BEGIN IT NOW
WHATEVER YOU CAN DO OR DREAM YOU CAN, BEGIN IT. BOLDNESS has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
(Goethe / William Hutchinson Murray)
TO SUGGEST THERE IS PROVIDENCE, OR SOME COSMIC INTERVENTION AT PLAY WHEN WE SET AN INTENTION — AS IN, USE OUR MENTAL POWERS TO FORMALISE A BELIEF, OR VISUALISE A GOAL, WITH A HIGHER DEGREE OF DIRECTEDNESS THAN IS TYPICALLY EXHIBITED IN OUR EVERYDAY MODE OF BEING IN THE WORLD — MAY REMIND YOU OF ‘THE SECRET’, OR SOME OTHER OFF-THE-SHELF-SELF-HELP-SPEAK, THOUGH I CAN ASSURE WHAT FOLLOWS ISN’T ALONG THOSE LINES. WHILST i do OCCASIONALLY like to believe in some kind of interconnectedness on a super-consciousness level, and a universe that somehow ‘provides’, i’m sensitive to the fact that could suggest my glaring PRIVILEGE was somehow the result of karmic lot, destiny, or even self-mastery.
my life since university has been CHARACTERISED by limited RESPONSIBILITY and infinite possibility — so what to do? we’re often faced with the extreme dichotomy between the encouragement to ‘make the most’ of our opportunities by way of upward trajectory (career) or maximal experience (say, world travel), and the alternative, altruistic angle, that demands the RENOUNCING of these aspirational (capitalistic) notions of success, or arrival (‘you’ve made it’), for a life of selfless service. keep up (‘with the kardashians’), or check-out entirely.
rather than become paralysed by some sort of philosophical (existential) crisis, i suppose i’ve tried to make peace with the trivialities of my ‘first world problems’ (especially in the fashion industry), take stock of how fortunate I am to be concerned with wellness, or manifesting ideas, and make an unwavering commitment to be the very best version of myself. THAT’S NOT TO SUGGEST I’M ANYWhere NEAR THE SUMMIT of course (below sea level still). though to inspire others and set a good example, to never stop learning, to be impeccable with your word — I’M CONFIDENT the rest (impact, fulfilment, purpose) FOLLOWS. how? it’s all about exchange.
i wholeheartedly believe that every interaction, whether it be a long-term love relationship, or a brief professional encounter, is primed with potentiality — every moment is an immense opportunity to initiate positive change in each other’s lives. A MANTRA associated with A PARTICULAR AURA SOMA BOTTLE (no.83) I WAS USING LAST YEAR ARTICULATES THIS IDEA RATHER NICELY —
i am in a transformational process, and as i transform myself i offer others the possibility of transformation
i suppose in a very roundabout way i’m trying to frame this ‘training program’ as less of a fitness guide, and instead suggest that the foundational concepts covered here (rigour, ownership, intentionality) have applications that extend beyond the realm of physical improvement (hence all this talk of realising ideas and such). from where i stand, engaging with any kind of vehicle for change (such as conditioning, meditation, or nutrition) is ultimately rooted in a personal imperative to be better. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN EXPERT IN ANY FIELD TO SHARE WHAT YOU’RE INTERESTED IN — WE’RE ALL IN A PROCESS OF BECOMING, IT’S ALL UNFOLDING — but WHEN WE SHARE THIS STUFF, that’s when things really happen. the end-goal (for me at least) is for us all to become better citizens — communicators, collaborators, (more CONSCIOUS) consumers, etc.
perhaps there is something valuable in employing someone, or providing a platform for designers to share their work and engage with the wider world (as their sales manager) — though at the end of the day, none of that shit really matters imho.
being healthy matters.
being great matters.
so if any of you are still reading, let’s begin it now - set the intention / write it down / make it happen.
the communicative power of self-presentation (from the clothes in our closet, condition of our shoes, to even our grooming habits) is well documented. indeed, the mr porter’s of this world have built their BUSINESSES exploiting this very same concept. on a superficial level, conspicuous logos are ‘readable’ signifiers of both exclusivity and belonging, THEN in a more profound way, our appearance might be considered an ‘outward mirror of an inner condition’. though rather than focus on what hyper-vascular forearms, or bulging biceps might say about you, or THE WAYS IN WHICH THE BODY may be A principle DICTATOR / INDICATOR of relative attractiveness (influenced by normalised notions of beauty, reinforced by our instagram feeds), i would prefer to turn our attention to it’s function in ENERGY EXCHANGE.
for me to imply vanity, or external affirmation (acknowledgement) isn’t at play here though would be WHOLLY dishonest of course. i check myself out in the mirror countless times a day — flexing in the bathroom, flexing ‘for the gram’, it’s absurd. with me, there’s a 99.9% chance that i will never talk to someone i might fancy, and an even greater improbability that person would ever see me with my shirt off, so again, it’s absurd. in my experience, however, this realm of aesthetics isn’t enough to ‘stay the course’. when it comes to training, i believe the fundamental limitation is the (in)authenticity of our intention, which in turn undermines our self-discipline.
to sustain a higher level of motivation, over an extended period of time, we have to:
interrogate ‘why’ (the intention, and the reasoning behind this)
explore ‘how’ (the principles of bodybuilding, and the rigour of our program)
establish ‘what’ (the outcome, and the measures of success)
(cue that slick Simon Sinek ted talk - ‘Start With Why’)
i’ve already endeavoured to establish what the intentionality may be here (BEING-TOWARD-self-actualisation, to appropriate some heideggerian terminology), but when it comes to physical fitness, it’s also important to discuss the reasoning beyond the pursuit of ‘better conditioning’.
REFERRED TO AS ‘EMOTIONAL CONTAGION’, THE SPREAD OF EMOTIONS BETWEEN BEINGS (SPECIFICALLY ANIMALS AND HUMANS) IS AN EMERGING FIELD OF SCIENCE. THERAPY DOGS HAVE BEEN USED TO SUPPORT VETERANS SUFFERING FROM PTSD LONG BEFORE THE BEGINNINGS OF ANY FORMAL INVESTIGATIONS OF HOW THEY ARE ABLE TO RESPOND TO SIGNALS US HUMANS MIGHT NOT EVEN RECOGNISE (WHERE THEY’RE ABLE TO EFFECTIVELY PRE-EMPT AND ADDRESS ANXIETY ATTACKS), POINTING TO SOME primitive (SUB-CONCIOUS) form of empathy. FOR THOSE WHO KNOW ME FAIRLY WELL, YOU’LL BE ABLE TO TESTIFY TO HOW OFTEN I USE THE WORD ‘ENERGY’ (TO THE EXTENT IT’S ALMOST AS REDUNDANT AS THE term ‘VIBEs’) — PERHAPS A CONCEPT BORROWED FROM An OLD FRIEND (TOMI AHMED, @IIUVO), IT’S SOMETHING I CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT.
ACCORDING TO QUANTUM PHYSICS (I THINK), ALL MATTER IS LIGHT VIBRATING AT DIFFERENT FREQUENCIES. NOT TO MASSIVELY MISINTERPRET THESE IMPOSSIBLY COMPLEX THEORIES, THOUGH i BELIEVE THAT OUR PHYSICAL CONDITION PLAYS A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN DICTATING THE FREQUENCY / QUALITY of OUR VIBRATIONAL ENERGY — WHICH IS IN TURN ‘READABLE’ OR ‘FELT’ IN A SIMILARLY PRIMAL-SUB-OR-SUPER-CONCIOUS WAY (SEE QUENTIN SMITH, ‘FELT MEANINGS OF THE WORLD’). WE MIGHT REMARK A COLLEAGUE IS LOOKING ‘RADIANT’ one morning, OR WE DESCRIBE A FRIEND AS BEING AN ‘ULTRALIGHT BEAM’ (PER KANYE WEST), BUT WHAT THESE COMPLIMENTS point to, in my opinion, is energy. they may respond by sharing the name of some skin care product they’ve been using, but what’s really going on here is much deeper than that.
resonance is described as the ‘reinforcement or prolongation of sound by the synchronous vibration of a neighbouring object' — i fucking love that.
when we’re humming at a higher frequency (whether that has something to do with metabolic rates, hormones, effective oxygenation of the body, improved blood ph, i have no idea), and we interact with others, there’s the potential for resonance to occur. real ‘connection’ is ‘next level’, and you just know when it’s there. it’s possible that ‘magic’ goethe (or whoever actually said it) was referring to is really the resultant serendipity / chance / coincidence that follows from the positive connections we make with others. to sum up then, the training program that will (eventually) unfold here will be geared towards building a strong and resilient body that is finely tuned to a frequency that will (hopefully) facilitate the manifestation of positive change in the lives of others, as well as your own.
key principles of training —
adaptation to stress (intensity)
body awareness (mind-muscle connection)
form* (range of motion, time under tension)
*accompanying videos to follow via instagram
the program —
warm up - mobility - dynamic stretching