Differences in the fit and want to be fit are fascinating.
Many people discuss the psychology of fitness lifestyles to some limited degree. I wanted to delve DEEPER into the minute differences in receiving, interpreting and increasing the skill level of biofeedback within the human mind.
Far from bragging, please allow me not from ego but from frame of reference to explain briefly where my thinking originates. I am 52 years old, born in the early inception of the fitness industry as we know it today. Charles Atlas, Jack Lalanne, Jane Fonda, Karen Voight, Rachel Mclish are heavy instigators of beliefs and expectations, formations of lifestyle and standards of beauty.
These societal influences during my developmental years are greatly responsible for my current ideals and functioning expectations today in my daily life. The visual image of fitness as demonstrated by this stream of public figures shaped and defined my view of the human body. It is the filter through which I gauge people’s fitness and condition in today’s world of rampant diabetes and morbid obesity paraded as an American right to be a ‘free individual to redefine beauty’.
When old people shake their heads (SMH) about young people today or ramble about how the world has changed, boy, has it ever changed! Their is an evolution of development that occurs over a lifespan. Forks in the road of pathways selected during the infant stages, childhood, teens and twenties are beginnings. By the time a human is forty. And fifty and further they are decades down a road of choices. Nearly irreversible are some choices.
I taught basic strength dominant hatha yoga from 1998 to 2015. Darn. Seventeen years. When you are an instructor your every movement and transition is an example. You want to cause people to learn desireable positions. You also don’t want to become illegitimate as a source of information by doing an embarrassingly uncoordinated or total fail, bone head move in front of 30+ trusting curious souls. So each hour “on stage” through 52 weeks a year for 17 years I in a nearly paranoid state struggled to correct and control my use of my human structure, neurology and muscles.
Why do I mention this at length? There is some folklore and studies regarding the 10,000 hours. This is a recognized number of hours that masters of various pursuits have either intentionally or inadvertently invested or spent developing skill. There are my favorite examples or commonly known examples. Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Bruce Lee and that red headed snowboarder. White?
So my inadvertent 10,000 hours was hiding from corporate life in every gym in Los Angeles spending 10 to 30+ hours per week from 1989 ( certified as a fitness instructor) to 2015 ( made the jump to blogger and Hermit Training in my custom basement). It’s upwards of 33,000 hours. These are hours of watching room full of random people either succesfully mimicking carefully selected movements in 20 different group exercise formats or being baffled by a variety of deviations which I never intended for them to execute in my presence.
So how I manage to move as I do and WHY they are doing an infinite number of variations became an endless preoccupation of my far too intense, strangely cross referenced belaboring mind. I finally got an opportunity to take a break from watching this chaos with its sprinkling of gifted gorgeous high achievers and the heavy burden of attempting to explain or cause improvement in people that were not either spending the time or working with the same level of observation or control skills that I operate with in my Mind-Body vehicle. I get to write about a summation and work solo for a phase of my life finally.
Especially the hundreds of hours of yoga being observed caused a strange development. Aging has brought about a few elements in my body that were not present when I was younger. For one I can hear some movements of certain joint sequences inside my spine. Young people can crack their knuckles or neck and think its cool and fun. Well later all that cool fun happens whether you wanted the entertainment or not. So I have to listen to my neck and my knees and ankles. Specific stresses, directions of movements and positions cause sound and vibration. Not necessarily pain, but muscle stress results.
So in the pursuit of happiness which is our American right and the avoidance of pain which is a life urge, I daily ponder and monkey with how to improve desirable movement and carriage and reduce pain, damage and simply looking decrepit and fucked up. Watching other people as a huge conglomerate exhibit neglectful movement and carriage provides with me with endless data , inspiration to choose wisely and illustrations of the progression of certain patterns.
People don’t wake up one day stooped like a vulture, head forward in a strange S- hook formation, shuffling their stumps that were once feet, sporting bellies of various teardrop and donut shapes. They had to day after day, year after year, replace oddly worn footwear, avoid low seats and reaching to the ground for objects. They had to purchase and consume hundreds of pounds of garbage and food like substances in ratios with carbohydrate forcing out needed fats and proteins to create the sculpture that they slog about their waking hours to rest and rise and repeat a new day.
For me with my values it baffles me. I frequently to simplify would recite to my clients:
“You wake up every morning and get to choose. Do you want to drive a Pinto or a Porche?”
For me the choice is clear and easy. I make the same choice daily. I want a bleeping Porche, Ferrari or Lamborghini for my vehicle that I live in and present to the world. It’s completely up to me and I can’t understand why so many people are choosing a broken down wrecked less than artistic mode of transportation.
Every day we gotta use the restroom, sleep, move and feed ourselves. These are nonnegotiable daily activities. Why not since I have the free option use these activities to improve my lot in life?
Thanks to Nina Sugamori for another excellent editorial contribution.
Be the BEST YOU EVER!