Saturday, January 31, 2009

any exercise will help you

okay, this is just a little bit off-topic, but it does relate to some themes i've discussed in the past so i'm going to include it anyway.

i've posted about the nature of the changes that occur in relation to Ironman, and how those changes occur throughout your entire state of being--physical, mental, and spiritual. in essence, it means a transformation of you as a person, and one that is dynamic and ongoing. because it's the start of a journey, in literal and figurative terms, about personal growth. and it is without end. this is why it is a lifestyle, because once you start, you never really stop.

thing is, i want people to know that this process occurs on different scales and in different ways for different people. it's not just because of Ironman, even as much as i can testify that what happens with Ironman is different from anything else i've done for me personally. any activity you do, every activity you do, is going to be different, and carry with it unique experiences and lessons for you to discover with it.

Zen (and it's Chinese original, Ch'an) Buddhism (among other spiritual practices) touches upon this in its discussions of "mindfulness" and "moving meditation." ordinary, even mundane, activities are opportunities for focus and reflection, leading to insights and transformative moments that can be as profound as those connected with any other, more sanctified activities.

in this vein, i can say that exercise, any exercise, can help you. physically, mentally, spiritually. and it doesn't have to be anything significant, or major, or impressive, or intimidating, or worthy of glory and fame and fortune. it can be anything.

for some people the mere act of attempting exercise is a major step forward, and something transfigurative.

and here's an example:

yeah, it's a promo video for something called "YRGworkout." but if you ignore that, and focus on the video, you'll see something pretty impressive.

this video chronicles the evolution of Arthur Boorman, who at one time weighed 297 lbs. and could only walk with the help of canes. he was in poor health, and according to the video description he was "waiting to die."

at some point, he took it upon himself to start exercising. he chose to do this with yoga. in the beginning he can't even do a pose, and the video shows him struggling and falling over. but the thing is: he doesn't stop. he keeps going.

in all truth, he wants this as bad as anyone i've ever seen doing Ironman.

by the end of the video, he is a changed person. his weight is down to 167 lbs., and he no longer walks with the need of canes but can in fact now actually run.

and if body language is any sign of what's inside a person, you can see it here. because his posture is completely different, his projection of confidence and self-fulfillment is different. i'd venture to argue his personality is different. in fact, i'd venture to argue he is different. and for the better.

and all he did was exercise.

and that's something more of us should realize.

any exercise can help you. on different scales in different ways for different people. just to start the journey of growth. to engage the process of transformation. to make you better than what you were before.

any exercise will help you.

1 comment:

Trihardist said...

I see this all the time at work. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it's hard to convince them to make even the smallest changes. I wish I could show them, could express to them what a difference it makes in every aspect of life to be in tune with your body. I think of it as wholeness--bringing the entirety of life into a state of health and wellness. Is that similar to ch'an (qan)?