My first foray into fitness came while watching Rocky Balboa prepare for Apollo Creed. I saw him lifting logs, road running, and chasing chickens. I also wanted to be a world champion. And I wanted man boobs like him - I didn’t know they were pectoral muscles at the time. So I started working out. I’d run around the local park, I’d lift weights, and I’d dream about my future exploits as an athlete.
Soon after, I found jiu jitsu. The training hasn’t stopped since then. But it has definitely evolved.
It started by thinking I needed to kill myself on the mats and in the gym to learn and improve. That didn’t go too well when I was constantly injured and feeling the niggling pain of training. I thought this was normal, and to be expected, so I didn’t take heed. Low and behold the serious injuries came.
Now, by experience, I know better.
Your Body Bank Account
In general, having more money in your bank account is better than having less. Same goes for your body’s recovery capacity.
When we’re training hard and often, you make “withdrawals”. When you pay attention to what’s happening inside of your body, and tend to it with physical activity, and recovery strategies, you make “deposits”.
When you're in debit, you get injured. And on the contrary, if you want to look a million dollars on the mats, then you need to work on replenishing your bank account.
Find the Balance
Jiu jitsu is super fun, and we all want to train as much as we can. So how do you stay in shape to improve, and enjoy training, without hurting yourself and being sore every waking hour of your day?
You need to find a balance between training hard, and recovering well. You don’t need to make every workout a test of your character. You don’t always need to go to war. Wars take their toll. But they're also fun. So when you do, balance it out.
Above All, Be Aware
This is where Higher Movement comes in.
In Higher Movement we're not athletes doing strength and conditioning, but human beings learning new skills. We won’t be killing ourselves for one more rep. We won’t be engaging excessive willpower in the search for more. Instead, we will be present inside of ourselves, and mindful of the environment around us.
Just like you learn chokes, and armbars in jiu jitsu, this class will help us to refine the skill of body awareness. This class will show you how to pay attention to the signs of your own body. They’re there, but usually they’re hiding behind a mammoth of other thoughts and feelings. When you pay attention to your body, you can make better decisions about how to train.
And in this way we can use movement to recover, and improve not just our practice of jiu jitsu, but our life off the mats too.
Class is on at 10am on Saturday mornings, and everyone is welcome.
See you there!
1. Feldenkrais, M. Awareness Through Movement, 1972, Harper Collins, New York.
2. Precision Nutrition Lean Eating for Women. Build Your Body Bank Account. Created by Dr Krista Scott Dixon et al.