Friday, May 14, 2010

Shaping the Future

Arthur Jones, inventor of exercise equipment and wildlife capture (in the actual as well as videography), enjoyed making outrageous and provocative statements, including his observation that even "Miss Americas" and "Mr. Americas," were nothing but well-shaped fat -- by which he hoped to interest people in body immersion tests to assess precisely one's muscle to fat ratios -- and assess whether there was actual change in the composition of the body, or just the appearance of it -- from his prescribed training regimen.

However, even those precise measurements, do not reflect on one's abilities to look far more impressive than one's actual composition, as fairly muscular individuals can seem to be fairly unmuscular, while minimally muscular people and even fat people, can train their muscles to mold the fat into the shape that is more pleasing, for aesthetic purposes, like bodybuilding competitions. I've known and trained along both -- very strong and muscular individuals who didn't look very muscular, and because of it, were vulnerable to taunts that they were just fat, instead of big and powerful -- which needed no posturing in their minds. That probably accounted for their sensibility that it didn't matter how they looked, as long as they could perform when it mattered, and to them, most of the time did not matter.

So the mold of the old strong men, were guys who looked like Paul Anderson or Louis Cyr, the proverbial 5 foot by 5 foot brick shithouses -- and I suppose they kind of liked lowballing people's expectations to better impress them. That was also a kind of personality and mentality popular in another age, in which an "integrated reality," was a far-fetched anomaly reserved for perfect specimens of another universe -- and not the reality of individuals prone to self-contradiction/destruction in their lives in which they could not hope to improve, much less to perfect.

That was a time and age before the greatly expanded capacities that have been made abundant in the generations coming of age in these times. But those who came of age in a previous time and generation, hope to convince the future generations, that their mold was when humankind achieved "perfection," and it's been a humongous downhill slide for humanity since they were coincidentally at their peak, and human history and evolution since, has just been an unrelenting spiral downward.

That used to be the paradigm of life we all came to accept -- but many deluded themselves, that they really weren't declining, even though nobody took them seriously with handicapping them for "age." There are a few exceptions who seem to persist in improvement because of the years -- but usually not past 60, or the time of "retirement," in which the expectation is for even healthy people to begin experiencing cataclysmic change from which there can never been full recovery and restoration from -- much less improvement, except by the most condescending allowances for it.

That's what I hate about exercise classes for "seniors," which is practically a admission of surrender to lowered and decreasing expectations -- from here on out. People around them, just learn to have no expectations -- and marvel at how a person who looks like they are dead, can still do anything anymore. Far better, it would seem to me, if one looked vibrantly healthy and capable, yet they actually couldn't run a marathon -- which most people don't need to, and most never will in their lifetimes.

So the prescription that they need to take up marathons at that late stage of their lives, hardly seems a practical prescription for keeping or getting " fit," yet those are most often the articles featured in "sophisticated" publications, on how it is never too late, to take up a regimen of well-intentioned conditioning movements -- for the life they will subsequently be living.

Certainly those conditioning movements, should articulate the actual movements and activities they can expect to express, and not the meaningless and harmful excessive wear and tear, hoping that by tearing down the body, they still have the recovery ability to repair and improve from those extreme demands -- while never considering, how little it might take, to maintain and sustain improvement -- at any level, because the level is not as important as the direction of change.


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