Moments spark ideas.
Sometimes – especially for those like me – it takes two moments. So, there were two moments that sparked the idea for this blog. They were not profound moments, but in the context of what I’ve been reading, watching, and doing lately, they led me to one conclusion:
There’s the conclusion, right up front. No more need to read on (please do).
Moment #1: The Gentledog wakes up at 5:30AM and, with much cajoling, suits up for his morning walk. He yawns and walks outside. Gentledog is ready to go.
That’s the story. As soon as he’s outside, he… SQUIRREL!
Sorry, Gentledog is rubbing off on me a little more than I’d like to admit. Squirrel! If he sees one of those bastard rodents, he’s off like a shot. Or, should an unlucky passerby walk past, he’ll pull, bark, and then wag his tail. Gentledog doesn’t do – nor does he want to do – dynamic stretching, foam rolling, or a light warm-up. He wakes up and goes. He moves. He… SQUIRREL!
Damnit, Gentledog. But he’s an idol of mine. I want to wake up and go outside and run. I want to get home from work and chase that fucking squirrel. Okay, so not exactly, but play and move and have fun. I don’t want to be sore. As Kelly Starrett – of Becoming a Supple Leopard fame – says in an interview with London Real, you should be able to “with your feet together squat all the way down bum-to-heel, just hang out there.” The message: Gentledog is a supple leopard. I’m not, but I want to be. How to do it?
Moment #2: The other night, the Gentlelady and I were having a chat/discussion/argument. It started with this loaded question: “What should I do at the gym to get in shape?” I was terrified of answering. I took a long time closing the computer, preparing my response. You have to understand the context of course: the Gentlelady was in a fitness funk, she was down on herself, and coming to me for help. Terrifying.
“Whatever you want?” I was buying time. The Gentlelady is not stupid and saw right through me.
“But I don’t know what I want to do.”
“CrossFit?” I ventured, knowing the answer.
Gentlelady’s glares are reserved only for when I say stupid things. She glared. “I’ve already tried that and I didn’t like it.”
“Well then, what are your goals?”
“I just want to get fitter.”
I was ready to start quoting my CrossFit Level 1 training guide: performing constantly varied functional movements at high intensity will get you fit. I kept quiet.
“And what have you done to attain your goals?”
There it was. The Man in me wanted to scream at Gentlelady and say, “Then do something about it. It doesn’t matter what you do! Anything is better than NOTHING!”
But the Gentle in me was more understanding. Analysis paralysis is something I know about – and the Gentlelady has been known to suffer from it as well. Researching and talking about it is easier than just doing it. So, instead of yelling or scolding or offering some sort of condescending advice, I said, “Just move.”
While it may not have been terribly helpful advice, it was a moment for me. And it was backed up by another Kelly Starrett quote from that same interview: “I don’t really care what your movement practice is – yoga, dance – what’s so fun is that the shoulder is the shoulder.” Movement is movement.
It doesn’t matter how you move, just that you move. CrossFit, running, weightlifting, bro sessions, walking or biking, yoga or dance. Move.
It’s easier said than done, of course. This deskbound financial professional struggles to move throughout the day. Something like 86% of Americans are stuck at desk jobs. And beyond killing you, it’s probably making you unhappy.
Time to thank the Gentledog and Gentlelady for their inspiration and for sparking the idea for Gentleman MVMNT. And now, get up and go move.
Your turn: are you stuck at a desk job? How long do you sit each day? What is your movement practice?