Thursday, August 01, 2019

Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty: Putting It All Together

The original intention of my life's work, was to conceive of a manner in which people could stay in tip-top condition all their lives -- in the most meaningful and useful way.  That's obviously the only thing that makes sense -- rather than climbing Mt. Everest -- with a high probability of death, not only for oneself, but all supporting members of that party, or crawling over the finish line after everyone else has gone home.

Meanwhile, they no longer do anything meaningful -- saving themselves for such attempts.  They may even wait for the Handicap Van to take them to the gym where they still get on the machines for a much compromised version of the original designed movement -- without questioning that usefulness in doing so.  They are at this point, just going through the motions thinking that is enough -- rather than the suspicion and possibility, that they don't have to remain in that compromised condition -- if what they are doing, really worked -- and not simply repeating the affirmations that they do, while obviously declining in abilities.

It never occurs to such people, that what they are doing -- is making them that way -- and not that thinking otherwise, is enough to make it so.  But at that point, most are happy to see them doing anything -- with the thought of mastering any skill or ability, long a foregone and preposterous conclusion.  And so, those movements and activities lack that organizing principle and intent -- that measures any progress useful.  They are simply in an endless loop -- they hope to sustain -- rather than moving on to higher and better purpose.

And that is the measure of any activity, movement, and life -- whether young or old, in whatever condition.  Is there some tangible evidence of progress -- in a very obvious and measurable way -- and particularly without incurring further damage and injury?  One need not destroy one's knees, feet, back, and hips -- to prove one still can -- until the day they mercifully die.  That should obviously seem counterproductive -- but is that the only option from all the human capabilities?

But one does not necessarily throw out everything in quest of the new -- but goes back first -- to the known, to try to figure out if there was any wisdom in those time-proven ways.  In weight training, they have standardized their measures around the lifts of bench press, squats and the deadlift -- without thinking that it is possible to combine all three in one very useful and definitive movement of viability -- in rising from a deep flat footed squat to a fully upright position, and back again -- easily, effortlessly, and painlessly throughout a productive normal day and throughout their lives -- that is obvious testament to such abilities.

Nowhere is this more obvious, than in seeing older competitive bodybuilders -- tottering out on atrophied legs, because they can no longer bend at the knees -- and fear to do so.  At that point, they are merely parodies of what they used to be -- rather than the best they can be, at that moment and time.  But they're not going to achieve that by continuing to do what wrecked their knees, hip and back -- by doing those movements with increasingly heavy weights until they ultimately and invariably fail.  At that point, it should become obvious that the chances for injury continuing to do so, approaches absolute certainty -- which one is better off to avoid.

However, discontinuing all movements is not the only option -- as many have been conditioned to believe -- as the only choice they have.  That is simply poor education and conditioning -- instead of the much more valuable and productive approach of considering, and even inventing all the ways possible.  In most cases, fight or flight are not the only actions possible -- as many controlling and manipulative leaders would like one to think.  Nobody is allowed to go outside the box -- they have arbitrarily proscribed.

But increasingly, in this day and age, we realize that it is not the only game (and fate) in town -- and that the world and universe, is vastly more than what some say it is -- for their exclusive advantage and benefit (status).  If one hangs around the senior and disabled populations, the dividing line becomes very apparent -- as to this simple ability to get up and down -- rather than running, jumping, lifting barbells, and even walking.  If one can get up and down, it is far more indicative of ability that shuffling along for any number of miles -- fearing to fall -- because they know they cannot get up!

That now becomes their terror -- rather than the confidence of their best days -- of knowing even if they fall, they can always get back up -- literally and figuratively.  That ability is resilience -- the confidence in knowing that one is still viable even if their desired outcome is not achieved, and they can even go beyond further -- in spite of it.  That outlook and attitude gives one immense confidence -- to live that much greater life than they ever thought possible before.  Thus, the future always lies ahead -- waiting to be discovered, and actualized -- and not that their best days now, are a distant and receding memory from here on out.

Such an attitude becomes increasingly important when one senses diminishing physical capacities -- because there is a greater need for economies and efficiencies -- which is the great equalizer.  That's how some people do more with less -- while others seem to fritter away all their advantages, no matter how much they have.  That is the key insight to achieving success in everything one does -- at any level -- even getting up and down off of one's bed and chair.  It is not that sitting (or lying) is bad -- but that one hardly moves out of that position -- into another, and finally at end-stage, does not move at all off of sore points that can now fester to the inevitable end.

So while the bench press, squat and deadlift have been chosen as the competitive events for lifting the most weight, those movements can be combined to lift the body itself, from its lowest to highest position -- much more meaningfully and productively in everyday life and activities -- by not using weights!  Beginning in the full squat position, one simply places the hands on the knees, leans forward and straightens the arms as though doing a pushup (bench press) into the unversally recognized hands on knees resting position while bentover -- and proceed from there to shrug one's shoulders until one is fully erect.  That is the bench press, squat and deadlift -- all in one integrated, useful motion (movement).

One can further add to that movement by placing one's hands together, interlocking the fingers but leaving the index fingers straight and pointing up towards the ceiling, and straightening the arms as much as possible.  In doing so, one will notice the fullest contraction of the back and shoulder muscles, along with the arms.  That is called The Mountain position in yoga, the overhead lift in weightlifting -- but many in doing so, never proceed to extend their arms to their highest position -- and fullest range of motion for all the muscles and structures involved.  And that is the major difference between those with impressive ranges of movement, and those without.

Reversing those mechanics, allows one to get into the beginning position in the full squat -- which is the universal sitting position of indigenous populations noted for their agility and longevity.  In this way, one uses all the muscles of the body to do the one most productive and useful thing to do -- for the rest of their lives, which is to get up and down from this position.  Even former champion athletes have difficulty in these movements -- because they associate danger and injury with such movements -- instead of making and practicing the safest way to accomplish such movements -- and strengthening that ability.


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