[‘Twould behoove us, with the recent Earth Day and a new movie about chimps, to re-post a blog to celebrate our connection with the planet and its creatures. Here we discover how it relates to fitness, strength and our Tribes. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions around these parts recently due to our concerns for some of our animals friends, but today we’ll embrace peace while allowing our dances with Mother Nature to continue even when our knees give out. If this post doesn’t seem ‘fitness-related,’ then we don’t share the same definition of fitness]
In Daniel A. Dombrowski’s book, Contemporary Athletics and Ancient Greek Ideals, he decides to get a little Wittgenstein on our asses by addressing the word “play.” We all inhabit a space, a culture, that seems to subscribe to three types of play (or at least Play might have varying levels of these three purposes):
Frolic (without purpose other than the purity of fun)
Competitive (to achieve a goal, success based on personal accomplishment)
War (to dominate something or someone, winning.conquering being the sole goal)
So animals frolic and animals make war, but as far as we can tell, animals don’t compete for personal evolution. Are we humans, who have this ability to transcend the basics, therefore a superior creature, or were we given this path as an evolutionary consolation prize for being a species that is sorely lacking in a bunch of gifts that nature openly handed out to the rest of the planetary fauna? Is our ability to elaborate on our experiences simply a tool to try to catch up with the rest of the planet?
Either way, ya think nature, God or The Great Green Arkleseizure is regretting it’s decision?
If we took a page from the rest of the planet, then frolic and battle, in balance, seem necessary for the Feng Shui of our Big Blue. So how does competition, true competition without the outcome demanding all the accolades, jive with grand scheme of things?
Not too long ago Interstate 80 had amongst it’s voyagers a pair of dorky small-time animal activists and a dog named Lulu. This stretch of freeway couldn’t have known that these three travelers were returning from a very windy day in the city where Tony Bennet left his heart, nor could it have garnered that part of that day was spent mesmerized by the Mother Teresa/Gandhi of the animal rights world, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE.
Allyson, one of these intrepid travelers, noticed a basic model that Dr. Goodall followed that was bold in its simplicity and revolutionary in the possibilities to turn our mess around a bit. Al pointed out that Jane focused on the three basics, which, much to my dismay were NOT the Bodytribe staples of Train Hard, Eat Well, and Rest Hard.
They were indeed:
Them’s the big three. You deny one, the other two suffer, despite the fact that one of those three has grandiose views of being the leader of a hierarchy, with the other two ranking considerably lower in the pecking order.
So perhaps our extra RAM and amazing DSL connection between body and mind were installed to keep our comparatively weak and ugly flesh packets on an even playing ground. Therefore our technological advancements lack merit in the big picture when they become tools of total domination over the other two groups. It wouldn’t take much research to link many of our major health issues (and a handful of political issues) to throwing our causal relationship into disarray in our quest for total control. Jeez, give us an inch and we’ll try to take over the universe.
Allyson’s theory on our role transcends inward from the big picture down to the individual person when we start tying the actual ability of our bodies into the equation. Each body, each physical flesh packet, is in itself an ecosystem. Once we grok this, the big picture might make more sense, as would the role of movement and strength, and empowering competition, in supporting not just our personal planet, but the actual big earthy one we all hang out on.
Makes ya wanna gnaw on these words of Al’s:
There is no perfection, just purity.