Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Exercise Better -- and Not Simply More (Badly)

Anybody who gets any good out of their practice, does so because they get better at what they are doing -- and not simply do more, badly, and in the same manner they've always done it before.

That improvement, is what is making them better -- and not simply reinforcing the status quo of the way they are but don't want to be anymore.  So unless one's practice (exercise) has this objective of improvement of what one is doing, then in all likelihood, one will stay the same -- because improvement is not the objective, but merely reinforcing and repeating the status quo -- whether they realize it or not.

Eventually, every good student, must become their own teacher -- because the knowledge of others, can only take one so far, and the really significant learning, is one's own experience and manifestation of what is commonly known.  That is true for everything -- whether it is a computer, or an exercise apparatus.  With that same tool, most will use it as a blunt instrument -- thinking to just beat everything else into the shape they want it -- or learn to wield it as a precision instrument, and get precisely the results one desires -- and no more, or no less.

So some people think that the more pain they experience, the greater is their gain -- even leading people to an injury or premature death -- in the mistaken belief, that that is the only consideration at work.  That leads a few to believe that the proper use of their heads, hands and feet, is to drive nails, or break boards, bricks, bones, flesh -- as the highest use of the human body -- rather than creating something out of nothing, or very little -- which is any individual's highest achievement.

There is virtually no limit to how much one can destroy -- thinking they are doing "God's work," when in fact, the truly great religious individual, is creating a greater human fabric -- and not just tearing it (down) at every opportunity.  That was the lesson of the Vandals and Visigoths -- who sacked Rome, and every place else they came upon, but left nothing themselves, of any enduring and ennobling value and creation.

Historians and other observers of human behavior, noted these tendencies in the two distinctive personalities of civilization -- those who were builders, and those who were destroyers (depleters).  For these latter, their delight and power, was to consume and then destroy whatever abundance a society could create -- as their exercise of power over all the others.  There are still isolated antisocial personalities who operate that way -- until they are finally revealed living in the midst of everyone else who presumed they shared the values and goals of most of the others -- to maximize the enjoyment and potential of all human talents, rather than just preying on all the others.

Even in the description and understanding of exercise, a (barbaric) few, still think the objective of their exercise is to "tear the body down" -- thinking in that way, the body will automatically rebuild itself -- stronger and better each time -- until it doesn't, because it has simply exhausted its recovery ability -- and so each new insult and abuse, just speeds the body into a faster downward spiral -- until finally, the only thing possible, is to do as little, or nothing as possible -- so thoroughly beat up and defeated one has become -- at one's own hands!

The smarter, more enduring person, will know to leave a little in reserve -- knowing in that way, they will outlast the competition -- and overcome by simply enduring (persisting), when the others have beaten themselves -- thinking they were only competing against themselves.  That is as much a folly, as thinking (as many competitive people do), that they are always in competition with everybody else for everything -- which won't get them very far in the world, rather than realizing how to harness and utilize all the other and previous efforts that contribute to making the world as it is today, at that very moment -- which should be the focus of their exercise, and not just to toil endlessly, with no idea that some person in authority, told them to -- and they know better what is good for them.

That is an indoctrination for another's gain and agenda -- and not the realization and fulfillment of one's own unique abilities -- which is the purpose and significance of any doing -- and that is their being, ultimately.  That is the major difference between the lifelong exercisers -- and those who will only do so because somebody else tells them to do so -- under pain of some dire consequences if they don't -- because in the end, one has to do what is best for oneself -- and nobody can do that for any other.  That right understanding and perception, results in the right effort(s) -- and that has to come first, or will not come at all, no matter how much one does.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Seeing the Obvious

The most difficult thing, is to see what is everywhere around us, because like the air and water, we don't think to even "see" them -- not because they don't exist, but because everything in life would be impossible without them.  And so they are the "givens" -- that we never question, or think there is anything we can do about -- when precisely, that is what we can do most about -- in modifying our health and condition.

That is quite shocking, for those who have convinced themselves, that first they have to make a million dollars, before they can bother to improve their personal condition and health -- rather than that it is by first improving their health and condition, by which making a million dollars becomes possible -- even if it is just being around long enough to receive/win it.

For a person who is very observant, the bad condition many people are in should be obvious -- that despite all that they do, they fail to do that which they must do -- and not that they are doing nothing.  What they are doing -- is putting them into the condition they are in, and not that it has come about because life is unfair, and they were dealt the bottom cards -- rather than all the winners they were "entitled" to.

All along the way, they frittered away all the opportunities they were afforded -- and not surprisingly, wasting the present moment to change all that -- in an instant.  That is the difference between getting better -- or worse.  Merely doing something different.  But most, have been conditioned (educated) to do the same thing -- even if it doesn't work, and that is their problem -- and not that they can simply eliminate the problem and move on to what else life has to offer.  They are stuck, and limited to solving the same problem as they always have -- thinking that is all quite normal, and the way their life has to be -- until it eventually and inevitably kills them.

That is obviously the case with alcohol and other drug addictions, but less so and more acceptable with other diseases and injuries people often inflict on themselves -- including every single athlete who has had to retire because of injuries.  They simply cannot do that anymore.  But that is very different from not being able to do anything anymore.  One simply has to go on and discover the many things they can do -- that they haven't done before -- including making all the right and healthful movements, instead of continuing to do the ones that predispose them to danger, disease and injury.

People often condition themselves by using danger, injury and even death, as a motivator -- that if they don't execute the 500 lb. bench press, their chest or head will be smashed.  Or if they don't dodge the blow the other is trying to inflict on them, the consequences could be lethal.  But it might be less obvious to advise a frail and obviously helpless 90 year old that they should take up walking or running among heavy traffic and hazardous conditions -- just to stay healthy, when thoughtfully, it would make much more sense, to realize all the movements they can do -- from the safety of their own chair, or bed even.

In fact, the most effective exercises, are likely to be those that can be done in one's bed, and particularly, lying in one's deathbed -- and recovering their health fully from that very real debilitated condition.  And if one can do that, those exercises would work even better, if one has a better base to begin with -- but if it is simply advising a dying person that they should run a marathon to be healthy again, that is worse than useless -- but not unlike the advice frequently given by those who think they know better.

So the question is, what movements can one do -- lying in their deathbed, that could change their prospects and improve their health?  Obviously, it is those movements at the head, hands and feet that people retain the ability for responsiveness -- long after they have lost the ability to run a marathon and do 50 chinups.  Yet that is often what the physical expert requires to  prove that one is still viable -- rather than the least movement, that they can exercise to regain their mastery of movement and responsiveness -- that others will regard as liveliness.
So it is shocking, when a person doesn't exhibit movements at the head, hands and feet, while exhibiting it only at the shoulders and hips -- as the movement of the core muscles, or the largest, rather than the most muscles indicative of the greatest range of expression and articulations -- instead of just the one, performed unvaryingly and tirelessly, until the joints have to be replaced, or can no longer be replaced.

At that point, they are forced to stop -- and given no viable alternatives -- since they were convinced, there was no other way.  That should be a huge problem for those who think that running on a treadmill for 30 minutes each day, is all that is necessary to retain all the movements the body is capable of.  Why should we expect to lose all those capacities -- because we haven't expressed them as part of the necessary maintenance for retaining and improving the health of those abilities?

Thus a well-designed program for maintaining one's vitality -- should extend way beyond the shoulders and hips -- to where they have to be expressed meaningfully and masterfully, in work, gestures, speech, writing, art and music -- rather than stop at the heart beat, which tells us very little about the vitality of that individual, and their range of expression and articulation.  Those are the meaningful movements to maintain -- and improve, all one's life.