When Exercise is Not Movement

When Exercise is Not Movement

My 9yo son loves to swim. Loves all four strokes, even butterfly! And now that summer is upon us, it’s time to join the YMCA summer swim team. My 11yo daughter is all over it. Can’t wait for the practices, the meets, the whole bit. My son? So far, not convinced. Does he want to swim? Yes. Does he want to join the swim team? He’s not sure. What is the difference? 

Frank Forencich notes in his book, Exuberant Animal, that
“When we exercise, we place ourselves in the ranks of modern athletes and fitness buffs, but when we do movement, we join forces with the entire animal kingdom and participate in an activity that is as old as animal life itself. Movement is primordial. Movement is obviously essential for health, exercise is optional.”

My son loves the movement of swimming, but it seems that something is lost when that same movement is turned into exercise. When he is moving in he pool, he tells me how he feels – bouncy, light, like a fish. When he is exercising, he tells me how far he swam – 200 yards freestyle, 100 individual medley, 300 kick set. I think most people would agree that feeling like a fish is way more fun that a 300 yard kick set. Movement is mandatory.

So he can join the swim team or not. His choice. He definitely wants to move. He’s not sure if he wants to exercise. And who can blame him? He is 9 years old. I don’t have dreams of him being the next Michael Phelps. I have dreams of him enjoying being in the water, being a confident swimmer, and remembering, when he is elderly and frail, that he can be light and move like a fish.

If you don’t remember how good the movement or your sport feels; if you have forgotten the difference between feeling the air rush past you and running a 400 yard dash, I urge you to play more, exercise less.



Why do I feel bad when I look so good?

Why do I feel bad when I look so good?

I got an email from my website designer Paula Hill one day with this picture attached and the note that read, “I bet he could benefit from some whole body tuning.  Can you write a blog for him?” I have known Paula long enough to know when she’s joking, but I thought it would be fun.  So here we are.

hot manThis guy is clearly thinking hard because he’s got his hand to his head and a serious furrow to his brow.

What’s going through that mind? Perhaps…

“I look so damn good, but I know I could feel better and I just can’t stay focused. The other day I was lifting and this ad came on the tv for a new supplement and next thing I know, the bar is on my chest. That’s not cool! It made me lose my rep count and I had to start all over. I took five ibuprofen before I went to bed, but I still woke up sore.  This morning I forgot to add my L-carnitine to my protein shake and didn’t remember until I was 10 miles into my run and my time was way off. There’s gotta be something I can do.

I’m in the best shape of my life! I should be feeling great.”

I’m so glad you asked, stock photo guy with scruffy beard and six-pack abs.

There’s Whole Body Tuning.  That’s whole body, as in whole (mind) body.  Let’s get together and help you rest so deeply that your muscles remember what it means to recover between workouts.  Let’s see if we can slow your breath down so your fight-or-flight nervous system can check out and your parasympathetic nervous system has a chance to work.  I promise your next weight session or your next run will be better for it.

Give me a call, dude.  No need to furrow your chiseled brow any longer.  Your answer is right here.