The human body is a masterpiece of natural engineering. Through thousands upon thousands of generations, it has adapted and evolved to meet the challenges of its environment. The brain needed to be alert enough to scan the surroundings for threats and opportunities. The body needed to be fast, agile and strong enough for an appropriate response. Chasing prey, escaping predators and the ability to defend oneself from rival humans was a matter of daily survival, as was building shelters, obtaining food from the trees and moving through a variety of terrains. Mastery of the body was of utmost importance, as skills like running, climbing, throwing, swimming and fighting, among many others, often determined the difference between living and dying. Their success is the reason I was able to write this, and you are able to read it.
It’s no secret that the ease of industrial life, while mitigating the risk of imminent peril somewhat, has placed us at a different kind of risk. Much of it related to the underutilization of the body, which will deteriorate if not stimulated properly.
If you’re a fitness enthusiast, this is nothing you don’t already know, but what does it mean to be fit? What can you do with the body you have worked so hard to strengthen?
The ability to repel or escape a violent threat is not only useful, but provides a comprehensive framework for the development of some of the most important attributes of a fit body. Knowing how to hit hard, getting off the ground quickly, sprinting to safety and dealing with getting shoved and jostled all require physical attributes, like power, balance, agility and body control. Awareness, decisiveness and the ability read the environment, which would include the body language of humans (and dogs), are not only useful in dangerous situations, but social ones as well.
Creating a training program around the idea of increasing survivability allows you to stimulate your body in a way that is not only challenging, creative, instinctive and engaging, but relevant and functional. The physical and mental benefits can be truly transformative.
My name is Gerry Pinzon, and I have dedicated my life to pursuing this ethic. I look forward to sharing it with you in the days to come.
By Gerry Pinzon, Personal Trainer, Boxing and Fitness Instructor