My friend, Kyle Battis, pointed me to this video today, and I was inspired to say the least. I think this is a fine expression of what our bodies are capable of, and meant for. I really appreciate what this guy is doing, trying to bring people the freedom that comes with movement mastery, especially out in natures playground, where we too often neglect our own potential.
MovNat – The Workout The World Forgot
I think there’s something to be said about fitness programs that are based on the outdoors, and the abundant resources that nature provides for us. I can attest that living “in the bush” will keep you in tip-top shape, but there’s so much more depth to being in nature than just health benefits.
Just yesterday, I was watching an interview with Tom Brown Jr. who founded a tracking and survival school in New Jersey about 30 years ago. Tom was raised by an Apache Indian named ‘Stalking Wolf’ who took it upon himself to instruct Tom (7 years old at the time) in the ways of nature – specifically, living off of the land entirely and abundantly. Tom spent many years with Stalking Wolf trying to absorb the ways of survival in order to preserve the knowledge that had accumulated over generations of people.
We tend to think of the term “survival” as a negative situation, where the conditions are awful and we are holding out for dear life, but survival need not be fraught with horrible circumstances. To someone who has the knowledge and mental fortitude to survive, being placed in a situation that requires survival skills can be less-than-daunting, and could even be the most liberating experience of their life.
I think the same is true of fitness. We tend to hold negative feelings towards trying to stay in shape. We don’t want to work hard, because it is HARD. It’s not easy, it’s not convenient, and you cannot buy fitness and health – you must commit to it and work for it. We think eating a healthy diet is inconvenient, that it costs more, or doesn’t taste as good. The truth is that it doesn’t matter if you have the best equipment or food in the world for staying in shape, if you don’t have the knowledge and mental fortitude to use it well, then you will never adapt – and you’ll never find freedom through it.
We live in a society of gross over-abundance. We have all the resources we could ever need to live a life of blissful and empowering health and fitness, yet we are one of the least healthy nations in the world. A lack of resources is not our problem. On the contrary, it’s a lack of knowledge, and a lack of discipline to apply the knowledge we do have.
But for those that press on, who seek abundant health and strength and DISCIPLINE themselves to take it, there is a freedom that comes with the pursuit. Fitness is no longer program design or rote technique. It is no longer sets and reps, free weights, or cardio. It isn’t routine. Food isn’t calories or macronutrients, fast food or homemade, or part of a diet. With diligent practice, fitness becomes an expression, a portrait of yourself. It becomes a representation of your freedom – and you can gain freedom from physical vitality and capability. Fitness makes you responsible and capable. You ARE responsible AND capable!
I’ve made it a personal goal to get outdoors several times a week. I’m blessed to live in an area that is scattered with trails and plenty of woods to explore. And I make it my personal responsibility to alter my focus as soon as I step outside. No longer am I confined to rigid schedule or structure. I am no longer in a hurry, carrying the stresses of life with me through the woods. When I go outdoors, I slow down and focus on the little moments. I seek the gratitude and appreciation for all that is living and created, and I’m blessed for it.
Make it your goal to slow things down for a time. Take in your environment, whether you’re outside or in. Forget about today, and definitely don’t think about tomorrow. Just get quiet and listen, reflect, and practice freedom.
To your health and success,
P.S. If you feel compelled to seek freedom today, then start right now. There are a huge array of resources available on this site to help you get started. Choose one, and stick with it. If you’re disciplined, you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re looking for a place to start. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with a joint mobility program like Intu-Flow. For me, a regular joint mobility program was like unlocking a gate into a secret garden of movement health: