In my recent post I talked about the concept of movement, fitness and play from the Exuberant Animal and and Mark’s Daily Apple . The more I read, the more I feel that that is exactly what is missing from the fitness world, FUN.
But the question is, if we accept that some (or all) of the primal fitness movement to be correct how do we convince the sceptical general public that there is another way to get fit rather than at some nice shiny gym full of treadmills? And when its hard enough to get people off their armchairs and outside into the real world – let alone actually to do anything – how do we persuade them to go climb a tree?
I don’t claim to have the answers nor am I a lone voice but I do believe that there is more to fitness than cross trainers, weight racks and corporate spaces. We have all heard of functional fitness and for most people it what we all hope we are doing when we are working out but how representative is that barbell squat – how often do you actually do that in your real life? Perhaps the nearest thing to a proper lift is as a parent when you have to lift your tired toddler from the floor up to chest height – now THAT is a proper everyday task that represents functional fitness and can be mirrored with weight.
Fitness shouldn’t just be about grunting, sweating, hard work and aching muscles, no matter what we are trying to achieve. Fitness should be about doing things because they feel good, laughing so much it hurts, pushing yourself to the next level, gaining confidence from trying things you never thought you could do, learning what you are capable of, challenging your body and most of all challenging your mind.
The more I look into this the more I want to give it a go and I truly am your archetypal scardy cat who never did gym at school, was scared of heights and who hated any kind of organised sport – I can sort of remember doing stuff when I was young but it was never just for the hell of it, it was always cos I had to and that really isn’t the same thing! I want to get out of the gym and go and do something silly and fun – from learning how to handstand (never could do them, they always scared me!), doing an assault course to climbing the high-wires course.
I want to see if I can add jumps, squats, climbing, throwing, running, balancing whatever I can think of into my routines; I want to catch myself thinking “god you look stupid!” and still do it, I want to laugh at the complete absurdity of it all, I want to finish a routine not just tired, but tired, exhilarated, emotional, happy and totally high at what I did. I want to make my fitness fun and after all if I can do it, so can you!