Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I call BS

Yesterday as Corey, Lon and I were discussing how we can add more value to what we offer at Free Flow, we began the discussion of how parents and many adults have forgotten how to play.  We talked about how we would like to see more parents out on the floor, with their kids.  Afterall, that is why we created the first ALL AGE parkour, freerunning, tumbling gym in NorCal.  No other gym in this area allows adults over the age of 21 out on the floor, to take classes, or participate in open gym - due to insurance liability.  So excuse my blunt repeal on such a mindset, I'm going to call BS.  And here's why:

One of the MAJOR factors that drove my husband and I to take the plunge of investing our entire life savings into opening a gym was because we wanted a place that we could play with our kids.  We took our kids to the whole lot of gyms in our area, and the only place that was really open about us being on the floor with our kids, was a place all the way in South Sac.  The drive was detrimental to our wallets, so after 2 years of making a regular 45 minute trek just so that we could be on a gym floor together became too much of a financial hardship on us.  The truth is, my husband and I, and Corey for that matter despise treadmills, and machines.  We want to move.  We want to play.  And speaking for my husband and I, that is how we choose to live an active lifestyle!  I get it, gyms don't want to be "liable" and pay more for insurance, hence they put a strict (no one over the age of 21 can participate in classes or open gym).  I have an issue with that.  Why, oh why, would you EVER teach your children that it's important to live an active lifestyle, but only until you're 21?  That makes no sense to me.  So let me get this message straight... it's okay and healthy to move and have fun until your 21, but after you are 21, you need to resolve to more "adult friendly" workouts, like treadmills, or weights, or adult only sports leagues, and adult only... etc...  No wonder kids are afraid to grow up.  No wonder we see more and more young adults staying in college for as long as possible, lost and confused about what they want to do, who they want to be.  Because not only does adulthood mean you need to work all day everyday, but it also means massive responsibility, stress!  It also means, that your activities you deem as "play" and "fun" are no longer acceptable.  I tell you, this cultural attitude that we have, is a form of poison.  We need to break out of this mold.  Because it's making us all really sick, physically and mentally.  And gyms - the very commercial institutions that are designed to promote healthy and active lifestyles should be on the forefront, encouraging ALL to get out on the floor and move.  More than anything, be there with your family!  Have fun!  Enjoy each other.  For goodness sake, between school, work, and everything else - we have plenty of time away from our family.  Let's not make recreation yet another reason to be separated from each other.  Let's make this time, a time to be together, to grow, and to promote our overall wellness.

However, let's not be reckless about our safety.  Adults do not recover from injury quite as quickly.  Why is that?  Well you can argue because of the hormonal changes that occur.  Which is part of it.  But could it possibly be because we stopped moving?  Could it possibly be more because we chose a more sedentary lifestyle rather than an active lifestyle - causing us to become more prone to injury when we DO decide to move and play?  Or could it be because we feel guilty at times, and are not focused while we are at play - we aren't fully present, due to the amount of things we feel we need to be doing instead of playing?  I would argue that there are a number of factors!  Not just because we are adding numbers to our age.  I think it's more arguable to point out the number of lifestyle changes that were made, that occurred, rather than the number being added to our timeline each year.  And recovering from injury, well it would make sense it takes adults a long time to recover.  Could it be because of our age?  Or perhaps it has more to do with our ability to take time to recover?  After all, we still need to work, take care of the kids, the business... if we calculated our "recovery time" allotment, I'm willing to bet it really isn't recovery time at all.  Therefore, it's more just a series of traumatic events that program our brain to tell us:  "Don't move!  Because you won't allow me to rest when I need it!"  

So what happens when we decide to not move? To not play?  Well... let's just say having a lack of body awareness shares some major consequences.  Some where along the line in our society, we decided liability was more important than our health, and some where along the lines we decided as a society that movement needed to be carefully and strictly monitored at all times.  And movement, for that matter is unsafe, especially for adults.  I'm here to call BS.  Because let's do the math.

Statistically, if you live in the US, you have more chances of dieing of coronary heart disease than anything else.  So let's think about that for a moment.  Let's think about your death.  What will you most likely die from?  You will most likely die from slowly suffocating to death.  That's right, suffocation.  From the inside out.  I think it's interesting that our number one killer in the US is heart disease, a disease that causes suffocation.  If you think about it, it's a metaphor, if you will.  We suffocate mentally, not allowing ourselves to play, or do, so the process of suffocation happens first because of our external factors, then slowly crushing us, from the inside out.  And it's also interesting to note, that heart disease is completely preventable.  It's a LIFESTYLE disease!  Deep breath now.  Let's move on to more statistics.  Let's see what else is killing us:

  • Heart disease: 596,577
  • Cancer: 576,691
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,943
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,932
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 126,438
  • Alzheimer's disease: 84,974
  • Diabetes: 73,831
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,826
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,591
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 39,518

I pulled these stats off the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.  I think it's clear, judging from the stats, that we are going to die from our lifestyle.  Most of which can be prevented if we become more aware of ourselves, our bodies, and our specific needs.  First off - stop eating garbage.  Secondly - MOVE!!!!  Play!!!!  Thirdly - stop promoting stress in your life!  Seriously, stop it. Let's get real here. If you don't, you'll most likely die from the above list.  Let's break down these diseases in plain English starting from the top:  Suffocation of your organs, A foreign entity eating your organs, Suffocation, Suffocation, Accidental unawareness, Brain shrinkage (again lifestyle factors come into play), Your body parts dieing and having to be amputated, Suffocation after burning and coughing yourself into a coma, Toxin and acid overload causing your kidneys to fail, and of course chronic unhappiness that leads to your own self-destruction.  

Sooo, if your worst fears are dieing from suffocation, getting eaten alive, and all the gruesome completely preventable causes, then I suggest we break free from this mindset that I would prefer to call "poison".  All of us, have a loved one, that was taken from the above list.  I'd bet money on it.  All of us have been affected by the above list, maybe even more than a dozen times!  So let's be real here.  Let's look at the facts.  Let's look at the stats.  When I get another notice from the school saying my kids aren't allowed to run on the black top.  When I am told to get off the floor because I'm too old to play.  When I am told to not do cartwheels across the crosswalk... I CALL BS.  I hope you do too. 


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