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    Articles | Movement

    Beauty is more than skin deep

    By Tim Stevenson

    Beauty is often measured based purely what someone can see on the surface level of the human body. Bone structure, the shape of our features, hair colour, skin tone and body composition. In many ways there is only so much we can do to change this and therefore, we must try to accept our insecurities and become comfortable and confident with the unique genetic code we were born with.

    Through the influence of a culture hellbent on the superficial we may want to change our image, but we can’t change how we are made. And that is ok, because it is in this where true beauty lies.

    Your human body is the most ingeniously designed system on planet earth. Complex and multi-faceted, capable of free thought, free movement and incredibly adaptive to its environment. The beauty of life runs far deeper than the skin.

    What it means to be alive

    For something to be deemed ‘living’ it must show a set of characteristics. For a human these basic processes of life include:

    • Responsiveness
    • Metabolism
    • Reproduction
    • Movement
    • Growth
    • Differentiation
    • Respiration
    • Digestion
    • and excretion

    The body works as a complete and integrated system with nothing operating in isolation. All process are therefore inter-related and inter-dependant, and since your conception, they have been working away with almost no need for conscious thought by you.

    Plants are also ‘living’ organisms but they must only fulfil some of the criteria. Plants don’t have brains and as such plants can’t move. When a plant is exposed to conditions outside of its individual preference it has no other option but to sit there and wait until it dies. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry. There is no fight or flight, just a passive acceptance of its impending fate.

    In comparison your human body is an intricately designed survival machine that is designed to move.

    Good things happen when we move. Bad things happen when we don’t.

    Even though you’re not a plant you may have some similar behaviours. Much like a plant rooted in the wrong spot, you too are being exposed to extreme conditions on a daily basis, and it’s possible that you’re not doing anything about it. Sedentary lifestyles and habits, poor quality foods and cheap products with low grade ingredients. These things are plotting against you like a silent assassin.

    Your body is a beautiful piece of engineered art and it has remained largely unchanged throughout the course of human history. One thing that has stood the test of time is that your body excels if you treat it with respect and give it what it needs. Irrespective of how many times humankind has circumnavigated the sun, what was good for us the first time, is still good for us now. Movement has always been good for us. So have unprocessed foods and human connection through community. The problem we now face is that the industrial and technological revolutions are depriving the human body of what it really needs to thrive.

    One of the life determining processes I mentioned at the start is ‘responsiveness’; the ‘ability to detect changes in the internal or external environment and react to that change’. Humans have free will and that means we can make choices. Plants are not so fortunate.

    We must become aware of the slow but unrelenting corrosion that is quietly breaking down the incredible human body we have in our possession. If we are to survive and thrive, we must respond.

    Move often and feed yourself well. Identify the extreme conditions in your life and be proactive about avoiding, or at least managing them. Move away from pain, sedentarism, low quality nutrition, stress, anxiety, poor sleep or being disconnected from community

    You have a beautiful body and to value it only on its aesthetic appearance would be tragic. The beauty of life is more than skin deep.

    Stay ‘Living’

    You are in control of your internal and external environment and you have the freedom of choice to act. Your body will adapt to whatever you throw at it, good or bad. And whilst it is extremely resiliant, don’t stack the odds against it for too long as you will find yourself in a physical debt that you can’t repay.

    Plesse don’t sit there blissfully ignorant to the gradual decline of the most advanced invention you will ever own.

    Don’t be a plant.

     

    Class dismissed

    Tim

     

    If you want to start exploring your physical potential and finding out what your incredible body might be capable of, check out the Virtual Classroom. It’s packed with training programmes and educational information to guide your calisthenics journey and an awesome community of real people to support you along the way.

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