We live in uncertain times. I have always believed that one must be prepared to meet challenges, especially the uncertain challenges. While it is important to prepare ourselves mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally, today I would like to focus on the physical preparation of the body.
I have always enjoyed exercise. I have been weight training consistently for 31 years, and before that, I conditioned my body with calisthenics. Through consistency in nutrition, exercise and proper rest, I have maintained my strength and endurance. I am 48 years old, yet I am as strong and as fast as I was in my early 20s. I like to test my strength regularly. I also test myself in many ways beyond the gym. I am always testing my ability to run at high speeds, leap, land, climb and balance. I want my physical conditioning to always be first rate. I want my reflexes to be so conditioned that my body can react with pure instinct. I want my tendons and ligaments to be prepared to absorb the explosive actions that my body may have to undergo in any situation.
I know that many will consider this an extreme attitude, but I would rather be safe than sorry. There was a time when weightlifting was considered extreme as well, but we are way beyond that now. I think it’s important to know that if you had to run very fast, or leap, or lift something much heavier than yourself, or carry a family member to safety, you would have the physical ability to do so. Being prepared for anything was one of the reasons that I began to exercise. This mindset and physical conditioning greatly helped me when I was a competitive fighter, and it still helps me sharpen my fighting skills as well as archery and other tactics and hobbies that I consistently study and perform. I’m not saying that you have to go through boot camp on a daily basis, but I would recommend that you put some emphasis on small physical tests of strength, endurance and agility at least once per week.
-Run very fast, jump over obstacles, and jump up onto stairs.
-Lift your maximum weight in exercises like deadlifts, visualizing yourself rescuing a loved one who is trapped under something heavy.
-Feel the weighted momentum as you swing a kettlebell, conditioning your tendons and ligaments for unorthodox movements.
-Exert yourself with pull-ups and chin-ups to mimic the moment when you may have to pull your bodyweight up to escape a life-or-death situation.
Be aware of your body, and think about how your body would naturally react in the split-second timing of a moment that would be out of the ordinary in your life. Keep your abilities sharp and at the ready.
“As soon as you leave your home, think that millions of opponents are waiting for you.”
~ Master Funakoshi, (Principle 16)