Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First, Do No Harm

The most common cause of people giving up their exercise, is because they get injured from it -- whether walking, running, weightlifting, tennis, martial arts or basketball, etc., and so the most effective lifelong exercise, must minimize this possibility, while at the same time, be the rehabilitation from such injuries, which then becomes preventative.

Most people have therefore been advised to do a five minute warm up before embarking on their injurious and often life-threatening activities -- when it should be obvious, that the five minute workout (warm up), is the productive part of their exercise/conditioning activities, and the regular activity, increases the risk-to-reward ratios, which is seldom true of the warmup phase and activities.

But that is why it is important to make the warm up program as productive as possible, as well as realizing that is in most cases, what is necessary before engaging in their normal daily activities, that might include bicycling, swimming, walking, running, even self-defense, and any other, injury avoidance maneuvers -- because that is what one is conditioned to do -- despite not repeating those movements endlessly and thoughtlessly, as though that was enough to convey great skill at the unprecedented responses, skills and agility that will indeed be life-saving and/or life-enhancing.

That is to say, that the great conditioning value, is to be able to rise to unprecedented and unique challenges, and not just repeat a treadmill activity endlessly -- as though the end result would be any other than a treadmill existence of conditioned and programmed mediocrity and routine. Conditioning has to have some greater meaning and purpose in this meaningful way -- and not simply becoming increasingly a mechanical, programmed human turned into a tireless machine. That is what makes humans unique and different from machines -- that perform a movement tirelessly and unvaryingly in the same fashion all the time.

The great value of human activity and conditioning, is that it enables one to break through to a higher level of achievement and performance, and not just repeat the same or present capability forever. That's not what motivates and engages human striving and effort; it has to have that component of improvement, and not simply repeating the same, endlessly -- as though that was all that was meaningful and possible. Most people quit such programs as soon as nobody is supervising and urging them on to continue -- because left on their own, there is no motivation and drive, except for that external coercion.

The fact of the matter is that one came into this world alone, and will probably leave the world in the same way -- and so at some point in one's life, one has has to become their own motive force -- which is to go where they have not gone before, and so what is important, is to define how that might be possible. One can design programs of activity that ensure one's failure and eventual elimination, or one can re-create their lives anew so improvement is perennially possible, so that they always remain engaged.

Yet far too many people, select activities and manner of participation, that immediately and successively, eliminates themselves from that participation. Most common is to compete with the young as one becomes increasingly old, which is a self-fulfilling prescription for failure. But is one perfected at 20, or can there be improvement at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70..., and what would make that progression possible?

Obviously, one has to rethink improvement as something other than just being youthful, and that continuation and perpetuation -- and in that manner, one can become "ageless," so that people will not simply say that one is in good condition for an old person, but the thought of age, never enters one's mind in considering those capabilities -- and in that way, one becomes ageless, and better -- and not merely more of the same.


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