I was three years into my career as a personal trainer when I first seriously started considering the impact of parenting on fitness. A middle aged couple I was training made an offhand comment chatting after a workout, “People that are our age who don’t have kids are weird.” I took the comment to my mentor after a few weeks deliberation since I felt there was a bit more to it. The conclusion I came to was children seemed to be a safeguard to the problem of human self-importance and egoism. Like an insurance policy on your own self-development, children force the individual to care for what is other than the individual. A clever trick of nature some might say, to create something that looks and acts a lot like you, so you think it’s you and care for it as you…or maybe even better.
It was Socrates who scavenged the city and country side in order to find at least one person who knew at least one thing. Countless discussions left him no better than he was before he embarked on his journey of knowledge to state the only thing he knew was that he did not know anything, but at least he knew this, whereas everyone else seemed oblivious to their own ignorance. The towns people were feared this kind of talk and put him to death.
Lastly, there is the old saying, “If you love something set it free.” These three ideas form the philosophical building blocks on which I set my views of fitness and parenting. Movement itself is a departure from the known into the unknown, a release of the self into what lies beyond the self. Moment to moment and day to day we find ourselves moving through our lives not only physically but also mentally with the decisions we make and emotionally with the experiences we feel. We are surely on a course and we have a plan no doubt. Is that plan flexible though? Is it strong enough to adapt to changes? Do we have the humility and love to transform it so that another may have the same opportunities?
A plan is needed as merely a launching platform, without it we would just have chaos and with it alone we would just have a prison. A prison becomes a place of freedom by observing the details carefully, acquiescing to its demands perfectly ad then transcending its bounds by exerting the will beyond its scope. Movement by definition works the same way, a departure from staticity, both the static object and moving object are needed in order for the perception of movement. The point here is if everything goes according to plan perfectly, the only thing you have really done is assembler a perfect prison blocking you from peering into the unknown.
Just like, Socrates, children bring us to the humbled path of the fool who walks through his life constantly learning. To learn is far greater than to have known everything all along, how lonely to know everything, how boring and aggravating. The mystery is what we all crave and a child can give us that. The new parent has no idea when the next opportunity for personal practice might be, so they either choose to capture it like it’s their last breath or wait in frustration as disappointment and self-pity born out of self-importance sink their hooks in.
It is true, having a child can teach you everything you need to know in this life, it can also crush the inflexible and those weak in spirit. Ultimately it is a choice, the choice to change and grow or hold firm to what no longer serves us. Perhaps this choice was the first impetus that encouraged the first movements of life. We could stay, we could stick to the plan, but where is the fun in that?
View this post on Instagram
Brasos de chango y corazon de leon. The lion does not stop hunting because the lion has cubs, the lion hunts because the lion has cubs. Have you ever used other people or obligations as excuses? “I used to be in shape, but then I had kids” “I would eat better but I work too much” I know, I’m guilty of it too but if you look closely, the excuse IS the reason you should take up the challenge your shirking. Eat well because you work hard and train hard because you have children. Poor diet equals poor work and weak parents equal… Not I, I plan on musclin up this young buck well into his 30’s and as always #nothingbreedsgoodformlikenecessity, so next time you think you’ve got a move mastered ask yourself, is the quality such that it could be performed without waking a sleeping baby? #rootsfitness #familyfitness #muscleup #muscleupyoungpup #muscleupyourbaby #muscleupyourchildren #muscleupyourwholefamily cuz they coming for ya!