Welcome to another week – and as always a big thanks to everyone who came down to Round 1 to train with us…whether you got through one session or came every day, we really do appreciate you spending your time with us. The classes have been pretty crazy lately – I have to admit I love-love-love-love the return to more of the 45-minute boxing classes (though I also need to admit I’m not such a fan when I’m participating and the clock is around that 35-minute mark!) and have been finding myself back in the boxing gym more often than not recently…so much for that resolution to do 3x strength work-outs to every 2x cardio focussed workouts! I guess something is better than nothing though right!
It’s my first full blog in 3x weeks. I have put pen to paper on each of the last two Sunday’s but somehow have not been able to turn an idea into a coherent storyline. How-come? No idea. Two weeks ago it was all about taking a 90-day (¼ time) look at our hopes for 2022 and planning out the rest of the year. Last week was about finding a way to take a break from the stress of life – finding some time out of the pressure…something I have to admit to be really struggling with lately. In any case, both articles remain 80% finished and I just can’t seem to get to the end…this week though, this week will be DIFFERENT!
The week started off for me with the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Fremantle – it was actually great to attend for the first time since 2018. I attended the service in Cockburn in 2019 and the ceremony has of course been cancelled due to COVID concerns for the past two years. I was also lucky to have my 15year old jump out of bed and come along for the ride – I didn’t even need to wake him up…I had to laugh though when he rolled his eyes at me in disbelief as we were driving up the freeway – the time ticked over 4:50am when we were in the car and I said “Hey – on a normal Monday the first boxing class would be starting…when I think about it, today was actually a sleep IN”. I guess we all live the lives we create for ourselves – except for teenagers, they live the lives of hibernating bears!
ANZAC Day always triggers a raft of reports and articles about life and conditions back during the middle portion of the last century. And I am always – ALWAYS – amazed when I see the photos of the PEOPLE. Setting the lack of diversity aside, all the photos from the 20’s through to the 1970’s seem to feature clusters of people who are all built like greyhounds (take your pick based on your animal preference)…this is particularly amazing to me given I am old and I remember times (this is the 1970’s) where people would go to the footy/cricket with a CARTON of beer under their arms, where seemingly EVERYONE smoked, where the idea of doing things like following a structured exercise routine or even simple things such as drinking 2 litres of water each day were just not part of the collective consciousness.
I guess the things we have to remember about ‘those days’ are that it really was a different world to the lives we live today. People used to work ALL DAY. Literally. And everything they did required manual effort. Once upon a time electric vacuum cleaners were an innovation – nowadays many homes have robotic ones! In addition, food was very limited and ‘seasonal’ in nature – you got grapes in February and apples in August…nowadays, you get whatever you want whenever you want in plentiful quantities. As for processed food, well – it basically didn’t exist…now it makes up 50% of most peoples weekly shopping. Because of all the manual work/physical activity, people had incredible strength for their body-weight – they weren’t ‘gym strong’ but they were ‘field’ strong – able to do pull-ups, climb stairs etc – and generally live an active life without complaint…part of that might have been because they were simply plain TOUGH. Now we battle to do 10-pushups and cry whenever we watch a rom-com! Basically, we are soft as ….. (insert appropriate word here).
So if – like me – you look back at all these old photos of Australia and marvel at the differences in people’s physical appearance, well, there are reasons. And yep, there was much more of the casual drinking/smoking stuff happening – equally there was just a much higher proportion of ‘general’ physical activity combined with a scarcity of food – and an almost complete absence of processed food. So if you are looking to learn some lessons from the past trying to focus on those things you can CHANGE would be the key. To that point:
– No-one is going to give up ‘automation’ of modern life – we are all going to use our washing machines, dish-washers, vacuums etc.
– We will connect our homes to the gas for heating rather than chopping wood and will drive our cars to the shops.
– But ALL of us can find a way to replace a high proportion of those activities by adapting a structured exercise programme – which will go at least SOME of the way to make up the difference.
– Diet wise, avoiding processed food, sticking to a whole foods based diet and at least giving consideration to what we are eating based on the season/time of year, well, that stuff can only help!
The old days and the old ways are gone…there’s really no going back. But we can look at what the tangible changes REALLY are…we do have the capacity to learn some lessons and wind the clock back just a little bit…
See you in the gym,
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