Chapter 1: Athletic development through the lifespan
- The importance of living an athletic life.
“If you do not find time to become and remain healthy, you will be obliged to find time to be ill”
- George Hackenschmidt.
Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a sufficient why can bear almost any how”. So, before we dive into the depths of how to achieve your athletic potential, we must first answer that all-important question… why?
In this first chapter I’ll aim to help you answer that question: When there’s so much that can be done, should be done, with those twenty-four hours of your day, why should you devote a significant portion of them to your athletic development?
You may not be a professional athlete. You may have significant career obligations that keep you “chained to your desk” for a large chunk of your day. You may have many family responsibilities. You may say, “sure, I would love to commit to a long-term training program, but I just don’t have the time.”
Finding the time begins with why.
It can be tough to grasp the importance of maintaining physical fitness through the lifespan until you start to lose it. Many adult athletes approach “getting (back) in shape” half-heartedly, simply because the motivation in the beginning is ‘maybe lose a few pounds’ or ‘feel a bit more like my younger self’. With this viewpoint, ‘sacrificing’ more than an hour a day or an hour every other day can feel selfish or indulgent. It’s my aim, in this first chapter, to convince you that it’s not. That setting up your life to prioritize a significant chunk of movement each day is not only not selfish, or self-indulgent, it’s an essential investment in living a long, healthy, functional life.
Without scaring you (OK, maybe scaring just enough to prompt you into action), I aim to begin this book with a chapter devoted to outlining the importance of physical activity in modern society: The importance of living an athletic life.
After we have defined the why, we will spend the rest of the book exploring, at a practical, implementable level, how.
To examine why we might choose to devote a good chunk of our lives to physical training..
Let’s begin with a look at the consequences of Sedentarism in modern society:
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