Sunday, November 29, 2009

Exercise Anytime, Anywhere, In Any Circumstances, In Any Condition

Where I parted company with most contemporary, conventional thinking on exercise, is in all the conditions that have been imposed that eventually prove to be the barriers and hindrances to that exercise (participation) -- because those specific conditions (requirements) or equipment is not available -- and so one has a ready excuse for not doing it today, tomorrow, and inevitably, forevermore.

Among those requirements, are the presence of an instructor, in a specific setting, with a particular brand of equipment -- like a Nautilus machine, a treadmill, a rowing machine, a Pilates machine, stretching bands, and all the other paraphernalia and ritual people come to associate with such self-improvement, which is rather, the cultivation of greater dependence and inadequacies of their own making.

And thus it is possible for those with much, to feel that they have very little, or nothing at all, if everything is not up to their expectations or requirements for that perfect workout, which they come to "blame" more and more on the inadequacies and shortcomings of the gym owner -- than their own lack of ownership and commitment to their own activities. In like manner, the imperfect musician is likely to blame their instrument for not being perfectly tuned, or the athlete their bicycle for not going fast enough, or being light enough -- when the obvious deficiency is much more in their skill than in the state of the art of the equipment.

One of the great revelations and insights I had in working not with gifted athletes on these matters, but rather those regarded as terminally ill and dying, is that there was still the possibility of improvement in whatever possible condition they were in (to my mind) -- that the present moment, was the possibility and opportunity for great improvement of their functioning, well-being, and sense of progress, and in making that improvement, was the meaning and purpose of every life, in whatever condition they are in. That gives meaning and purpose to every life, no matter what they do, whatever their capabilities.

Physical exercise, is just the easiest and most apparent action they have available to them, at all times, anywhere, in any circumstances, in any condition -- and they shouldn't then impose arbitrary requirements to ruin or create barriers to those moments of great opportunity for exploration, experience, and improvement.

I discovered that the secret of muscular contraction, lay in the movement at the extremities of which movement is usually possible even in the dying or greatly restricted. It is just a step above the vital signs of light -- and often used to detect voluntary responses. "Squeeze my hand if you understand what I am saying." In such uncertain conditions, one would not ask that one lift their bedridden leg to show that responsiveness, but one would be surprised at the physical therapists and doctors who will set such a standard for a response.

Next in line, would of course be the exercise instructors who demand that when they say "Jump," one only ask, "How high?" before complying unhesitatingly. It might even be regarded as insubordination and intransigence to ask, "How far?"

In like manner is the demand that productive movement must raise the heartbeat, increase calorie consumption, produce sweating, and other signs of great distress and discomfort as the only trigger for the body's response to improved functioning -- even if they are presently negatively impacting that functioning -- with the thought that it evokes an equal, opposite reaction, rather than that optimal functioning can be directly achieved. Otherrwise, one goes about a tortuous, roundabout manner, seemingly to lack any logic, to achieve what one hopes to, and in this manner, greatly obscuring and confusing one's objectives, or measurements of what they think they are effecting. Such practitioners will even proudly claim the opposite is what they hoped to achieve, but then, any claim becomes possible in their rationalizations and generalizations about everything.

Such people, are unlimited energy drains -- and should be avoided, once those predilections have been conclusively enough detected. Life is too short to waste much of one's time and energy in the hopeless.

Thus it is quite possible, to exercise fairly thoroughly without even getting out of bed, or at any time, place, circumstances, or condition one is in. Many will claim that one must travel far to find the great master instructor before one can embark on the proper quest for self-improvement and awareness, but that journey and quest, lies entirely within each individual's capabilities and understanding -- if the mind is just quiet and empty enough, to see the fullness of it.


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