Updated: May 2
I always wanted to have the perfect form so I could safely practice any exercise I tried, just to realise that it doesn't exist.
Let's play a game. I will ask you 3 questions:
1. Do you never want to get injured while doing an exercise? (Note down your answer)
2. Do you like to train like an athlete? (Wait for the 3rd one now)
3. Do you think athletes don't get injured? (If you answered yes for the first two questions, then have a laugh now. You know what I am trying to get at)
Did I really understand what Exercise meant?
When I started my journey into fitness, I answered the first 2 questions as YES and I never asked myself the 3rd question. I was just obsessed with 2 things
I want best results - fast.
I don't want to get any sort of injury while I do that.
Guess what? - I failed.
I thought maybe I was not following the right type of exercise. So I kept changing from one discipline to other, in my journey towards finding the best exercise that suited my body!
- I tried finding the best way to exercise and failed...again.
Taking my injuries in my backpack, I started a new journey. A journey of trying to understand what am I actually doing wrong? When I continued my studies and research in the field, it made me wonder - My goals are so on the point. I want the best for myself, I am investing good time in learning the correct form and yet I am not able to achieve it. What is it that I'm doing wrong? Why am I getting injured again and again?
As I explored further I realised:
We started taking Fitness as a path towards Health and hence probably started drifting towards safe Exercise practices.
Throughout the course of history, Exercise and Fitness have evolved their meaning. (I will be writing another article for this)
We understand Fitness the way it is today because it is now a choice, rather than a survival issue.
Making choices in Fitness is totally personal, however, the times that we live in play a major role in our decisions.
Fitness has it's hazards just like any other profession or leisure activity.
Being mechanically inclined towards a perfect form, made me obsessed with it rather than help me adapt with an environment. As I learnt to execute the form of an exercise, but never really understood its application while playing/living in the real world.
As relatable as I find it, I would like to share this incident with you which left me with a pleasant strong impact and kept me thinking for a few nights.
I recently conducted a workshop on Body Intelligence sometime in August. As per my antics, I demonstrated that it looks funny when we try to copy the dead lift instructions of "form" while picking up a ball on the cricket field. I turned around and asked the audience what they thought I was doing while imitating the instructions. To my pleasant surprise, an observant 6 year old turned back and said "I think you are playing too safe".
A 6 year old could understand the difference between instructions and play! Yet I find many of us "grown ups" caught in the fear of - "Am I doing it right?"
I realise that understanding my role while exercising is the game changer. What intention am I really exercising with?
Do I exercise to Explore, to Maintain, to Enhance, to Recover, or something else?
With the amount of information around us, things and choices can get really overwhelming. I figured that the safest way to exercise is not about obsessing over the instructions of the exercise, but rather creating more awareness of self in everything I do. This is why I developed a disciplined approach to address each individual's exercise journey through our system.
I realised, while exercising, I will get injured, but it would happen with self awareness. In this way I can continue my exploration towards my body's potential, but it also be aware of the moments or permutations I can injure myself in. I would not only understand my strengths, I would also connect well with my vulnerabilities.
Points to take:
Fitness was not always meant to have a single purpose. There are multiple outcomes of exercise.
Getting injured is part of the Fitness journey. Injury and exercise are 2 sides of the same coin. However, Injury can be minimised by understanding your vulnerability and intention of exercise.
Instructions in an exercise are mere guidelines. Real life adapts with Body Intelligence.
Fitness is a consistent journey of exploration, not just a fun destination.
Self awareness doesn't guarantee NO injury, but reduces the chances and intensity of the injury drastically. Moreover, it helps in a smooth transition towards recovery! Fitness Professionals always get injured and yet are able to carry on with their work smoothly.
As I say,
You could dwell into correcting yourself always, or take small steps towards connecting with yourself NOW...
Get in touch with us if you would like to know ways to connect with your unique fitness journey.
Don't imitate. Evolve.