Friday, April 25, 2008

Exercising For Life (Longevity)

One learns in cross-country biking (or a sustained effort in anything), that if one proceeds slowly enough, one can maintain that pace indefinitely, but when one speeds up the pace, it can’t be sustained for long.

In that same manner, one can determine a pace that they can personally sustain throughout their remaining years -- which is what each individual has to determine for themselves, and not just accept that there is some magical “average” that works for everybody.

It’s like everything in life: every individual has their own best life, and the average tells one very little, although many people have erroneously been convinced, that they “have to” conform to the average -- as their mission in life. That is probably the most damaging principle still taught by many in the schools -- when in actuality, the whole purpose of life, is to determine how one stands out from the crowd.

Being more average than anybody else, is no great achievement -- though many “teachers” think that is their supreme achievement. That is not a meaningful teaching or education -- or the end of education, but is only a beginning, yet not the only beginning. Some are already farther along in achieving this end, and they should not be forced back to master the beginning in order to get to the end -- yet that is what many misguided teachers teach.

Rather than an arbitrary formula being the measure for everyone, fitness is actually best determined by self-perception: people know when they are at their best -- and when they are not. Being physically at one’s best, is feeling that one’s physical abilities are not one’s limitations in anything, and not being (feeling) so, excuses one from even having to try.

Determining what is worthwhile to do, is another matter entirely -- because one may simply not think that the expression of a particular movement, is worthwhile to accomplish, rather than that one cannot physically achieve it. It’s not that an adult gorilla or lion cannot climb a tree but they recognize the great life-threatening risk it is for them at a heavier weight. One would hardly think that the level of activity of youth, is appropriate a model for a much more mature and senior person, yet that is still what many insist, an older person should be doing too -- and is the very reason for no longer remaining active, in that only way they are given. That age segment just drops out from healthful exercise, or are given regimens that reinforce their diminishing abilities.

So what is the measure of activity by which even the most senior of citizens can still accomplish? It is the range of movement at the extremities of their body -- which they have as much articulation and capability as most other individuals at any other age. Those are the movements in which the oldest have as great a chance of exceeding the capabilities of every other person -- range of movement at the extremities of the body, and that range of movement, is the best indicator of their true fitness level and vibrancy. That implies everything else.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Simplicity of Understanding

A lot of people seem to be offended by the thought that what they know to be true, is obvious and self-evident to everyone as well -- and not just the chosen few they think they are, who therefore deserve more than everybody else -- and even a special place in heaven or on earth, for just themselves.

There seems to be a “need” in people of a previous generation, to distinguish themselves above all the others -- in the assembly line mass culture of the last century, convinced as they were, that they were in fact merely cogs in a giant machine not of their own making.

But what makes everybody un-alike, is the understanding of the world we all live in. To those with a greater awareness of what is going on and possible, the world seems limitless; to those who think there is only one thing going on, and there are no other options and choices, the world seems like a death sentence -- until they actually die.

People don’t differ as greatly in material possessions and wealth anymore -- as they do in the appreciation and gratitude for what they have -- which really makes all the difference, once a person passes the marginal subsistence level and issues, which is most people, although many despite what they have, will try to convince everybody else that what they have, is far less than they feel they are entitled to and deserve in the world -- which is everybody else’s portion also.

For such people, whatever they have is not nearly enough, which is less and less about their actual possessions and needs, but what they have been convinced they are now “entitled” to. In a previous generation, that might have been simply a secure retirement and freedom from want; now, many people have been convinced (by their financial planners), that they have far less than they are entitled to if they do not have a vacation every month in whatever location they choose, with all the splendor and luxury they are now entitled to in retirement, even though while working, they could never provide that lifestyle for themselves.

But now, in retirement (or disability), they think it is their entitlement, that the rest of society must provide it for them -- or somehow they have been cheated. Of course those at the forefront at propagating such nonsense, want to be the leaders of this society, rather than rightly seen as merely the greatest con-artists of these times, who delight in their ability and power “to fool all the people all the time,” as though that were the penultimate of leadership in these times.

Thus such “leadership” interests fewer people now who recognize that the greatest impact in their lives are the individual choices they now make rather than the communal ones that are often imposed on them, for those who don’t want to think for themselves and make their own choices. But that is just their own choice -- and not the way it has to be for everybody, including even themselves.