Monday, December 30, 2013

We Are What We Do

Apparently, the state of Queensland has officially declared a “heat wave.” In the interior of Queensland temperatures are climbing into the mid to high forties. Yeah, that's hot. Here in Cairns, it is calm, still and dry, but, with the coastal influence we are only getting up to 33 Celsius. Which is really nothing compared to Windorah (at 47 C) or Miles (at 48 C) but enough to get you outside early before it gets too hot. 

Early this morning I rode down to the Esplanade to boulder for an hour. I was thinking, as you do when riding a familiar route, about various things, like why you never hear people say “I have trouble maintaining my muscle strength.” Yet, particularly among women, it is so common to hear “I have trouble maintaining my weight,” which almost inevitably means “I am getting fat”, even though technically it could mean “I am getting thin.”

Eyeing up the next hold

Our whole paradigm would shift if, instead of obsessing about a number on a scale we focused on maintaining a good level of muscle strength. I'm not talking about crazy body builder levels of muscular development, I'm just talking about maintaining (or developing) a reasonable level of muscular fitness so that you can do some full depth squats, pushups, pull-ups, and lift heavy objects off the floor. Instead of running and other steady state cardio while limiting calorie intake, people would eat lots of fat and protein and would go about lifting big rocks or tires, doing pull-ups on playground monkey bars, jumping up onto picnic benches and, even better, do lots of bouldering. 

Which is a good segue into one of the other things I was thinking about while riding which is what you see people do is a pretty good indicator of who they really are. Yesterday I cycled over to the local freshwater swimming hole for a dip in the afternoon. With the exception of one man, all the adults were lying about on the banks of the swimming hole while all the kids were swimming. The kids were all smiling and having a great time, the adults all looked hot and grumpy. I know which one I'd rather be.

Unusually, there was actually another couple bouldering today – I rarely see anyone else bouldering (rare being exactly one other time). But, a similar pattern to the adults/children phenomena was playing itself out. The guy was climbing, the woman was just standing there watching him climb. They were both “climbers” as far as I could tell as they were both wearing rock shoes and chalk bags, but only one was actually climbing. We are what we do.

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