Workout of the Day

A Moment to Appreciate

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Charging downhill over a series of large rocks interspersed with loose shale, I was struck by the sheer capacity and capability of the human brain (and the rest of the nervous system) as a movement tool. The trail was moderately technical, requiring constant attention to foot placement, weight distribution, stride, acceleration and deceleration, etc. On top of this, it was nighttime, and so the only field of vision I had was that illuminated a few feet ahead by my headlamp. I am not a particularly fast runner, nor an anomalous example of agility or coordination, but I couldn’t help but be a little amazed that I was able to take in the massive amounts of information -- visual, auditory, and tactile -- about the small area of trail in front of me, and rather effortlessly make decisions, plan, and act with accuracy in fractions of a second. On top of this, reactions to changes in the landscape (slipping rocks, loose earth) or unplanned foot placement were quick and fairly precise.

We tend to focus more on the physical capacities of our bodies and the physical adaptations to training -- muscle physiology, adaptations of the heart and lungs, changes in blood properties. But our central nervous system -- our data collection, processing, and command center -- truly is a mind-bogglingly capable tool of movement. The human eye alone is estimated to take in information at roughly 10 million bits per second, and in fractions of a second, this information is processed unconsciously and consciously and used to determine movement with incredible precision. Over the course of the run, I took in trillions of bits of information, I synthesized, processed, and reacted to millions of pieces of data, I made thousands of split second decisions, I made hundreds of mistakes and nearly instantaneously corrected most of them. And what’s most incredible is that nearly all of this happened unconsciously. Consciously, I didn’t have to do a thing. I just moved, and it happened.

We are movers, body and mind. Appreciate that.

- PS


7/25/17

  • Spend 10 minutes establishing a max set of double-unders

  • 20 min AMRAP

    • 5 pull-ups

    • 10 push-ups

    • 15 squats

    • 20 calorie row