Monday, March 16, 2009

never too old to learn

ten years ago during my college days in the idyllic shenandoah valley, i began to delve into the murky process of self-discovery and other such nebulous therap-ese terms all rooted in understanding oneself. as part of that journey, i discovered the teachings (preachings) of bill phillips. phillips, a former steroid driven bodybuilding champion turned motivational speaker/personal trainer/entrepreneur, wrote several books including his most widely published Body for Life. i was captivated by the "you can do it" tenets of the BFL program and impressed by the way phillips incited the reader to act with his "let your progress be the reward" encouragements.

the thing that has stuck with me the most from that book is the types of "vision" that phillips outlines; historical, present, and future. phillips professes that folks who allow historical vision to dominate their thoughts believe that everything good or important in their lives has already past and they often dwell on the way things "used to be." these people often see themselves as the person they were back in the "good old days" and don't realize how far they've let themselves slide from that image.

the reason all of that nonsense is important is that, of late, i've become that slug with historical least where my fitness is concerned. those of you who know me (AKA, the only people who read this blog) know, at least in part, what amazing things i "used to" be able to do. well, kids...i'm here to tell ya that the mighty has certainly fallen and the thing that has brought this sharply into focus for me was my first parkour class. i enrolled in a 5 week program at a gym in denver and today's class focused on the exercises needed to build a body fit for parkour-specific activities. we did pushups, dips, situps, rolls, falls, and quadrupedal movement and they were all a slap in the face that reminded me (in a frightening, but good, way) that i'm far from my strong, limber, active, injury-free high school and college days.

i'm ashamed but rejuvenated and determined to heal myself, strengthen myself, better myself, and eventually be able keep pace with these parkour practitioners:

i'll end with some brilliant, timeless advice passed along to me years ago by a tai chi master. i try to keep these words in mind when i start moving too fast for my own good and find myself in need of a little grounding.

1. know yourself
2. do your best
3. don't overdo it
4. make a little progress every day

stay tuned for the updates,


p.s. - i'll ship you my copy of Body for Life if anyone wants to borrow long as you don't mind the highlighting and margin notes :-)

1 comment:

Amy said...

I'm really proud of you.