I just finished my morning movement / workout session with my friend Nicole. (We train together twice a week.)
This morning, as many mornings over this past year, I feel very grateful — and a bit amazed — at how much stronger, more mobile, and what a wider range of frequencies I have access to in my body versus a couple years ago, even a few months ago.
The amazement is how I’ve always wanted these kinds of results from my training, but only the past couple years am getting them, and in such a deep way, with not necessarily spending that much more time training.
It’s the emotional labor.
But before we get to that, I’d like to be clear that I do move a fair amount these days, but almost without exception:
- I don’t do anything that’s not fun for me. (Like yesterday, I was planning on going to yoga, but brunch sounded more fun so I did that instead.)
- I work out with less weight than I used to, and I’m way stronger than I used to be.
So, what’s different?
Hard to put my finger on exactly … I keep learning a ton so I do employ a lot of it is “try this instead” kind of modifying … though I am hardly at all in the camp of “here is the proper way to do such and such a movement.” That is limiting and only partially true, no matter what’s being said, and for me its application is well umbrella’d under the following …
My dedicated workout time has been mentally and emotionally exhausting.
Like, in a fun and good way, but still.
Like when I’m practicing my hanging drills, I’m way, way back on what I could be doing, and am instead seeking and finding these little pockets that cause my whole autonomic nervous system to rev up. I’ll feel like a caged animal, and just want to get the hell out of there …
It’s a positional thing turned emotional. It’s form turned function. It’s anatomy turned physiology. It’s mechanotransduction!
All this is happening under what looks from the outside like pretty benign movements. It’s secret work.
It takes all I have to stay focused, even partially, and to just stay with it, no matter how I feel (emotionally; this is not about pushing into pain one bit).
And, again, it’s crazy how much stronger, and more mobile and resilient I am because of this work.
Sorry if I’m a broken record, but just to reiterate: it’s not a “what;” it’s a “how.” (And, somewhat semantically perplexing to say but true, a lot of that “how” is to change up, and keep investigating and holding very sacred, the “what.”)
I’m only 36, so perhaps I’ll write something more profound when I’m 70, but still … I’m at an age where lots of people say “yeah, that just starts to happen” with body breakdowns and whatnot.
So it’s great to feel my body opening up, like way up, in no uncertain terms.
This is not about avoiding pain. (Good luck with that, anyone.)
It IS about not only “confronting” some demons via somatic experiencing — which I would contend is just as readily available at a 225-lb barbell as it is in a Peter Levine-trained therapist’s office — but, perhaps …
Dancing with those demons as well. Moving with them.
It’s corny when put into words. It HAS to be. That’s the nature of something becoming cute and tidy in language.
It’s something different as a lived experience. (As many of you know; and most of us continue to find out, ever deepening.)
Love from the abyss, right back into its own heart.