Ever look at somebody move and wonder to yourself how on earth they seem so fluid? So controlled? So in tune with their body?
When you scroll through Instagram or Facebook, you're naturally drawn to videos of people doing amazing things with their bodies:
- Defying gravity in a handstand press
- Demonstrating freakish levels of mobility in a floor routine
- Blending effortlessly into their environment in a parkour run
(I mean, that's probably why you're reading this in the first place, right? Something on Instagram or Facebook caught your eye and led you here.)
These videos and images are inspiring. They show us a glimpse of what the human organism is capable of.
A glimpse of what we might be capable of.
But of course it's just a glimpse, a curated peek into their world.
There's more to the story.
What we don't see are the hours, and weeks, and years of dedication. We don't see the backstory to the training and practice. We rarely see the mess-ups and injuries. We don't see the self-doubt.
But of course all of that is there somewhere. They're only human.
They follow the same rules of biology and physiology as we do.
There's one in particular that comes to mind. If you've been around here long enough, you've heard me talk about the SAID Principle, Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand.
What it means it that your body is constantly changing to better cope with the situations it's in and the tasks you ask it to do.
These aren't just large-scale changes. These changes occur on the cellular level. Actually they occur at even finer scale as well; you alter your genetic expression when you alter those demands.
Changes in your body come from changes in the demands you impose on your body.
But have you ever wondered where the changes in demands come from?
They come from the choices you make.
Choices --> Changes
It's as simple as that.
Good choices lead to good changes.
Bad choices lead to bad changes.
If you don't make those choices on purpose, you're going to live on autopilot. And if you think you're going to get the strength, mobility, and fluidity you want by luck, well...don't hold your breath.
Changing your body means changing your choices.
If there's something you want, you have a responsibility to make it happen.
I know some people might be thinking: "Easier said than done."
Did you think you were entitled easy?
You're entitled the ability to make a choice. What you choose (or fail to choose) is up to you.
The consequences are on you. Harsh, I know, but sugar-coating it robs you of the dignity of choice. If you want to be better, you have a right and a responsibility to make the decisions that will make you better.
I'll give you an example:
This past weekend I decided to head out for a longer walk in the woods with my girlfriend.
I chose to go barefoot because I like the feel of dirt under my feet.
I chose to climb a number of trees because I think it's fun.
I chose to walk along fallen trees to take a convenient picture that proves my point ; )
The range of motion displayed in my left ankle and right big toe is impressive by most standards. It's not normal. But it's natural. This is perfectly natural range of motion for a human ankle and toe. I have no history of hypermobility (in fact I'm not a naturally bendy person).
You won't find many toes and ankles like this because toes and ankles like this depend on years of intentional choices, leading to years of intentional demands imposed on my body, leading to years of specific adaptations.
These ankles were shaped by choices. Yours are too.
Why do I harp on this?
Because nobody is going to choose for you. Your body will naturally diminish in its capability unless you actively intervene.
And it goes way beyond your quality of movement.
Your relationships. Your financial situation. Your job. Your home. All of these are shaped by the decisions you make (or don't make).
That's not to say that changing any of them is easy, or that you'll necessarily like the outcome.
But the choice to change it does exist. Don't rob yourself of that dignity.
Too many people stay stuck in default behaviors through an unwillingness to accept responsibility for their choices. They let the world around them dictate the course of their life, and they become needlessly frustrated by their bodies, their jobs, their relationships, and their life.
They feel victimized, and they have only themselves to blame.
But it doesn't have to stay that way.
In fact you can reshape all of this through the accumulated effects of intentional choices.
I'll use myself as an example.
When I was 22, I was--by all accounts--a mess:
- I felt completely broken thanks to a number of jiu jitsu injuries I couldn't seem to overcome
- I felt stuck in a "dream job" that actually made me miserable, and I thought my only options were quit or kill myself
- I had accidentally fallen into a relationship that I didn't want to be in (and was too afraid to leave it)
- I was struggling with feelings of depression and meaninglessness
You get the idea. Things weren't pretty in body, mind, environment, or relationship.
If I had continued on that same default path, it would not have ended well.
So I made the choice to ask for help.
I began working with a couple of mentors to better understand my movement. I hired a therapist to address my internal conflicts. I sought out help to get my business up and running.
And guess what?
These choices had consequences. I was broke. My friends didn't understand what I was doing and gradually stopped asking me to hang out. I was afraid. I left that relationship and thought I'd drift off to sea.
But...I healed my body. I developed new strength and capability. I found new friendships that really nourished me. I found a way to feel centered and confident. I found a relationship with a woman I absolutely love. I created an international coaching practice beyond anything I expected when starting out.
I chose something different.
And I dealt with the good and bad along the way.
These things aren't easy. But again you aren't entitled easy. You're entitled a choice.
- If you're feeling overwhelmed by the change you want to make,
- If you know things could be better, but you aren't sure the next step
- If you want to live with more intention and awareness
Click here to apply for a one-on-one Insight Coaching Call. I'll personally walk you through how to find clarity in where you're going, identify potential obstacles along the way, and develop practices to find more freedom in your movement and mindset.