Movement > Exercise

Part Two of "Learning, Losing, and Low Reward"


  On October 25, 2015, the New York Times published an article titled, "Why Women Can't do Pull-ups." My response is as follows:


  And do you want to know why I can do pull-ups, even when the New York Times tells me I shouldn't be able to? It's because I work at them. And if there's ever been a "secret" to exercise, it's that: Work hard, and do it again.


  On my last post in this series, I gave a bit of background on how I went from overweight to athlete to overweight and, finally, athlete, again. Though I can't know for sure, I'm optimistic that the athlete label is here to stay, not because I've started a fad diet or workout plan or cut calories or ramped up my protein intake. It's because I've stopped exercise and started moving—a lot and all the time.

  Of course, the difference here between exercise and movement is nothing more than semantic—yes, most of my movement takes place in a sweaty gym surrounded by people who like to lift heavy things—but it is more than pedantic.

  I like movement because it's not confined to one place or activity or goal, and it's not a chore that sits on a to-do list waiting for me to check it off, and it isn't some means to an arbitrary end. Movement, in and of itself, is the goal. I want to be as active as possible in my life because I want to be damn sure that my body can do anything I ask it to.

  And for me, that's truly the goal: to be able to do anything I want in my life, to never encounter a situation in which I can't keep up or participate fully because my body physically can't do something. Working out shouldn't be about how many pounds you can lift or how many push-ups you can do. It should be about what you can do with your body. Can you climb a tree? Do a flip? Go snow skiing? Play a game of tag?

  If not, what would you like to be able to do? When you answer that, go do it. I promise, it's fun.

  So move. As often as you can, and do what you like.