Build yourself up, don't beat yourself up

April 24, 2006

A couples of Sundays ago The NY Times had an article on aging boomers beating their bodies to stay young. It was very interesting.

I don't know how many of you read it but in a nutshell, the past 30 years or so of physical activity (spurred on by the jogging craze of the 70's) has left thousands of people damaged, crippled and in worse shape than they were in before.

I won't say I told you so.

But they, the damaged and the beaten up (so says the article), aren't going to quit. No sirree Bob.

The brainwashing runs (mind the pun) deep.

It's not the folks who do it for fun and know the risks that I take issue with. Go on and take 'no holds barred' fighting classes for all I care. Life should be fun, right?!

It's the folks that do it because they think they have to and, after being told they don't and shown the scientific evidence to prove such, just keep on hurting themselves that get my goat.

People are so deeply entrenched in the worldview belief of exercise (i.e., more is better, you need all three fitness components, aerobics should be the focus, etc.) they feel too embarrassed to allow themselves to admit they fell for the fitness spiel. They keep hurting themselves almost as if they are punishing themselves for being so gullible.

I beg you to stop and think it over.

I quit the martial arts, Karate in particular, in 1995.  After 20 + years of flinging my limbs and body into other people and very hard objects something dawned on me.

I was in pain.

In fact, while hobbling home after a Karate class one evening  I realized that if an 8 year old attacked me I'd be licked for sure.

About 6 months after quitting, feeling angry, like a loser, a wimp and a quitter I clearly remember thinking to myself "Boy, does my body feel good."

I never looked back.

Since then I have created Serious Strength and Slow Burn and have been feeling tight, strong, quick and able. My routine physicals are always amazing and I literally feel like I could play college baseball right now.

The moral of this story: Violence (to your body) begets violence. Don't beat yourself up - build yourself up.