Last week, I received a large, mysterious package a few days before my birthday. It was unmarked, no return address, no name, nothing! On the side of the box read, “Wheelchair Products.” I wasn’t expecting a package, and figured someone had just used an old box to send me a gift. After calling my wife to confirm it wasn’t a surprise gift, I opened it up and BEHOLD, it was… a walker???
Yes, like a walker for people who have trouble walking – THAT kind of walker.
There was no note, no card, nothing to explain why, I, a perfectly healthy and mobile young man received a walker via FedEx delivery.
I had a few theories at first.
My brother Joe bought me a high-tech cane as a joke awhile back, and this could have been an upgrade – you know, just in case. Or, my brother Jim could be sending me something to make fun of me because I’m always doing my “mobility moves.” This could be a secret message that someday my silly mobility moves won’t mean jack when I’m immobile. Regardless, I started putting this fold-out contraption to use right away.
I tested it for its structural integrity and then performed a set of parallel bar dips, then some bodyweight rows. Before long, I was experimenting with some moves I had always wanted to try.So, here is a quick video demonstrating some exercises you can do with parallel bars:
Playing with Parallel Bars for Strength Training
These are just strength training exercises, and my technique isn’t perfect during some of them, but I wanted to give you an idea of how many training options we really have at our disposal. It turns out my brother Jim bought this for me because he had been trying to find a way to do parallel bar dips at home, and this was his best solution.
We don’t always have a perfect training environment, or perfect training equipment, and it’s important that we take inventory of what we do have and use it to our advantage. That doesn’t mean compromise on safety, rather draw on what we know to be safe.
I’ve been reflecting lately on how much we have that is extraneous and on what we could live without. The truth is that specialized training equipment is a luxury we enjoy from an abundant lifestyle. My recent experience with MovNat reminded me of this – that we should be able to practice and train anytime, anywhere. If we don’t have a gym membership, no problem. If we don’t have space in our house for exercising, no problem. We’re people, we adapt to the situations around us, and we don’t necessarily need to try to micro-manage and control everything about our lives.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love playing with new equipment, and as long as I have it, I’ll use it. However, I may just build some parallettes after all to prevent any future faceplants…
To your health and success,
CST, CST-KS, NSCA-CPT
P.S. Find instructions for do-it-yourself parallettes here.