That is the definition of the term energy as it relates to the human body. And I was thinking about that yesterday as I was training myself in preparation for my contest season. I thought to myself, wow, what a profound statement. Energy is the capacity to do work. Work. The actions that can help to shape and define our bodies.
Tuesday is normally the day that I take to the outdoors for my workouts. While I was working out, I kept getting these kind of images in my head:
Labor workers at the turn of the century, paving our roads, building our skyscrapers, and laying the ground to the society in which we live today. When you look at images from this earlier time in our history you notice one thing is very clear. The people were in amazing shape.
Women were a major part of the labor movement as well during World War II when the call to action for them to join the workforce to help the country was very prominent. So it’s a really interesting dicotomy that there is a movement in the fitness world telling women that they should NOT be lifting any more than 5 lbs and their workout programs should be cardio based and high reps as to not “bulk up.”
Look at the women in the photos below. Can you IMAGINE anyone saying such things to them? Can you imagine what their reaction would be? I think my dear, they’d laugh right in your face and make fun of you for being such a pansy.
So why in our day in age, when we are supposed to be so much more advanced than those that came before us – under the assumption that everything over time grows and evolves – is it ok for us to just sit and accept that? Is it because we’ve forgotten our history? Or is it because we’ve been so conditioned to take the easy road that we’ve taken the women’s movement as a whole back about 100 years?
So here I am, in the park, on a beautiful sunny day in Los Angeles with a tire, a sledgehammer, a large rope, and a long high inclined steep sloping grassy hill. I stare down the hill ready to conquer nature and call up the spirit of the people who did work, and how that work influenced their bodies without them even trying. There is a freeing sensation that you get when you really put work into your workouts. An empowerment; something so great that it can’t be described with words. That’s when it dawned on me. The gym isn’t the only place where a workout should happen. In fact, the MORE you can get out and get yourself moving through space, the absolute better. The more you can get back to the basics, the MORE YOUR BODY WILL THRIVE. Think for a second of our top female athletes. Some of the greats of history:
Florence “Flo-Jo” Griffith-Joyner
And the list can go on and on. But the one thing that all these women have in common is that their bodies were shaped through work. The the use of space. The use of gravity and ground force reactions. Through short power bursts of sprints and full body muscular recruitment. I guess what I’m trying to say is, ladies, I want to challenge you to find other ways to work your body and challenge it to all new levels. Take your dumbbells and hit the park, find a slope to do some sprints, get a jump rope to jam out with for active rest. Bring your yoga mat so you can do crunches, push-ups, and more. Realise that the bodies of some the women who inspire you happen outside of the 4 walls of that box called the gym. I think you’d be surprised by how QUICKLY your body will evolve and how much more you’ll love the reflection you see in the mirror.