Saturday, December 28, 2013

To Be One's Best

The only real reason for "exercise" (practice), is to prepare one to do their best -- in the many activities that humans do, including all those daily activities many think are not important -- and to do well, which of course, forms the base for all their subsequent thoughts and efforts.

It is like the preparations athletes do preparatory to making a personal or world record attempt.  The preparation brings them to that point -- and not that they can just jump out of bed, and can perform their best "in their sleep."  In fact, many great athletes have to do extensive periods of warm-up, just to feel "normal" again -- recovering from a previous day's hard "practice," from which it may ache, just to move at all.

Therefore, one must have a way of at least getting back to normal -- let alone attempting one's best.  Many just abandon any notions that they should be even considering their best-- as the worst is all they have come to expect anymore, and are just grateful for modern medicine for the extraordinary efforts that keep them alive -- though in a hopeless deteriorating and terminal condition.  That is what they consider normal "aging," rather than premature aging that their lifestyle and behaviors condemn them to. 

Heretofore, that has been considered normal -- and deviations from that normal, impossible and incredulous.  Thus the thinking that anybody who doesn't exhibit those signs of premature aging (wear and tear), must be because they are rich and can afford endless plastic surgeries to remain so -- rather than that lifelong health, is as nature intended.

Injury and disease, is the way of maintaining the natural balance of ensuring the fitness of a species -- in challenging each to deal with those, and eventually learning to avoid those hazards -- while still maintaining a viable and engaging life.  As such, life always hangs in the balance -- requiring constant adjustment and improvement to better prepare oneself for even greater challenges.  Obviously, that won't simply be doing the same things one always has done before -- but evolving to meet higher levels of challenge -- that is the trigger for growth.

People don't grow because they want to; they grow because they have to -- because they have little control over how those challenges may come.  It could be wars, floods, famines, mechanical failures, human error, as well as congenital conditions, etc. -- the determines the course of one's life -- in their responses to them.  

Sometimes it is appropriate and beneficial to meet force with a greater force -- unless that force is a speeding train, of which no amount of great human strength is going to overcome -- and one must be nimble and quick, and preferably not in the position of vulnerability in the first place.  As always, the response must be total -- balancing the options on many planes, and not just the singular consideration of applying more force or less -- on a single track, of a one-track mind incapable of shifting to any other perspective.

That puts them at a tremendous disadvantage -- in resolving the many challenges of life -- especially if their own response, is one that makes the problem grow larger.  That would be the case of one taking increasingly greater risks, leaving no margin for error, instead of increasing their margins for safety -- and error, because that has more advantages for survival, and that is what fitness is ultimately all about -- increasing one's survival advantage, and beyond that, to live an evermore fulfilling life.

For life to get better, it has to begin on the most basic level -- of how one shifts from sleep, to one's greatest level of responsiveness -- and not that everyone can hit the ground running at top speed and greatest awareness as soon as they get out of bed.  It may even take a while to even get out of bed -- as many with arthritis and other crippling conditions, have known all their lives.  Most, however, cannot shift out of that condition -- but remain so all the rest of the day -- that becomes the totality of all their days.

That is fundamentally the challenge of change -- shifting from one state to quite another -- and that ability, carries over to the many other challenges one encounters in their day and lives.  Not to think that is possible, is quite a depressing prospect and prognosis for one's future -- and the cause of hopelessness in the present.  So one asks, what is the smallest increment of change one can effect?  That is what is meant by the journey beginning with a single step -- and not the despair of thinking one can make a difference without ever taking a single step.

So they think that somebody else will cure them -- or make them better -- and not that that is the primary task of every individual to do for themselves, using the knowledge and tools of the collective human experience and intelligence.  One's uniquely own understanding and contribution, is the summation and integration of all previous human experience actualized in their "reality."

That is who "we" are.  We are what we actually do -- and not what we want everyone else to believe we are.   The condition we are in, makes that obvious to everyone else -- particularly to those taking in all the information.  Some people are just listening to the words -- and if they seem familiar.  But that is seldom the whole truth.

To take in the most information, one has to heighten their senses of what is going on -- as perceived by the organs at the head, hands and feet -- which have evolved for those purposes, as well as to express a response.  That doesn't just happen because one's vital signs are in order.  Those end responses and expressions, are the very meaning of every movement and behavior -- and not that life is meaningful just in prolonging the heart beat and breathing for as long as possible, while ignoring those cognitive actions, for certainly, it is the latter that makes life and fitness meaningful.

That is the quality of life.  And so rather than being ignored and neglected, those are the very organs it is most important to ensure are functioning at its highest levels of possibility by placing that circulation as a priority -- rather than simply working the tireless heart more, and harder.  that is not the deficiency -- as the voluntary movements in the organs at the extremities of cognition, expression and greatest articulation -- which most conventional and traditional exercise fails to address, and thus we have the problem of mental deficiencies and dementias, weakening of the grip, feet too weak to maintain one's balance and stability.  Without those heightened faculties, life becomes very perilous -- and not that the non-responsive and non-functioning individual in those respects -- is in great danger of losing their vital signs.  

It is at the head, hands and feet that humans differentiate themselves from every other animal -- and express their skill at being consummately human.  That is what art, music, dance, athletics, writing, speaking, "looking," are all about -- while the heart and the core is what most animals have in common, and need not be concerned about -- not even the highly intelligent gorilla or dolphin.  It just works unfailingly -- by design and evolution.

The difference though, is the expression and articulation of what the feet, hands and head do -- and how some do it better than others.  But they have to move first, and in doing so, connect the extremities to the core -- because that is the design of the musculature, and how the human body must work to maximize its leverage.  One cannot begin a movement at a joint closer to the core and think they will have a more favorable leverage.  That is simply not possible.  But if the fulcrum (axis of rotation), is as far out as possible, a little bit of force, can have a mighty effect.

That is the intelligence of the human body.  Exercise it.


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