The Absurdity of Absolutism

Updated: Apr 20

Have you noticed that recently the exercise world has been overtaken by extreme absolutism?

“Do these 5 exercises and your life will change!!” “You only need to do this one stretch and your body will love you!” “Ten minutes a day of these 3 exercises and you won’t recognize yourself!” “Eat this one super-food, and the health benefits will blow your mind!” “Walk away the excess fat!” “Protect your joints by starting your workout with these 2 essential moves!” How could all of these declarations be true? And yet, it seems that accredited scientists are spouting this absolutist nonsense. The problem is they do not take into account the myriad of differences that exemplify our bodies and our natures. There has to be a relativist approach to exercise. Otherwise, the people who wander around the gym, haphazardly trying out the various machines, would be getting the same amount of benefit as those, who, in all seriousness, seek out the wisdom of experienced trainers, who work with the individual before them and the problems and qualities that they present.

But, I suppose I can be absolutist, as well, since I do believe that there is a golden rule of exercise. But mine is tempered with some relativist properties. The one thing I believe in is that you have to engage your brain as much as your body. When Ludmila tells us to focus our attention on the gluteus muscle, as we do a stationary lunge, I call that brain work. When we do not use our brains to concentrate on the “feeling” of the exercise, what are we actually doing? Who knows? And when we are doing a breathing/stretch exercise with Gabriel, and he says move your hips around a bit to feel where the tension is in your body, he is relating the exercise specifically to you, and not to the millions of others who must, at all costs, do a specific move, in order to become a whole new person.

Anyway, I don’t think I want to become a whole new person, or have my life changed by ten minutes a day of doing the same 3 things over and over again. I like variety. I like being in tune with my body. I like the effort of feeling myself deep inside a muscle. I just want to be strong and fit so I can enjoy what life has to offer. And no absolutist miracle can provide that.

Thank you Joyce for your collaboration.

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