Physiology is incredibly simple: left to its own devices, your lizard brain will automate all processes and movements to find the path of least resistance. Its purpose in this regard is to be as efficient as possible and conserve all the energy it can in case of danger. This mechanism is a hold-over from the earliest days of human existence. And for the most part, if you’re reading this, you are hardly in a position to need this faculty to the extent at which it operates. Given that you are no longer in constant danger of being eaten or starving, this mechanism can work against you. You become sluggish because that’s what your lizard brain thinks is best. Conserve conserve conserve, says the brain. Do as little as possible, because you don’t know when you’ll need to run.
And make no mistake, there is no such thing as maintaining. You can do the same 30 pushups every single day; once you acclimate, however, you’re climbing uphill for those pushups every day. After four to six weeks, they don’t get easier because now your brain is hip to the pattern and has only to provide enough nutrients to your muscles to struggle through another thirty the following day.
Efficiency: if you’re not progressing, you’re regressing.
When you exist with the mindset of “enough,” at least in terms of movement, you’ll find yourself falling apart fast. You don’t stop moving because you get old, you get old because you stop moving. In your movement practices, everyday, you want to find ways to pack in movement that will build you well past your current level of mobility. What can you do, right now, that will add to the work you’re trying to accomplish? What can you do, right now, to put yourself in a position of progression? You can always change it up; you can always develop your movement patterns so you’re working more with less.
Put yourself in a growth mindset, and understand what it means to live there. You push, you drive, you grow; you rest, you relax, you recover. And then you do it all over again. Over and over and over again.
And that’s why it’s so important to learn to love the journey. Because that’s how you live. That’s how you not fall apart. That’s real strength.
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