“In the next 3 months I am going to get the Front Lever, Handstand and Muscle up. I’m also going to pack on pounds of muscle, stay lean, enjoy good food, work on my degree, be a teacher, improve my boxing skills and work with clients.”
Can any of you identify with this statement? If so, you’re in good company; this was my attitude when I first started with Calisthenics, but little did I know that over time, my eagerness would cloud my ability to honour the process of learning.
Coming from a traditional weightlifting background, being a ‘Millennial’, as well as my experience in the #insta generation had lead me to believe that I could obtain all the things that I wanted to in a short period of time. I had the understanding that ‘if I took these supplements and coupled it with those huge weights and exhausted them well enough, within 3 months I’d pack on muscle and maintain a shredded physique.’ But what I wasn’t aware of was that there was good reason as to why no small print was added to this offer being sold to me. My journey through weightlifting was constantly paired with injury after injury, and I managed to breed training patterns that completely dishonoured good science and exercise practice. In short, I became your everyday PT and gym junkie.
I’d love to tell you that out of nowhere everything suddenly clicked – I stopped picking up injuries, muscle growth happened at an exponential rate and that all my hard work had bypassed everything that we know at the highest levels of human-exercise-science, but unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. Instead, I had to take a step back, reflect, and set out again with a new task and a brand new perspective.
Welcome if you will, Calisthenics. I took up this method of training at a penultimate time in life when a lot had been changing and I, myself, had had quite a few eye-opening moments that caused me to abandon the #insta life – hopefully for good! Through Calisthenics, what I soon realised was that there is no hijacking the process toward learning a move without incurring debilitating injuries. The majority of the moves require incredible strength, endurance and stability throughout the whole kinetic chain. This task was no shoulder-press where I could take half of my body out of the equation. Nope, I had to learn to use my body again the way God had designed it.
My biggest take from this Calisthenics journey is a simple, yet powerful truth quipped by C.S Lewis – “The longest way round is the shortest way home.” Learning to embrace the journey in Calisthenics has freed me to not only enjoy the road I’m on, but to also take that perspective into every other area of life – whether it be relationships, work or studies –
taking the long way round and doing it right the first time is the fastest option 100% of the time.
So in many ways, you could say my Calisthenics journey has produced more than some cool moves on the bars; it has also produced a new outlook on how to do day-to-day life.
My encouragement to you then, is to enjoy the journey! Get your hands on the Calisthenics “Sat Navs” here at The School of Calisthenics and enjoy navigating the winding country roads with beautiful views. Trust the science, trust the framework. You’ll get home to “redefining your impossible” so much quicker, because trust me, in the same way diversions on the roads come out of nowhere, diversions in your training when taking shortcuts do too.
You’re closer than you think – so relax, be patient and enjoy the journey!