I took a hard line. “Everyone should make movement a part of their life. Everyone should avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Everyone should have experience in the fundamental human movements: squats, pushes, hinges, pulls, loaded carries. Everyone should look after their body with just as much care as they do their mind.” Recent conversations have changed my stance. See, what I had failed to realise is that there’s a difference between the longevity and the quality of a life. To live long—to seventy, eighty years old—it’s probably okay to never do any serious physical activity. You’ll probably make it that far if you have a sedentary lifestyle and don’t become morbidly obese or eat a diet of pure processed, nutritionally un-dense foods. My own anecdotal evidence supports this: I’ve known and I’ve seen plenty of people endure without any special effort invested in their own wellbeing. I’d just always denied it. I’d fallen into a manner of thinking which was, essentially, “You move or you die.”
Now, I’m not recommending the above. Far from it. In fact, when I look into my own future, one thing I’m anxious about is the inevitable decline of my body. I like feeling supple. I like feeling strong. I like being able to get on the floor and get back up with ease. I like being able to run and jump around. I like feeling energetic. I don’t want that to fade. So I move, so I stretch, so I try to stay strong, so I test my cardiovascular system, so I try to expand my gross and fine motor capacity, so I take preemptive measures to soften my inevitable decline. I realise that I don’t have to. I could make it into my later years without any of this extra work. But that doesn’t appeal to me. My body is the greatest, most incredible tool I possess. It’s worth far more than any machine or property I can purchase with currency. And I want it to function to its highest capacity until the day I die. I want to feel minimally inhibited for as long as humanly possible.
I suppose I’ve gone from thinking, “You move or you die”, to thinking, “Move to live well, not long.”