A few months back, I saw a post on social media:
I misunderstood it at the time. I understood it as, It’s not just something you do to activate muscle groups and raise your heart rate:
It’s more disciplined than that – you do it everyday.
Actually, I now believe it means that it should be treated as THE workout:
You go deep into musculo-durability concepts often and with full intention.
Plain and simple: you must incorporate a longevity element to your fitness program whether you’re a mom powerwalking or you’re a Cross Fit athlete. In fact, the higher the intensity and frequency of your physical activity, the deeper you should go, and more often.
If you don’t, you may as well stop living. The only reason you have a job is to pay the bills, the only reason you maintain relationships is to enjoy time with those people. These are pointless if you are unable to maintain healthy movement until you die.
Golden years? Ideal retirement age? How golden and ideal will they be if you cannot walk from your car to the grocery store? Visit family? Make love? Play with your grandchildren?
I have said it before, and accepted the skepticism that followed, but I believe it is better to be late to work and fired from your job than skip morning hydration, mobility, and meditation.
A rogue state: a nation or state regarded as a threat or breaking the laws of other nations.
Elliot Hulse calls them muscle viruses. They are more generally called, simply, muscular imbalances. I agree with Elliot that they are something more insidious. I believe they represent the tyrant within us.
Based on my previous writings, the tyrant of which I speak can do a few things:
1. Lie, sabotage, lead you down an “easy” path but one that you lose your free will.
2. When someone dons the cruel crown of a tyrant themselves and begins pushing their bodies – their own nation – as indentured servants, forcing their bodies to do things they would not normally do. They will send their soldiers across mine fields. They will launch initiatives which do not benefit their people.
How many soldiers are you willing to lose to mines and ambushes. Remember, your soldiers are your muscles, your organs, and nervous system. They are your bones and joints and tendons. If you are willing to sacrifice them to reach your goals, you are not a leader. You’re a tyrant.
This second kind of tyrant is born of our own ignorance – for some of us, we do not know how our bodies work. It is a childish perspective – I want to have fun now, consequences be damned!
A rogue state, whether inside the body or out in the world, has this perspective. They do not respect others’ sensibilities or values.
As you mature and make your way down the Warpath, you may be confronted by these rogue states – tight, imbalanced muscles. These may not be outright rebellions. You may not have legions of disaffected citizens or fire in the streets. Rather they are insurgents, spies, traitors in your midst. And they must be dealt with.
The best way to fight this domestic threat is to implement the element of longevity I discussed above.
Recruiting for the Cause
Muscles remember things. Thanks to our nervous system, lessons learned can be compounded through intensive communication with our bodies.
Just as cells in a body, which make up muscles and nerves, we must communicate with and serve one another for the welfare of a greater organism of which we are a part.
– Be a Man
How can we help our bodies communicate with themselves? The answer is, Tell our stories through the contraction and lengthening of our muscles. Tell your story often and tell it well.
It should have a role in pre-workout as well as post workout, after waking and before sleeping.
It can be yoga, meditation, foam rolling, or a full body massage. It can be supplemented with hot yoga or sauna. But remember that a longevity program must be comprehensive. Execution must be deliberate. It’s not a warm up!
For those of us who are more apt to pick up a barbell than unroll a yoga mat, we must adjust our aggressive natures to give in to the best interests of our collective nation – our body.
This feeling of getting flanked is when you experience pain – when you suffer injury.
When I get injured as a result of my exercise program, I feel like I’ve been outmaneuvered. Betrayed.
I ask myself, What did I do wrong? I thought I was warming up properly, stretching and cooling down, and I thought my sports nutrition was on point. Why did this happen?
I’ve come to the realization that, It happens. Sometimes you do get outmaneuvered. It is then necessary to confront the rogue state – address the problem – and become deliberate again.
In the Command and Control series, it discusses building a relationship with the ground level troops, which are your muscles. Maybe you realize that you didn’t have the relationship you thought you had with your muscles. You can improve that relationship by supporting yourself.
And a longevity element added to your everyday life will be that support.