Its true that in the United States we have an obesity epidemic that doesnt seem to be going away anytime soon. People in the our country are living longer, yet sicker and fatter than ever before in mammalian history. We can come up with a multitude of reasons why this is so, yet I’m writing this to say that Obesity isnt America’s greatest fitness battle. The real problem is patience.
Gyms accross our great land are unfortunately full of people who wake up each Monday morning with their first feeling being that of guilt. Guilt that they maybe ate a bucket of popcorn at the movies or maybe that they didnt end their week with exercise. So their resolve is to make up the difference at the gym. It isnt uncommon to find the average folk transform into a mathematicans from Sunday night to Monday morning. Equations of calories consumed over the weekend are used to determine calories spent that morning numb their brains as they scan in at the front desk and head to the locker room. Hence, the love affair begins with the words “high-intensity” “metabolic” “high-rep” “fat-burn” “adipose incinerating”. Exercise morphs from “physical activity” to one form of musculoskeletal punishment or another. Goodbye to the days of just pumping the “Eye of the Tiger,” in your headphones and chasing the chicken in your backyard. Hello, to the days in which a “good” workout is one in which you are covered in sweat and your head is buried in a nearby trash can expelling yesterday’s lunch! (Gross, I know but , most trainers will tell you that it isnt an uncommon goal for the client nor the trainer!)
With all of that being said, the problem is patience.
It is patience because as people we should be able to realize that if we are going to drive our car, which already has a hundred thousand miles on it, from coast to coast as quickly as possible we better get some maintenance work done. Otherwise we are just asking for doom. Our bodies deserve the same and I am certain that people understand this. During my career, I have heard too many stories from too many people about how it hurts just to bend over and stand up, let alone complete that next set of burpees or take that extra fitness class. But, as a whole, we just choose to ignore. The fitness leader turns his cheek to the crumbling of his clients knee all so that he can recieve a pat on the back for putting his client through a near death experience over the course of his scheduled hour. Why?!?!? Neither, the client nor the trainer want to be patient enough to understand that their are some basic things that we all need to do to maintain our body. Whether it is lengthening a psoas that has tightened up over eight hours behind a desk or releasing a soleus that has shortened after a poor foot has been jammed in a high-heel all night.
Akin to our vehicle, our body has a structure. Unfortunately, most of us are willing to sacrifice whats under the hood for a new paint job. Alas, if we dont pay attention to the disturbing sound from under the hood, we will end up on the side of the road. Your body is the same and we dont pay attention the alignment of your bones that is creating that creak in your knees, then it wont matter if you calulated the exact number of miles it takes to burn off a double cheeseburger because you just wont be able to do it.
The position that your bones are in tell us which muscles work and dont work. This information can give us a plan to relax muscle that does too much or excite muscle that arent doing enough. The human body is very much capable to do a lot of the things that you want to do, its just that there are little things we need to do daily to allow it to. It is definitely ok to want to move more, but lets just be able to move, first.