Primal Role Playing

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The morning wrecking crew tossing around their bodyweight in barbell form.

Are we primal beings? Fitness and nutrition are all about our relationship with the planet and our bodies, and rallying ‘round the flag of the caveman as our archetype simply ignores our true potential and hides from our possible mind/body/spirit connection.

Yes, our DNA hasn’t changed a heck of a lot, but our relationship with our planet, ourselves and our tribes has. A great deal. And that marvelous primitive DNA was full of those evolutionary Legos that allow us to create, build, think, grow… or the opposite.

In fact our potential for knowing ourselves – and destroying ourselves – is greater now than ever. Primal my ass.

Bodytriber Kyle and his new friend, with even greater primal roots.

There is great merit in learning from the past and dreaming about the future, but lets not live in either. In our quest for understanding our relationship with ourselves and our planet, we spent the 50-some years after WWII hoping for the purity of the future; no hunger, war, disease, or poverty… all cleansed through the beauty and purity of technology. We even called it the Space Age, and wanted to be BFFs with the Man on the Moon or the Stranger in a Strange Land.

The origin of the word "grok," now a common term among a certain subculture of the primal movement. Kinda ironic, no?

While that phase of idealism has already become the stuff of farce, the comedic fodder of our supposed naivete, many of us are so eager for purity that we’ll now turn our big, bright, hopeful eyes towards the past. We now dream that at some point before now, we hadn’t screwed anything up yet, at some point we had it right.  And that point would obviously be at the beginning. From space age to Paleolithic, the dates change, but the hope, no matter how unrealistic, remains.

In these bountiful parts, we have the luxury to play caveman. We have the luxury to drive to the market for our special Paleo needs, we have the luxury to cook our fancy paleo meals.  We have the luxury to spend a few hours a week at the gym, or dozens of hours on the internet reading about spending a few hours in the gym. We have the luxury of feeding our big dream monster, while easily dodging the real work of understanding that (as mentioned before) fitness and nutrition are all about our relationship with the planet and our bodies. Um… right now, that is.

Posting your paleo recipe isn’t motivationally different than posting the new spell book for my 8th level magic user.  It’s caveman role playing. Fun? Sure. Motivational? No doubt. How much value is there in understanding our ‘primal blueprint?’ A bunch. But your relationship with yourself, your planet, your tribe is NOT primitive. The actual ‘primal blueprint’ wasn’t carved on a cave wall.  It was written on a seed, a seed that germinated into a great deal more than our base physiology.

jumping off a cliff or being dropped by the hang glider? You make the call.

Is it ironic that we switched from practically worshiping at the alter of potential and possibility to betting everything on our basic, raw physiological ideal as the purest of models to work from? Nah, we often chose to look out, not in, and we need a 180 degree change of scenery to see the other side once in a while.

Ya know what is so great about the here and now?  It’s the dot on the map between the two extremes, the relationship between the bookends, and it ain’t a bad place to be, if you’re willing to try it. Need a cool name for this crazy, cutting edge theory? What’s on your driver’s license? It’s the movement of You, the Theory of Your Humanness. No role playing needed.

fort funston

Lulu at doggy Disneyland, Fort Funston, grokking the here-and-now.


Coming up:  Hey, we’ve returned to the old Bodytribe Blog!  Thanks to out buddy Justin Lewis, the website has been returned to almost its original state after a devastating hack and crash. So future blog posts, like the good ol’ days, will also be full of upcoming events info and workouts.  Thanks for reading!!

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