, if one places the greatest importance at the proximity, or at the source of the circulatory function -- which doesn't necessarily indicate or even imply the effectiveness at the extremity -- and in fact, most commonly performed "exercise" movements, divert or stop the flow to the extremities -- in misguidedly favoring the development of the larger core, supportive muscles that subvert the fullest articulation at the extremities.
In all people, regardless of condition and conditioning, the only reliably working muscle is their heart, and what distinguishes the more proficient from the lesser, is not that the heart works harder and faster, but that the head, hands and feet, are capable of expressing that effectiveness in some meaningful and prolific fashion -- which is athletics, performance, art, communications, writing, expression, etc. If all that were necessary is to hook up every one to heart monitors and measure the rapidity and strength of the heartbeats alone, than surely, that is what we would do -- and think that by that, everything is done. But that is obviously just the beginning -- and not the end.
Some will still insist that that is so -- which are like those insisting that intelligence is the score one obtains on an I.Q. test, even if they never manifest it in any real life expression and practicality. Hopefully, that is just a primitive and naive notion that a poorly conceived (arbitrary) measure of anything, is the measure of its significance.
In humans, the measure of greatest significance, would not be running the greatest distance, or lifting the most weight, but in consciousness and cognition -- leading to the appropriate (right) action. That is the failing one fears most -- that threatens their survival and quality of life. If the head, hands and feet of the human individual is not deteriorating, that individual is not in declining health and condition -- or what we commonly recognize as aging.
That individual simply persists as a vibrant and robustly-functioning individual -- dare we say, highly-actualizing individual. We can not expect more or ask more from that individual -- because they are already outperforming everybody else's expectations of what is humanly possible. In fact, they are defining it -- not only for themselves, but for the whole human species. In that, is the evolution of the species.
That is the unspoken reason we all exist -- to evolve the species, if we can -- and if we can't, die like all the others before us -- having been given the chance. That is all, anyone can expect, or hope for. That recognition and realization, is what we all live for. That is our life's purpose -- to fully express that possibility, as the greatest meaning of our own lives -- each in their own way, by their own calling.
For some, it is a golden opportunity, or age -- while for too many, that is the beginning of dread, and despair -- because they have no clue, and are already running out of cards. If one has no idea who they are by then, retirement is a tough time to find out. One should just be beginning their real life's work -- having gotten to that point, as the necessary preparation to embark on that fulfillment and expression.
It is not about just consuming endlessly more food, entertainment and resources -- with no expectations that one could do better. But that is what life, and aging, has been up to now -- when enough have arrived to create a critical mass -- from which new possibilities explode -- because they have to. That is the way of nature.