Train for Life


"I really should write down all the policies and procedures," I thought to myself.  My mind was drifting from the task at hand as I was on the tail end of a three hour bike ride and getting close to home.  Suddenly, I realized that what I thought was a shadow was actually a hose.  It was nearly parallel to sidewalk and the moment my front tire touched it, I lost control of the bike. 

Flying towards a cement light post, I had enough time to regret my decision to wear a hat instead of a helmet.  Instinctively, I rolled my left shoulder towards the post and in an instant, I went from 15 miles an hour to a dead stop.

My right shoulder slammed into its socket and pain shot down my arm.  I clenched my arm to my body as I crumpled to the ground.  After a few wincing seconds had past I slowly stood up to survey the damage.  My bike had wedged itself between the cement post and a thick metal cable.  The cable was connected to a light that was torn loose from it's bracket and dangling limply.

Thinking that I had probably dislocated my shoulder, I carefully tried moving my right arm.  To my utter amazement, it seemed to be functioning correctly in spite of the lingering shock.  The only thing that seemed to be torn was my Vibram Five Finger shoe where my left big toe connected with the concrete post.

Grateful to have avoided an impromptu visit to the emergency room, I retrieved my bike and began checking it for damage.  It too seemed to be functioning and I slowly got back on the saddle, shaken, but happy to be heading home.

If you're wondering why am I sharing this story, it is because it brings up an important point.  The second step in LiveCAVEMAN is "Have fun in your body and occasionally train for life."

During my training sessions with clients, I always insist that they perform exercises to help mobilize their hips and stabilize their shoulders.  Although it means enduring numerous eye rolls, groans, and complaints, I focus on functional movement patterns that replicate real world stressors, such as the need to balance on ones feet, control the momentum and inertia ones body while in motion, and have a core that is in good working order.

Years of abuse from group exercise classes, amateur personal trainers, and misleading messages from media and so-called fitness advocates have indoctrinated people into thinking that a workout is only good if you feel bad afterwards.  "Pushing" oneself is seen as a virtue and nonstopextremeinsanity is the defacto methodology.  The obsessive need to "burn calories" is only matched by the need to constantly "refuel" with sports drinks, bars, goo, and grains.

An exercise program should help develop your body's ability to deal with unexpected, acute physical stress, such as in the case of my bike accident.  What is should not do is contribute to the overall load of ceaseless,  grinding chronic stress that many of us experience at work, on the road, and, in the case of nonstopextremeinsanity, while working out.

Ready to get started with some real workouts?  Check out my articles on Olympic Lifting, Rock Climbing Conditioning, and Primal Fitness.
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About Tony Fed

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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