A majority of individuals that may label themselves as un-FIT are not maladapted at all. In fact, it’s quite the contrary- they are adapted quite perfectly to the environment that they find themselves in most frequently.
The painfully apparent theme-
We are (literally & figuratively) killing ourselves with comfort.
I’ve often wondered why it seems, as a culture, so many of us are unhealthy, unhappy and sick- despite neverending “advancements”, an overabundance of food, and endless scientific progress to make our lives better. As a whole, we are getting LESS FIT and MORE SICK each year. Shouldn't we be healthy(ier), happy(ier) and thriving…?
I never really believed that this was the baseline human experience. The more I dig into the topic of the human condition, the more painfully clear it becomes what constitutes actual health and how we can cultivate it. It requires a radical rethink of how we live our day to day lives..
Health & fitness isn’t just the absence of disease or infirmity, but a state of complete physical, mental and spiritual well-being. This requires sustained growth & self overcoming. At some point progress and advancement of luxury, comfort and convenience reaches a point of diminishing returns.
Let's sink our teeth into this thing.
FIT-ness is defined as our ability to ‘FIT’ into our environment. With that being said, most people who may think that they are un-fit are actually fine and dandy and perfectly fit. Here’s what I mean by that…
A majority of individuals that may label themselves as "un-FIT" are actually not maladapted at all. In fact, quite the contrary- they are adapted quite perfectly to the environment that they find themselves in most frequently. Our body adapts to what we frequently expose it to.
“How can I be well adapted if I’m not fit? I slouch, my body aches and I’m not strong.”
If you’re thinking about poor posture, tight muscles & strength imbalances then, you’re missing the point all together.
These are only unfavorable adaptations in the face of the lives that we wish to lead, not the lives that we are currently living. Think of the activities we spend most of our time doing…
**Read it again, let that sink in
In reality- we’re all functional as hell in a life full of sitting in chairs behind computer screens and folding over our cell phones.
We reap what we sow and this is a classic correlation of actions & desires out of alignment.
No sane person wants to be stiff, sick or overweight and yet too few individuals in our modern society adhere to the natural laws that govern health and longevity. We are living unnatural lives in this unnatural society that we’ve built.
YOU'RE NOT LAZY. YOU'RE A VICTIM OF COMFORT.
**As stated at the beginning: “it requires a radical rethink of how we live our day to day lives.”
I'm not anti-technology by any stretch- I'm probably more of a social media and internet apologist than anything. I'm constantly amazed at the plethora of information that can be gained from the internet, and the creativity & inspiration that can be attained through social media. At the same time I feel rather unsociable and pessimistic about a generation of humans that arrange the layout of their home so that the television is the center focal point.
A lot of this technology crap cannot be avoided professionally- I get that. (as i am currently hunched over my keyboard)
The good news is- The more often you can change your predictable environment to one that's more unpredictable and stimulating the more you will adapt.
Or in other words: The more often you can create an environment you'd actually like to FIT into, then the more chances you’ll cultivate for those adaptations to grow.
It's easier said than done- but that is most things in life. And like most other (worthwhile) things- no one is coming to do it for you. It doesn't require you to spend MORE time exercising, it requires spending LESS time in situations and scenarios that lead to stagnation or 'retrogressing’. Or as I like to call it, [DE]VOLVING.
I believe that society has succumbed to a narrative of perpetual progress that is actually leading to diminishing health and instant gratification over meaningful actions which is dulling the primal human senses that make us thrive.
Modern “advancements” have created so much safety and security that we can essentially sleepwalk through life.
Perhaps we need some variety in our lives, to keep us on our toes to maintain optimal health. It probably wouldn't hurt us right..?
This sounds radical- in fact this was the one quote that our leaders in the Marine Corps always pounded into our heads in Afghanistan…
BUT it actually requires no radical changes at all- in fact it takes very small changes to force the body to elicit a new adaptation response.
Break up the certainty of your life just a little bit…it's that simple. (simple NOT easy)
Opt for the stairs
Take your conference call for a walk
Can't leave your desk?
Get a lacrosse ball under those foot arches
throw some toe spreaders in
change the way you are sitting frequently
Hell, I heard Lauryn Bosstick talk about how she will put bala bangles on and rip glute kickbacks off her kitchen island for 7 minutes while on a call- stuff like that is really inspiring for me to hear.
It feels really good to turn on the shower and let the water run for 3 minutes so that it's very comfortable to get into. Instead turn the water on cold and stand directly under the faucet- challenge yourself each day. At first you will flinch and tense up, get goosebumps, panic and want to jump out. Just notice that these are ADAPTATIONS occurring in real-time. Pretty cool huh, as you continually expose yourself, you will experience change. (ie: you won't even flinch, you won't panic, you will be mindful of your breath, you will enjoy the energizing benefit that it brings to your entire body.)
In a society where chronic inflammation is the leading cause of almost all of our ailments- cold showers could certainly benefit all of us.
Let’s flash back to the beginning of this blog post…
Are you trying to get ‘fitter’ by specifically focusing only on the one hour that you may spend training? Then once that hour is over you don't really do much else? Many of us would benefit profoundly by just incorporating more methods of movement & variety throughout the day.
My point being:
Our daily modern lives don't present a whole lot of unpredictability and randomness. Variety & uncertainty are required for adapting and evolving; taking the tiniest actions can elicit big-growth based on your current routine comfort-preferences. Our day to day life is so predictable that a fire alarm going off at work could be the most exciting thing that happens all week.
The way that modern society has been structured- there is either
A.) Lack of things to challenge us
B.) We find ourselves conforming to comfort society- constantly gravitating towards instant gratification.
(The escalator or elevator over the stairs, we choose fast convenient food over deliberate meal preparation because we don't have time. And don't even get me started on bird scooters.)
Make movement a part of your life, all the time, not just 60 minutes 3x per week.
OVERCOME the immediate desire to take the comfortable option so that you can reap the rewards of natural health and fitness. When you voluntarily make things uncomfortable, you strengthen your resolve to meet adversity head on and not crumble. This makes you a better human outside of health and fitness.
Diligently perform the habits that will keep your mind and body evolving.