Workout of the Day

How To Predict Your Future

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Scenario:
Looking in the bathroom mirror as you brush your teeth in the morning, you see a figure staring back that you almost don’t recognize. The figure looks capable, strong, confident, perhaps even a bit younger than the number on your driver’s license. There’s definition in your shoulders, your legs look lean and strong, and you stand tall and proud. You think to yourself, “man, when did that happen? I look pretty damn good! And I feel good, too!”

Alternate scenario:
Looking in the bathroom mirror as you brush your teeth in the morning, you see a figure staring back that you almost don’t recognize. The figure looks tired, uncomfortable, unfit, and perhaps a bit older than the number on your driver’s license. Your shoulders droop, you fill out your shirt in the wrong places, and you have a look of all around apathy and gloom. You think to yourself, “man, when did that happen? I’ve gone down hill. And I feel like crap, too.”

Of course, in either of these situations, the change did not happen overnight; it took time, and you realize that. But your realization was abrupt -- it seemed as if, overnight, you had changed physically. You wonder to yourself, when did that happen? How did that happen?

But here’s the thing: you should never be caught off-guard about your physical condition. You should never wake up and wonder to yourself how you ended up where you are. Why? Because you can, with a fair deal of accuracy, predict your future. It doesn’t involve voodoo or looking at how many lines are on your palm; it’s a matter of simple awareness and observation.

Your body is an adapting machine. It takes whatever stimuli you give it, and turns that around into an adaptation. This is really a rather beautiful and awe-inspiring quality of life. We are organisms designed to adapt and overcome, and this gives us a huge array of potential. Your body wants to be really good at things. But you can’t just tell your body, “hey, make me lean and strong and fast!” Your body listens to your actions, not your desires. So the question becomes: what are you telling your body you want to be good at? This is where our game of future-prediction comes from.

Of course there are factors that you cannot see or control, both genetic and environmental, that do contribute to how you adapt. But within the context of these factors, you can ask yourself a few basic questions, and from the answers predict, with relative accuracy, what your future is going to look like.

Do you move regularly? Do you challenge your physical capacities and your movement potential? Do you provide your body with quality fuel? Do you provide it with the proper tools to efficiently feed adaptation? Do you move slow often, fast occasionally, under load regularly, through full ranges of motion?
Future prediction: high physical capacity, healthy body composition, positive health markers, longevity, durability, confidence

Do you live a sedentary lifestyle? Do you avoid movement, stay out of end ranges, shy away from physical challenges? Do you fuel your body with high-sugar, highly-processed convenience and indulgence? Do you put things like sleep, diet, movement, and general self-care low on your priority list? Do you move infrequently, sit often, and slump around in general?
Future prediction: low physical capacity, excess body fat and muscle atrophy, negative health markers, shortened lifespan and quality, diminished self-esteem

The point of this exercise is to understand that what you do today is what determines who you will be in 6 months, 2 years, 20 years. Your body will adapt to whatever you tell it, through your actions, that you want to be really good at. Spend all your time in a chair or couch tossing back high-flavor, low nourishment food? Your body’s going to adapt to be really good at sitting and holding onto all that excess energy to prepare for the long winter that your overindulgence suggests must be coming. Spend your time in regular movement and physical engagement, regularly challenge your body’s physical capacities, fuel it well, and give some attention to self-care and recovery? Your body’s going to be really good at moving, at work output, and staying alive and able-bodied.

I’m not saying you or I can claim omniscience here, but if I were a betting man, I wouldn’t put any money down on the guy who spends 97% of his life seated or lying down and opts to eat out for 12 meals a week becoming much of a specimen of physical capacity.

The formula’s pretty simple, and you’re in the driver’s seat. Pay attention now, and don’t get caught off-guard by who you see in the mirror later.

- Preston Sprimont


2/16/17

  • 24 min AMRAP

    • 1 cal row

    • 1 pull-up

    • 1 sit-up

    • 2 cal row

    • 2 pull-ups

    • 2 sit-ups

    • 3...