This blog is an immediate reaction and reflection on the subject of Movement and Fitness after reading “This is It” by Alan Watts. Below is a brief thought-provoking opening from his book, Chapter 2:
“From the moment of birth it is only a matter of weeks for little birds to fly, ducklings to swim, kittens to hunt and climb trees, and young monkeys to swing in the branches. Though these creatures live much shorter lives than men, proportionately it takes them only a fraction of the time required for the civilized human being to learn the essential arts of life. For them the mere fact of existence seems to guarantee the skills for survival, and one might almost say that its techniques are built into their bodies. But for human beings, survival in the context of a civilized community demands the mastery of an art of thinking, learning, and choosing which takes up about a quarter of the average span of life….The difference is roughly that action by instinct is spontaneous, whereas action by intelligence involves a difficult process of analysis, predictions, and decision.”
It is now 2016, and in spite of all the advances in technology that have increased life expectancy, I cannot help it than ponder often on the fact that the quality of life has likely decreased. Think about it! A baby immediately outside the womb of his caring mother screams and moves as he or she enters the world, and much like the animals Alan mentions in Chapter 2, he or she learns instinctively to move about the world each and every day kinesthetically. But then a few years later, the reverse happens. So I am here to challenge you by asking: What is it that gets in the way of your kinesthetic learning?
The answer is very simple, only You. Your priorities switch only to regret it years later when you are unable to move effectively, not aging gracefully, or living as a couch potato. We are either too absorbed in our work routines or our social media life that we sacrify constantly our need to move, stay fit and healthy and unavoidably realize that it is too late when you reach your 50’s or 60’s. Your neuromuscular and skeletal system cannot thrive when you are inactive, to keep it healthy you just have to move in different ways. I invite you to think of movement as nourishment essential to your bones, nerves, and muscles. Add vitality, passion, and creativity to your fitness routines.
Movement is for life! To be fit and healthy one has to move in functional ways that keep your body flexible, strong and able to adapt. The best athletes are those who integrate all sorts of movement into their specialty, increase their movement repertoire, are driven, and have a low injury incident. It should be no surprise to learn that succesful tennis players or boxers have studied dance, martial arts, capoeira and other forms of movement that have only made them into complex, adaptable, and agile athletes. You don’t need to be an athlete, all you need to do is MOVE.
Our body is often only stopped by our mind. Always remember that the body and the mind work in unison, one cannot exist or function without the other. Learning new movement on an ongoing basis keeps your motor skills sharp, increases brain function, and creates efficiencies in our body. It is unfortunate that functional movement, mental focus, passion, and creativity are often underrated in mainstream fitness and performance, but trust me, a fit mind yields a fit body. Make a paradigm shift, think of movement as nourishment. Your body is more than energy drinks, reps, protein powder and calories, it is about vitality, passion, balance, and adaptation.
I would be happy to work with you and help you reach a new level of fitness and wellness.