Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Grok Walkin'

In light of the confession I made in my last post, I bring to you evidence that I have begun to try and approach physical activity and fitness with a different, more open mindset.

P-dazzle and I often frequent Mark's Daily Apple, a blog devoted to the idea of a "Primal Lifestyle"--essentially, an approach to fitness that revolves around the idea that our bodies have evolved a certain way and that the most efficient way to use our bodies are to use them the way "Grok", that general primal ancestor on whom the Primal Community base their own fitness/nutritional/lifestyle behavior, did. At least, that's my take on it.

I'm including this brief overview because I find useful and reasonable the idea of using "primal living" as a template for how to act and live today. To be clear, I find this only useful as a template and not as an end-all, be-all guide to living life. Obviously "Grok" did not drive a car or even ride a bike, and he never got a taste of a delicious bagel slathered in cream cheese--sometimes you just gotta seize the day, even if it goes straight to your hips.

Anyway. My point is that the Primal Lifestyle, to me, carries with it some common-sense wisdom that speaks to me and makes sense to me in a way that a lot of other nutrition/fitness philosophies don't. I tend to be a moderate in almost everything, including this, so I am happy to pick and choose what I find gels with my own beliefs and ideas.

So, to return to the start of my post: P-dazzle and I find Mark's Daily Apple to be full of interesting, thought-provoking, and simply cool things, and we came across a workout dubbed the "Grok Walk." I don't suppose you'd be able to use the word "workout" in the narrow sense (much like I, in my lazy ignorance, tended to think of it), but it does involve activity, and lots of it. The idea, though, is doing a lot of low-intensity activity and making it something fun, something you could do any time, thusly integrating it into your life as something that you do--not because it's a workout to be parceled out at a certain point in your day, but activity as something that is simply a part of one's life.

So, the "workout" is prescribed as such:

"Complete, throughout the course of an hour-long walk:

30 Pullups
50 Squats
40 Pushups
20 Handstand Pushups
Climb Something, Twice
5 Short (30-ish meter) Sprints
Find Something Heavy to Carry for Seven Minutes"

P-dazzle and I set out to do precisely that. We climbed things (trees, walls, playground equipment) more than twice, did a sprint or two, some pushups, and I think I did about 10 squats. In our quest to complete the workout (though we weren't all that concerned about it--I'm nowhere near capable of doing a handstand, let alone 20 handstand pushups), we were sidetracked by a satisfyingly profound discussion that delved into issues that had been on our minds: questions and thoughts about religion, philosophy, the nature of Truth, the origins of Life and the Universe--you know, all the basic stuff. (I'm not trying to make us sound extra-intellectual or anything, it just happened to be a very philosophical discussion.)

We spent a good chunk of time arguing about extremists of all sorts at a park (gathering looks, I'm sure, from the few families who had brought their kids to play) as we climbed over the equipment, and found ourselves back home with only fragments of the workout done, but that didn't matter to me because what's been on my mind is the question of how to balance these things: cultivating an intellectual life, a spiritual life, and a physically fit life--and here it happened that I spent an entire afternoon doing all three!

(I've decided that to sign off this thing I'll say "good-bye" or "so long" or some such variation in a different language--but I won't look it up--I'll have to have learned it from a non-Google/search engine source. Intellectual life, there ya go.)

Adios, amigos.

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