I woke up extra early for a morning Yoga session. I have never been to a class so early, but my joints were stiff and I was basically shocked after a bad nights sleep. It got somewhat better after the class, but sometimes you can’t help it, you accept the state your in and keep on going. It’s funny because I know there’s so much worse you can go through, from nights sleeping on benches in the middle of winter to light-threatening conditions, the bodies powerful ability to adapt either makes you lazy, or exceptional.
Anyhow, I went back home and started cooking some breakfast. I looked out the window and saw a cat walk across the grass. It elegantly swiveled towards a fence then looked up, bent it’s knees, rounded it’s back inwards and leaped vertically in one fell motion. It then proceeded like it was nothin’ to it’s destination. For a moment I said to myself, ‘damn, this cat, I can barely touch the floor with my fingers leaning forward’. Cats can easily jump four or fives times their height, it’s quite impressive. I’ve been more conscious of the movement of my body lately. Now I understand why some eastern martial arts are inspired by animals. Their execution seems flawless, they don’t over think it, nor do they do it for any kind of prestige. Humans are great, but I don’t think we will ever come close to acknowledge and properly use the body mechanics of our body. The biggest factor being repetition. I have never seen any animal re-execute the same movement over a few hours like we do. At least not in their natural environment. Their body is tuned up to their lifestyle and they are repeating the movements over a wider amount of time. Apes swing around on branches and they leap from tree to tree, but they don’t do it non-stop the way we do cross-fits or power-sets. They just naturally do it to get somewhere, for a purpose. They seek shade, they want to get some food, or perhaps they are prey and are looking for a quick escape.
That’s why I quickly grew out of gyms. I don’t like mindless workouts. The again, I was young and didn’t see much else but weights and sets. There are probably ways of giving meaning to the gym practice, but I find that sports are closer to a natural way of fostering the body. Most exercises that solicit the muscles using your own body weight will give you all the strength you will ever need. Other people just work physical jobs, so all they might need is a bit of cardiovascular stress to breath out a lot of oxygen and raise their heart rate up a notch.
There is no doubt though, our workout ethic is as complex as we are. If we can attempt to make it more organic, we can hopefully avoid common injuries and take an artful approach to movement. Then, the unexpected will happen. I’ll let you find out what that is.