The whole idea for Only.iF.it's.easy came from a buddy of mine. When we would talk about hanging out at a later date he would say.....only if it's easy.....the whole idea just made sense....it wasn't one of us putting pressure on the other one to do something; it was simply, a we will see and only if its easy for the meeting to happen. The key was that there was never any tension. There was no worry or fear that it we didn't hang out it would be because of some ulterior motivation. It was kinda what I imagine as an ideal family situation. Your family.....you will always be family......don't worry about it....easy......
Anyway, recently I managed to combine the physical concepts of personal fitness to the concept only if its easy. I did this by asking the question..."Is there a way to exercise your physical body in a way that is easy and effective?"
In the beginning I couldn't figure it out. I had always... and I mean always.... lived and trained under the assumption that one should never quit, never stop pushing , work hard, do more, push pass the pain......for anyone who has ever trained with me from the past they will remember that one of my favorite motivational phrases was. PAIN IS ONLY WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY....Nietzsche... I used to love saying that shit..truly I did...I felt like a bad ass and...well....anyway I trained to the bone for years. I gutted my way through a Marathon in Richmond Va. I ran the damn thing in 3.59.50, never walked a step and sprinted the last down hill mile, all the while screaming at myself that I was weak and pathetic and had to run harder. I made it....... however I created a hip problem for myself that lasted for almost 7 years and then took a year of Yoga to fix.
Training for a tour in Iraq I forced myself to work out with a 40 pound weight vest. For one month I created a routine that included
Morning: Sprint 2 miles for time.
10:30 to 11:30 One hour of Aikido
After lunch run six miles with 40 pound weight vest
Afternoon work out for at least an hour
In Iraq I carried around 65lbs of body armor whenever we went on mission or when our base was under attack.
I came home with problems with my back and neck....nothing unbearable but enough to cause me regular discomfort. Well I just figured that that was what you had to deal with. Plus everyone always says......"wait till you get my age"......"you'll see when you get older"......you know the cliche's......
Haha now that I think about it, that was the time that I started having a terrible time sleeping. My body was in pain all the time. Again nothing unbearable but enough to keep me from sleeping. Before Alena and I moved in together I went through all kinds of mattresses because I assumed that was the problem.....sleep number bed....pillow top.... I slept on the floor...it used to drive me crazy....well then I started taking Yoga. I loved Yoga......my body felt so great and I was finally sleeping well.
Yoga was great but after a while I just got better at Yoga but I felt like if I wasn't practicing Yoga at least three times a week my body would tightening up and I would have to go back to Yoga for a week to get the flexibility back or would have to spend large amounts of time stretching. In other words Yoga was hard.
This happened to me while I was in Japan for two weeks in Aug 09..what the heck.
I got back from Japan and while working on these stretches I new from Yoga and I had an epiphany. It had everything to do with breathing. Yoga practices a huge amount of breathing but most of it focuses on the act of breathing and not the actually breath as a whole. Two things led me to this realization.
1. I read somewhere that energy doesn't feel like anything in perticular.....energy or the feeling of energy flowing through your body has to do with the lack of feeling.....i.e.......the lack of pain or discomfort.
2. Air takes the shape of your body when you inhale it.........giving form to something formless......you can use air to hold your body up....if you pay more attention to your inhales than your exhales you can actually experience the form of the inside of your body.
As soon as I started resting on top of my inhales I noticed that if I kept working on inhaling my body seemed to respond on it own to open up. As I kept working on inhaling my chest started to open up on its own......my shoulders started falling down my back....the muscles in my neck seemed to start lengthening to each side of my spine. It was easy....it took discipline to do it but I felt the benefits from it so immediately that I didn't mind dedicating time to the practice. As the tension left my shoulders I started to notice how other workout practices like pushups and pullups became easier as I was pulling with my muscles easily instead of working against tension. As I worked at it more I notices immediate muscular activation....or the burn.....instead of having to do a thousand reps at a bunch of different weights. It was much more efficient than the standard three sets /12-15 reps
You see all this sustainability talk had me thinking......most workouts...work you to make you be able to work harder...lift more.....lift longer......you build up a resistance and adapt to very large amounts of physical stress on your body.......that in in or itself is magnificent...the human body is incredible.....however....that style of working out it not sustainable.....your body can't maintain that demand.....it is not sustainable.....So instead of working my body to be able to do more I decided with the help of working from the inside to relieve tension TO WORK OUT TO CREATE THE WIDEST RANGE OF EASY SMOOTH MOTION. I believe an intention to workout with the everyday goal of smooth easy maximum range of motion will be more effective, sustainable, and enjoyable than the current industrial standard of weight loss and muscle tone.
The Best part is that it is easily teachable and immediately noticeable.