Laurent Piemontesi, one of the Yamakasi founders is infamous for his crazy and long physical conditioning sessions. It’s not unheard of for Laurent to run for several hours, then begin his other physical preparations of quadrupdeal (crawling) variations, handstands, then leg raises in the realm of 1001 repetitions on each side, forwards and backwards. When someone asked him why he did so much conditioning he said that it so that he could move well today, tomorrow, next year and the decades after that. Knowing Laurent I have no doubt he will.
What we do today impacts what we are capable of tomorrow and the days, weeks, months and years after that.
We are not all like Laurent and what is appropriate for him is a world away from what I need and aim for. However, to train today with tomorrow and the long game in mind is a good thing. For those who think that it’s “too late”, that they are “set in their ways”, the continuing advancements of both neuroplasticty and epigenetics tells us that these sentiments are simply not true. We have the ability to change how our bodies and minds work and that is truly an amazing and beautiful thing. Wherever you are at right now is not where you have to stay.
“We’re mostly under-moved, and not at all too old.” Katy Bowman.
By understanding how our minds and bodies are intricately linked it benefits us to train both, whether we are working on improving our squat, wanting to be able to do more pull ups or improving self-esteem and motivation. If like me you have spent several decades of adulthood with a somewhat slouched over posture with rounded shoulders while looking at those with good posture with a somewhat envious eye and putting it down to their ‘good genes’, then know that if I can change my posture so can you. Even more surprising is sometimes I’m even complemented on it!
While there is no silver bullet, quick fix or bio hack, there is also no special hi tech equipment required to make such changes. The reality of what’s needed a lot of the time is access to good honest no bullshit information from someone who knows what to do and how to help you. Only then is it down to you to practise. A little often, as often as you can. If you are impatient like me then you want to see change as quickly as possible, therein comes the mental side of the equation. The change in mindset, motivation and believing in the process that you’ve started. To not repeat the errors of the past where you ended up starting a process, not seeing change, then stopping after a short while and being left with the resulting feelings of failure, and in some ways even worse off then when you started. It’s a downward spiral and one you want to get out of asap.
Whether you are planning and thinking ahead for the next weekend or the years ahead, the potential for change is available. Health is freedom and movement is health. Having a good state of mental and physical health allows us to maintain our autonomy. It could be for activities like jumping and climbing or the everyday actions of independent living such as being able to lift and carry our shopping, walk the dog or maintain mobility so we can get up from a chair unaided. For me, my posture and how I move through the world is a reflection of who I am and how I feel. It’s been something that I’ve worked on and am happy to maintain.
As bio-mechanist and best selling author and mover Katy Bowman states in her book on Dynamic Aging; there’s a difference between “natural decline and the loss of function we’re experiencing simply due to weaknesses created by poor movement habits”.
Let’s all move more, find those smart and varied movement patterns and start the changes now. Today’s choices are tomorrow’s reality. There is nothing set about our ways unless we choose we want things to stay the same.
In collaboration with See&Do team member and coach Marybeth Gangemi, along with Sandra Vesterstein, we have made an online course for those who want to start making those types of changes today. Strong Body Strong Mind. If you want to improve your posture, balance, mobility and strength while improving the mental attributes that will assist you in the process then find out more information about the course HERE.
This is what Rachel Lankester, founder of the Mutton Club, an online magazine and community for women in midlife and beyond, had this to say about the course,
“Strong Body Strong Mind is a fantastic program for developing one’s physical and mental strength. Everyone can benefit from training their body and mind. Good physical and mental agility require attention and effort, most especially as we age and want to remain active. This program provides an easy, accessible and fun structure to enable us to live our strongest lives all of our life! Thank you!”
While Laurent will continue to condition his body to levels that exhaust those 20 years his junior, I too will maintain the good practices that sustain and maintain my strength and health.
Keep moving and navigate the world with curiosity. Have fun with it!