I’ve got a weak right leg. I’m left-handed so it’s normal that the right side is weaker but just how much weaker has been something of a revelation that comes from trying to hold a yoga warrior 3 pose.
I can’t do it at all. It seems to take a lot of muscles to hold this one but the real trouble is the muscle on my upper back thigh, right under my butt. Have I ever used this muscle? It appears not. It makes me wonder, how many other muscles have been ignored over the course of 5 decades? What the hell have I been doing with myself? And if there are muscles in and around this body that have remained largely untouched, what of my brain? How many compartments and capabilities have laid largely dormant for most of my life? To name a few:
- Math – anything much beyond calculating a tip is pretty much asleep
- Science – basic chemistry outside of water and oil not mixing has been wholly ignored
- Drawing – largely a skill based on objectively observing and studying lines and how these come together to form a whole
- Music – haven’t a clue about notes, rhythm and honestly know so little I can hardly write about what I don’t know
- Philosophy – that whole area of arguing around pure ideas – I took a philosophy course in first year university and it completely eluded me
That’s just the list off the top of my head. So hardly a renaissance woman. I think of what Leonardo Da Vinci tackled, carrying his notebook and wandering the streets of Florence allowing ideas and curiosity to guide him and am appalled at my own limitations. The sitting that I’ve become so good at over the years is the equivalent of the content consumption that has been made so much easier by the internet and access to so many bite size bits of reading and watching. Like that sad little muscle sitting at the back of my leg, I’ve got to light a fire into those flabby bits of brain. But the real problem is that I forget to think – I swipe the ignorance the screen inside my head and turn to something I can speculate on with ease, or flip to Pinterest.
Forgetting how to think has got to be truly the worst form of lethargy, and so easy to succumb to as you get older. I’m not great at new year resolutions but I do think it might be time to push myself into another new routine, one that challenges my brain as much as my body.
If you’re interested in how I’m pushing my body have a look at the videos from Boho Beautiful. You will need to come to terms with her general gorgeousness, which is difficult, trust me. But once you do, I think you’ll find these are fantastically balanced workouts which will help you discover muscles you never new you had.
To get there, big, audacious goals are just plain trouble. I’m a proponent of the Kaizen method – 1% daily improvements – setting micro goals achieves more than those big hairy goals ever will. A short read here on the Kaizen method, or listen to this Art of Manliness podcast that summarizes the approach.