Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Probably the greatest problem of these times, is the solving of theoretical and academic problems -- instead of solving the very real problems of our  daily living.  Many are very busy and occupied in this way, and thus, they have no time and energy left over from these preoccupations, to solve the difficulties that overwhelm their basic functioning -- which of course, is their health and the "condition" they are in.  Instead, they believe, that their health, which is the result of their living, occurs in spite of what they are doing -- rather than directly because of what they are doing.  Thus they believe, there is no cause and effect in their daily living, but that things happen, in spite of everything they do -- rather than because of it.

Obviously, such a manner of thinking, has a disastrous effect on their lives, and results in the very poor health of many people, and the despair they have in their outlooks for improving it.  They think they are "victims" in their own lives, rather than the "masters" of it -- and that "vision" is promoted by the political leaders and demagogues, as the way of aggrandizing their own power -- but that always comes at the expense of one's own sense of personal empowerment -- which is the major complaint of these times of having no power and control in their lives.

And the institutions and agencies, will gladly assume such powers for themselves -- when people abdicate their own -- simply in choosing not to exercise it.  Not to exercise a faculty (ability), is the same as not having it -- and so the importance of daily exercises to maintain those capabilities one wishes to keep, have to be incorporated and programmed into one's life -- as the essential core of their doing that becomes their being.

That becomes more obvious with time and age -- as the result of what they are doing in their lives.  Undoubtedly, major catastrophes do happen, but not as often as the minor catastrophes they embrace daily in their own callous and reckless individual choices -- like excessive smoking, drinking, inactivity, overeating, and the lack of attention to their own personal hygiene and habits -- which are obviously the most changeable, but which people will insist most vehemently that they are not, but essential to the very existence that is for that reason, overwrought with difficulties that they cannot even begin to imagine overcoming.

All this is of course, is personal choice -- and the personal choices they are making, that largely accounts for individual differences in experiences and outcomes in each life -- much more than what everyone believes they must conform to, that makes all lives the same as any other.  However, the media and culture, largely exists to convince us that all the outcomes are the same for everyone -- or at least should be -- which is the error in thinking that prevents life from actually becoming any better, for those who fail to exercise those responsibilities nobody can exercise for any other.

That is where the failure begins -- and not the failure of the mass, to do everything for them.  The essential problem, is the failure to do anything for oneself -- and eventually thinking that one cannot do anything for oneself, and by oneself -- which results of course, in the utter lack of oneself, and one's power to do anything for oneself -- which should be a shocking fate for anybody contemplating a happy future in a long life.  The present model of longevity, is in fact a (pro)vision of increasing disabilities until an army of personal assistants (and institutions) is required just to keep one alive in a persistent vegetative condition for as long as possible -- without regard to any consideration for quality of life, because the quantities are the only considerations and measures anymore.  How much, and not how well, becomes the de facto standard for any discussion of any activity we are engaged in -- and particularly in those activities we refer to as our "conditioning" activities, that predispose how and with what capacity, we can engage our lives.

In real life, it seldom matters how much we do, as how well we do it -- which is totally disregarded and dismissed as making any difference -- which is obviously missing the whole point.  One has to begin wholly with such considerations, or no amount of partial and half-truths, will add up to the whole truth -- miraculously, at the end.  There will only be the many fractious diversions and distractions that prevent us from seeing clearly and precisely, what it is we have to do -- and do those things, than the many others, we should not instead.  Life is very simple and definitive in that way.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Perfecting One's Art (Movement)

The value of "exercise" is not burning (wasting) as many calories as possible -- but actually learning how to conserve energy -- which is the great principle of the universe, the Conservation of Energy.  That is what drives life, progress and evolution -- and not increasing randomness, which is anti-life.  What distinguishes life from death and deterioration -- is its increasing organization and order (orderliness), and that is why it evolves to higher orders of being.

This happens first in individual lives and existences -- the specific adding up to the general observation and rule -- and doesn't just happen, no matter what.  There is areason why it (things) happens.

Realizing this, a simple practice, is simply to do anything and everything -- well (as though it matters) -- rather than not caring, and not realizing there is a difference.  That is to be a discerning and discriminating individual -- who can tell these differences, and not that it doesn't matter, and the properly educated person, is one who can't tellany difference of significance -- and that is to be adjudged "correct," even if it leads to the most egregious errors and catastrophes.

That is why a lot of these so-called experts belie their own knowledge -- achieving no results with what they practice -- because what they know, doesn't work, and no amount of explaining, can alter that fact.  They think it is enough that they know, and have been "certified" that they do -- which they believe it gives them the right to say anything they want -- under the sanction of that certifying agency -- which is surely not God, but a self-aggrandizing group or individual, who claims to have jurisdiction over such matters -- whether they deserve to or not, and expecting (demanding) mutual agreement (respect) from others claiming their own turf.

But reality is not that way.  It is always open to challenges from all-comers, from any point of view -- and not just those who have agreed to all think and talk the same way, and thus none among them, will ever contradict any other -- if they all agree to stick together unquestioningly.  And that is why "everybody" can be wrong -- if they all agree not to question their assumptions and premises -- but hold them as common tenets, among which is the hierarchy by which they accept these truths, and not that they should ever independently discover the truth of these matters for themselves.

So that means practice and experimentation -- in getting better, and not worse -- or thinking there can be any diffeence, because surely what matters, is how a person does anything -- and not simply in thinking that anything is just as good as anything else, or nothing, for that matter.  That is the important consideration absent in most people's exercise programs -- the reason being to improve their movement -- which is their art (form), and not that it doesn't matter what they do, because a calorie is a calorie is a calorie -- so it makes no difference.

That is what separates the healthy (intelligent) from theunhealthy -- the recognition of these significantdifferences -- that really make a difference, whether one calls themselves a "doctor," "teacher," "personal trainer," "researcher," "reporter," etc. -- that don't make a difference. 

Practice is seldom doing 10 or 15 repetitions of anything and stopping -- thinking that is all that is necessary to do.  What is one doing?  And what is one practicing?  If one does not know, or has ever thought about it -- then how can one be mastering anything -- which is the reason for practice, repeating, and any doing.  One has to become good at what one is doing, and in fact, the best at what one is doing -- and not simply that 10 or 15 repetitions is all one needs to know -- and that is their problem.

That is why they're in the condition they're in.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The World IS Changing (Last Man Standing)

There are a lot of changes one can make to their life -- that will improve their fitness for continued viability.  The problem is that people don't want to change anymore, and because of that rigidity, they perish -- as every life has to.  That's why the wisdom is that one must remain constantly changing, and going with the flow of change and challenges that life brings -- and not to, is death and dying.  That should be the obvious lesson from our lives up to this point.

But many by then, have already decided, that they're not going to make any more changes in their lives -- but that now, with their "seniority," the world has to change to accommodate them -- and it is never like that.  They will be vanquished.  So sometimes the best thing(s) that happen, is to be forced to change.

Does one ever change voluntarily?  Very rarely, and usually, that is unnecessarily -- because change is only meaningful when it is a response to a real (actual) challenge -- and not just theoretically and academically.  

Of course, that is the familiar problem of dying in today's world -- with all those issues yet to be confronted by many Baby Boomers, as well as their parents who haven't done it so well up to now.  Often, it is the most successful in life up to then, that will experience failure for the first time, and be totally unprepared to handle it.  That is the value of failure -- if one learns to overcome it, and beyond that, is learning to deal with success as well.  Many people are not prepared to handle success, and so they will be their own undoing.

That's why the path of moderation is often advised -- in dealing with the swings of success and failure, and how to meet those challenges.  If it has only been one way all their lives, most don't know how to adapt, adjust, overcome, and move on to the next level of higher challenge -- but remain bogged down, by the first obstacles that become their torment throughout life and finally their end.

Most people's conditioning is just to maintain the status quo -- and not to improve; they in fact think that maintaining the status quo, is improving it -- and without improvement, progress, evolution, there can only be dewrterioration, decline, decay and ultimately death.  That is the fact of life -- its distinctive quality.  It is always changing and improving -- and if it is not, it is dying.

So how does one program into their lives -- this drive to improve -- and not lose it when one is 30, 40, 50, 60...as an increasing number will surely do?  Instead of high growth with high risk of injury and catastrophe, one needs to plumb the line of sustainable growth -- that makes it possible to continue throughout one's life until the inevitable end.  Even the healthiest person in the world, will not be invulnerable, or immortal.

But one can improve the odds considerably,  There's no rule that says that one can't eat only the good foods -- and eschew the rest.  or do those movements that doesn't cause them injury.  That is why most people have to stop exercising -- because what they are doing is injuring themselves -- rather than doing what is healing themselves.  One shouldn't be deliberately breaking the body down to rebuild it stronger, because eventually the recovery ability is exhausted -- and there is just the continued breaking down, with no hope of recovery.

One has to recalibrate to the level of actual recovery -- and not just persist in the wishful-thinking that it can be anything one wills it to be.  That might work when one is 20 or 30, but then at 40 and 50, one goes into the irreversible freefall decline of a lot of even world champion athletes -- who have not learned that they cannot risk their all -- indefinitely.  There will come a time that even the king of beasts, will suffer the chance injury that topples them from that invincibility -- and so the enduring ones, are more selective at choosing their battles.

They are not the juveniles who feel an obligation to prove themselves at every opportunity.  They only do what is absolutely necessary -- but they always do that.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Exercise for One Minute -- Anytime You Like

The field of exercise advice, is fragmenting in two different directions -- those making it harder, and those making it easier -- with the increasing realization, that the "best exercise," is the one, one actually does, and not the ones, one would do if one lived in a test tube.

Since nobody actually lives in a test tube, or would want to, the best exercise, is what one actually does during the course of their lives, and day -- in an integrated existence, that is not distorted by any obsessive-compulsive/addictive activities that impair/sacrifice all the others.  So it is not that all one's other healthful activities should be sacrificed for one's programmed exercise, but that one's entire life -- is the exercise, of who one really/actually is -- and there is none other, and particularly, another person one would like to be, but isn't.

That's no way to live a life -- and especially, one's own.  What one does, is what one's life is.  In a healthy human being, there is no other -- and that is what makes them a healthy human being.  The fragmented, the schizophrenic, the bipolar individual, is the person who is not whole in that way -- and is always at odds with themselves, struggling against themselves, until finally, they defeat themselves -- utterly, and give up.  So conditioning programs that accentuate such divisions and struggles, are in the long run counterproductive -- eventually leading to the day, when one does nothing, so as to no longer inflict serious damage on themselves! -- which is the ultimate wisdom of the body.

But if one is doing good for oneself,  the body wants to do it -- and doesn't feel it has to do it -- just because some expert (who knows best what is good for others), tells them that is what they should, or must be doing, despite their own senses telling them otherwise.  Those are the good senses, everybody is born with, for good reason -- to guide them throughout their lives.

However, societies (government) realize the opportunity to exploit everyone else to doing what is advantageous to themselves -- which means doing what they think is best for the them, and not themselves -- and so they have to be conditioned, to do what is best for those who know best for everyone else (experts).  So it is not surprising, that every great athlete, artist, or scientist, had to be their own best teacher -- and not simply learn and do what everybody else did, because what they did, nobody else did.

And that is the longing everybody has -- to do what hasn't been done before, by anybody else -- and not just to do what everybody else is doing, and thinks possible.  That is the conditioning, that is sustainable throughout one's entire lifetime -- and extinguishing of that flame and drive, is characteristic of the decline and deterioration in human beings.  They no longer believe that they, and life, can get better, but are convinced, and try to convince everybody else they can, that every effort in life is futile, and doesn't make a difference -- and they are living proof of it!

Very few efforts in life, actually have to be sustained for more than a minute -- and if one can do anything for a minute, that is proof enough, that one could persist at it longer if one had to.  The fastest speed, cannot be achieved and maintained for over a minute.  A maximum lift, cannot be performed (sustained) for more than a minute.  In fact, a maximum effort, is defined by the peak of that effort -- and not its duration.  A baseball, or golf swing, is much less than a minute -- and there is no rule against serving all aces (unreturnable serves), to end a tennis match.  Or to throw a no-hitter.

That is what one is trying to achieve -- the ultimate efficiency and economy of effort (motion) -- and not simply, to expend as much energy (effort) as possible.  That is what all those successful predators are doing -- and makes them the most fit of their species, and for survival.  So the imperative in life, is that one has to get better and wiser throughout life -- or one perishes, but it is not simply a matter of running faster, jumping higher, or throwing farther -- but also, and more importantly, thinking better -- so that the primary objective of one's exercise and conditioning activities, is the very problem of aging, and becoming worse -- that traditional exercises, and the traditional way of exercising, has been largely ineffective at definitively addressing.

Most people are relatively healthy up to age 50, and then what seemed to work -- no longer works, or no longer works as well, and it becomes increasingly obvious, that maybe it didn't work at all -- at least not in the way they think it does.  Thus the 25 year old inventor of another extreme exercise fad, will claim that everybody and anybody can get the same great results they did, if they walk on their hands or somersault on a running course -- without consideration of the dangers for those who can't.  They simply eliminate those who can't, and then claim those who can, do so because of the 100% success rate of their program.

The movement that matters, is increasing the circulation to the brain -- rather than the heart, that gets all the circulation no matter what -- and that happens when one moves the head, rather than getting the heart to beat faster -- without any movement at the head creating a circuit (alternating contraction-relaxation) for that flow.  That is why the markers of aging are invariably -- the head (brain, face and neck), hands and feet -- which never move at the axes of the neck, writs and ankles in most otherwise "active" people -- despite increasingly overworking the hardest, most reliable working muscle of the body -- which is the heart.

The most enduring wisdom of movement strategies (exercise), is not to increase the heart rate in the misguided thinking that the best way to achieve that rest and recovery -- is to stress it as much as possible, but to achieve that slowing down directly -- by recruiting the other voluntary muscles of the body, which are seldom used for any good purpose, to aid in directing (allowing) the flow (circulation) by producing that "pumping" effect at the extremities, which is the most valuable movement and service that can be performed by any muscle -- much more so than any amount of arbitrary but familiar running, jumping, throwing and hitting can ever do.

Each performance of that cycle of full contraction from full relaxation -- and back again, is the directly beneficial effect of any movement -- that directs the flow of neuromuscular and cardiovascular impulses that produces health and growth to that area -- that opens those possibilities by acting as a pump, in the way that the heart does -- by voluntary, thoughtful action -- anytime, anywhere, even for a minute.