Do you think people do what they want in life?
It can change in an instant.
Think about all of the survivors of the movement of the Earth’s plates in Japan.
If they didn’t know what they want, they do now.
Sometimes, tragedy can give you perspective about what you really want in life and cause you to move.
Will Smith on Being Willing to Die
I found this brilliant video of Will Smith this morning.
He explains how anyone with a true desire can move and create magic.
Will Smith is brilliant because he explains how an emotional why to his desire creates choice, and that choice powers action. He is willing to risk his life, on a treadmill, to achieve his desire.
Playing college football at The Franklin and Marshall College, I used to tell people that the only reason I was any good, having been named 1st Team All Conference my senior year as well as team MVP, was because I was willing to die to be better than my opponent.
Given that I was struggling through depression, I was willing to die (figuratively) because I would run up and down my stairs on Saturday nights when others were out drinking, but I was also willing to die (literally) because I wanted to hit my opponent harder than he hit me.
One of the first lessons you’re taught in football when you’re young is to see the opponent with your eyes when you make a tackle. Hitting an opponent with your eyes pointed at the ground greatly increases your risk of cervical spine fracture and paralysis.
What they did not include with that lesson was that although you increase your risk of injury, your tackle is way more impactful when you use your helmet as a battering ram.
As a linebacker, I compensated with smaller size with greater disregard for my body.
My point being, despite being emotionally unstable, a desire of being the best was important enough for me to risk significantly hurting myself … but I achieved.
Exercise Leads To An Empowered Life
This is the most empowering thing we do.
Becky, proud, pain-free, in her 60s, just deadlifted 95 pounds for the first time in her life.
The smile was enormous.
When it comes to your health, in body, mind, and spirit, moving heavy weights has benefits that you just can’t get through chronic cardio, machine-based lifting, or aerobics classes.
Like Becky was alluding to, moving heavy things makes you feel like you can do anything when you put your mind to it.
When faced with difficulty or doubt, you can remember (just as Becky did) how you wanted to quit when it got hard, telling yourself “I can’t do it.”
But you persisted, and you achieved.
Moving something heavy (notice the verbiage, move, is about changing matter in this reality) has various physiological benefits:
- increases muscle mass (more metabolically active and burn calories more efficiently)
- increases power (the ability to contract muscles quickly, which is dirrectly correlated with aging well, according to Alwyn Cosgrove)
- healthier biomechanics (preventing injury risk)
- hypertrophied gluteal tissue (a bigger butt)
Most importantly, moving heavy weights shifts your mindset from victim to mover.
A New Perspective
Life is fragile. All it takes is a hiccup on the Earth’s scale to break thousands of human lives.
Pursuing health as far as your body’s needs and your spiritual desires can go a long way towards allowing you to achieve in your life.
The 10,000 plus who died in Japan last week get no mulligans.
Let us observe Japan with empathy to give us new perspective.
What do you really want?
Do you want it badly enough?
If the answer to the previous question was YES, what are you going to do to go get it?
Let Will Smith reaffirm you. You can have it, if you’re willing to move and use magic.
Learning to move something heavy (like performing deadlifts) can get your health just where it needs to be to support you in any life endeavor.
Move the world, before it move you.
How has the tragedy in Japan given you new perspective?
**Resources I’ve read in the past week about moving heavy things**
Much appreciation to Billy Gregson for his perspective with tragedy.
Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Morristown, NJ. He practices out of Crossfit Morristown.