Fitness War Stupidity

For many years now, the interwebz have been host to war. A war between the different camps of fitness.

Whether its the functional movement folks, the bodybuilders, the athletes, the list goes on and on as to how many groups want to exclaim how much better their form of training is compared to others.

At the end of the day though, all that matters is that you enjoy what you do.

Sure, training might be a pain in the ass sometimes, but it’s the consistency that matters. And to be consistent you need to enjoy what you’re doing to one degree or another.
Now it may be that the enjoyment you pull from your training has nothing to do with the actual training you’re doing at the moment, but more so the effect you know that training is going to have on other aspects of your life. Maybe working out will make you better at playing soccer every Wednesday with your buddies, or maybe you love taking 4-hour hikes up mountainsides and meditating while looking over the world. For those online geeks and workers such as myself, training your body will help keep your mind sharp and help you stay healthy and looking great when hours of hunched over computer work and gaming tries to scrunch you up into an Igor looking figure.

Whatever your reasons, training can be of huge benefit to pretty much any endeavor you hope to embark on.  Ideally, finding simple pleasure in moving your body as nature intended, exploring every nook and cranny of this meat bag that we inhabit would bring everyone the joy they required to move around. But many don’t find this reasoning attractive, so focusing on the others is best, unless you happen to be one of the lucky few who simply love to move.

Remember that there is no end to training your body, just as there is no end to training your mind. There is always more to learn, more to explore, more to do. That is what makes life so exciting, its all magic.

Being able to think, and move and dance and lift and go crazy is a gift we all take for granted daily, so learn to appreciate it a bit more and treat your body with the respect it deserves.

Otherwise, it’ll kick your ass to the curb when you need it most.

Little Joys Ch.32

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

February 1st, 2020

We have created a culture where working ourselves to death goes hand in hand with laziness on a scale unheard of in the past.

People are either at their jobs, feeling miserable for 60 hours a week, or spending day after day staring at their phones and computers, watching pointless videos specifically created to waste our time and keep us hooked to the screen.

Finding a balance is hard.

If you happen to be someone who is aware of the dangers of both of these areas, then you’re probably doing your best to work in a way that is fulfilling, keep yourself in shape physically, stimulate your mind, and also have time to be with friends and family.

But even that endeavor can feel like a chore sometimes, because then you start shitting on yourself if you don’t manage to get a certain area of your life into a perfect flow. It’s a never ending stream of judgement and negativity.

These last two weeks, I have had a great flow. I have worked every day, written for myself and the website, trained almost daily, taken long walks, hung out with people.

I have hit every marker, yet as I was walking towards one of the nice views here in the city of Da Nang, I realized that I was exhausted, head was splitting from the sun, and I really, really needed to go to the bathroom. But alas, I had set myself the goal of walking down the whole beach, up that damn hill, and seeing the lady Buddha statue.

I was making the mistake of investing my plan for sightseeing with the same importance as my other weekly goals, which had purpose and meaning. This is the problem when we become too goal oriented, we end up attributing meaning to things that have no business being in that category, and we push ourselves even when all our body needs is a genuine, well deserved rest, and in my case, a potty break.

Does that mean I sat down and stared at my phone and lazed around for the rest of the day? no!

Each of us has to choose what we consider to be a proper way to re-energize ourselves after a long week. For me, it was taking a grab back to my hotel, taking a two hour nap, then taking a nice walk along the beach, followed by some writing and reading, and another walk, oh and I ate 5 meals and some snacks.

My body needed food, and rest, and gentle movement, and it needed to just unload some of the burden off, so I wrote some poetry. That worked for me. That made me happy.

Everyone needs to decide what their happy place is, what little things, little joys, they can add into their day that will stimulate their mind and body without destroying it.

Think about it, then do it!

Little Joys Ch.8

This post is part of an ongoing challenge to share a little joy I have found each day of this year, and perhaps for the rest of my life. I hope you enjoy it!

When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them — as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon — I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.

-Henri David Thoreau 

One of the most undervalued skills you can have to improve your overall health is the ability to take long walks for no reason whatsoever.

There are numerous benefits to walking that have been studied. Improvements in blood glucose control, hormone regulation, increases in your cardiovascular system, mood improvement, the moving of your lymphatic system to flush out toxins and a host of others, it goes on and on.

Travelling through Asia these last few months I have seen a general lack of appreciation for the art of the walk, everyone seems to be obsessed with using their scooters to get around. Due to this congestion, taking walks becomes difficult to accomplish even when you want to unless you’re in a good location.

I was able to take two long walks down along the water today and it felt glorious. Seeing the sun and the moon glint off the water, the sway of the trees, that serenity that comes when you are simply moving for movement’s sake. I immediately began to think of how to continue the next chapter in the novel I am writing, something I have been stuck on now for a week.

Walking frees the mind to wander, and in that wandering, you almost inevitably come face to face with the creative spirit we all hold inside ourselves.

I shall name mine Wilson.

Everyone say hello to Wilson, he is shy but is quite playful once you get to know him.

Wilson and I will be working hard together to post more and be awesome, wish us luck.

The toxicity of gaming culture

Many people will think this post is some man hating rant about how male toxicity is ruining the gaming industry. This simplistic idea is shared by a bunch of people who don’t understand biology nor how our environment affects us.

Take a human being, someone who is already introverted and shy, stick them in a room alone, barely interacting with other humans face to face, not learning proper social cues and emotional control, make them play something aggressive with other people who they cannot see or hear or touch, and we wonder why gamers can be assholes.

Twitter, facebook and instagram are another perfect example of what happens when you remove people socializing face to face, let them remain relatively ambiguous and free from consequences, and the shit will fly.

There are aspects of male biology that make men fall into this trap more often, higher testosterone levels can really play havoc on aggression, especially considering many gamers are young teens who are already have very little control of their emotions.

But it has nothing to do with male toxicity, and everything to do with the toxicity of online gaming culture. In the same way that the toxicity on social media has to do with its culture.

Social interaction online can be a great thing, people can connect from all around the world. But we have to be realistic about the fact that most humans in the world get zero training on how to take care of themselves emotionally, physically and intellectually. They sit around in front of screens banging away, feeling like shit, cut off from the real world, and it all goes to hell.

Gaming in and of itself is great, regardless of the type of game. What we need is a paradigm shift in how we raise our children, we need to focus less on math skills and more on life skills.

We need to teach ourselves how to behave, with empathy, with courage and most especially with a higher level of understanding of how our brains are primitive and need our higher consciousness to rein them in constantly.

This takes training, lots of it.

Let’s begin, shall we?

A holistic view of the body

For in everything that we do the body is useful; and in all uses of the body it is of great importance to be in as high a state of physical fitness as possible.

-Socrates

A holistic view of fitness would have to include not only the muscles and heart and bones like most training protocols do, but also the brain.

We have to view the body as a synergistic system, and that includes the brain. Everything that our muscles do is tied up with our minds and nervous system.

So if you really want to be the best version of yourself physically, then you need to train your mind. Luckily for us there is no better time in history to train our whole bodies. Books are everywhere, paper and online. Articles abound online, thousands of videos and audio format information exist.

Push your brain out of its comfort zone, the same as you would do for your muscles.  This will not only make you a more intelligent human, but it will help you to master your emotions, one of the greatest boons of humanity and also our greatest enemy. Uncontrolled emotions are one of the main reasons we do dumb shit over and over again, and should be trained like any skill, as young as possible.

Once all that’s done, get your ass off the couch and get outside, get some fresh air, walk a lot, run sometimes, lift some heavy stuff and have some fun.

Focus on the basics Padawans

So many people, myself included, over-complicate matters when getting into fitness.

People start worrying about whether they are doing the right kind of training, eating the right kinds of food, going to the gym as many days as they should be.

But like all things, the only focus you should have when entering into something new is mastering the basics, and the basics are well…basic.

For fitness it’s relatively simple, consistently train. Whether that is once a week, twice a week or more, the most important thing is actually starting and continuing, week by week.  When you go from nothing to something, you are doing it right.

The next advancement would be focusing on doing a movement as well as can be. Many people start panicking because there are so many exercises to do and so many training protocols, when instead they should just be doing the most basic of movements and attempting to get as good as they can be at them.

Squat,pull, push,hinge,lunge and carry.

Each of these movements will look different for you depending on your level of fitness, and all you should care about is doing them as well as you can, nothing fancy, nothing crazy.

This same mentality should be taken into nutrition. Who the hell cares about the minutiae, which diet is best and all that crap. Focus on the basics!

Get rid of junk food and stop eating out at restaurants every week.

Get a solid 3 meals in a day, eat lots of vegetables and fruit, a nice serving of protein and good quality fat.

Stick to that for as long as possible, until it becomes a normal part of your life.

Once you’re moving well and eating well and you don’t even have to think about it anymore, congratulations you’re now a decently healthy person. If you want to start focusing on little things like specific programming for athletic goals or cranking out that extra 10% benefit from food that comes from eliminating certain things that may be bothering you or adding in supplements and whatnot then go for it, so long as you maintain those basic principals that get you 90% of your goals.

Other lifestyle changes that I would consider basic would be getting quality sleep and just walking as much as possible, and these can be implemented at any point in your life without much stress.

May the force be with you all.

And if you don’t believe in the force, well, you probably would have been Sith anyway so we don’t want you.

Sleep and sleep some more

We live in a society with very little respect for sleep.

I could go off on a rant and spout all the scientific reasons why you need to sleep and how it is incredibly important for the health of your brain and physical performance, but these points have been made over and over again by health professionals.

At the end of the day, every single one of us knows they feel better when they get to bed earlier and sleep properly. Each of us knows we feel better when we don’t stay up staring at our phones and computers.

We all know what we need to do.

So just do it.