Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Master the Moment

Mastery just sounds cool doesn't it?  The word itself conjures up the ideas of respect and commitment.  We should honor and be humbled by all those who make the effort to become the Master of something right?  Well then, take a bow.  If you're embarking on or living this Primal Lifestyle, then you're striving to become the Master of your own body.  You're learning to focus on what makes it tick.  How it reacts to various foods, different stressors, and an assortment of movement and exercise patterns.  Paying attention to how much sleep you need, how much recovery is best for you and how much time you spend outside in the Sun and fresh air.  There is a lot to listen to if you have the patience.  And nobody else is going to do it for you.  You are the only one who can dial in and process all of this information and feedback and use it to become healthier ... to become the Master of your own body.

A great place to begin listening to your body and practice mastery is during those moments you're working hard - when you're lifting and sprinting.  Specifically, during the exact time when you're under load.   If you're following a general High Intensity lifting protocall or sprinting hard, your time under load (or moment) is minimal.  As in not a lot.  Like 20 minutes or so a week.  Maybe less depending on how you tackle it.  And it's not all at once.  My point here is that in the scheme of your total time for the week, your time under load is negligible.  So this makes for a great opportunity to really tune into your body.  Focus in on your muscles as they fatigue from the load.  Focus on your leg turnover, arm drive and core strength as you sprint.  Focus on what your body feels like when it is working really hard.  Concentrate on the connection between your mind and your body.  

Your thoughts should not be wandering about during these intense moments.  You should be paying close attention to your body's internal ques.  Mentally, this is basically the opposite of what it takes to complete a marathon, or any endurance event for that matter.  In these situations, people have to play mind games or figure out tricks to keep themselves moving along.  Maybe here and there they listen to their body, but as a percentage of time, this is usually minimal.  Especially when they're just training as opposed to competing.  I've heard people say that they enjoy this time as they can let their mind wander and unwind.  That's nice.  That's what sleep is for people.  Or maybe ditching the chronic cardio and saving yourself a boatload of time you can spend more precious moments with loved ones or accomplish something you've been meaning to finish.  Let your mind wander ... sheesh.  Most people seem to spend no shortage of time doing that.  I think the World needs a little more focus actually.  I'm not talking 24/7 its on like Donkey Kong intense-focus stuff.  Just more time tuning in.  Okay then, moving right along.

Focus Grasshopper!

Another reason time under load is a great place to really focus, is for safety purposes.  The more closely you're paying attention to how your body is reacting in these situations, the easier it's going to be to avoid injury.  Think of it this way, are you more likely to make a mistake or do something stupid when you're really focused or when your mind is on another planet.  Enough said.

In these moments when we have laser like focus between our mind and our body, we're in an exponential learning zone.  Every little detail of how our body is working and responding is magnified.  The time we spend in this area is critical along our path to mastery.  What we learn about ourselves here gives us a path to move forward.  A path to discover our limitations and, more importantly, our possibilities.

Becoming the Master of  your own body is a process.  A journey.  An experience.  It is not about conquering your body or making it become bulletproof.  It is about listening.  Playing.  Working hard.  And everything in between.  It's about exploring who you are and who you want to be.  It is about being ALIVE.  And it is a quest that is never ending.


Chuck said...

great post. i love this line of thinking. it is why i love training with heavy free weights. it causes you to fully engage both your mind and body in full coordination or you hurt yourself. this is how our ancestors survived on a daily basis. their mind and body were used together almost perpetually to ensure their survival. it also reminds me of this post i read a while back.

Aaron said...

Thanks Chuck.

And thanks for the link ... now that is a great post. It's kind of comforting to know that my mind isn't the only one with these thoughts.