What's Underneath: Our Inner Desire to be Overcomers
We all have our own reasons for training. Some of us want to be top athletic performers. Some of us want to strong, fast, or powerful. Some of us train for aesthetics and some of us train because we simply want to feel good and be healthy. Whatever our reasons for wanting to train and improve our bodies, I think they all have one underlying reason: we want to be capable. We want to be capable of physically handling life's challenges if and when they should arrive. This desire, or this drive, though some of us may never articulate it, is deep within all of us. From the first day of our lives, we are born to be overcomers.
What It Means to Be an Overcomer
When you were born, you overcame the forces of gravity to lift your gargantuan head up in the air. Every day after the day you arrived on this earth, you worked and labored to get just a little bit stronger and defy gravity just a little bit more. As you grew stronger and became able to explore your surroundings, you constantly tested your ability to overcome obstacles or challenges. You crawled across the room to check out an object, or you tried and tried to climb up stairs or onto a couch. The fact that you learned how to walk in itself is evident that you were once filled with tenacity and you were driven to overcome. No doubt you fell repeatedly. No doubt you probably broke your fall several times with your watermelon-sized head. Yet, despite the goose bumps and bruises, you kept trying. Everything about your life was an attempt to overcome and embark on the next challenge.
Why? Because you were born to overcome. You were born to be capable. Deep down inside all of us, there is background noise of "go," be more, conquer, succeed, win. Some people have been successful in ignoring this background noise. They have silenced it. It is evident in their lives because they are just here. They exist, but they don't live unless it is vicariously through watching others. They get up in the morning, and they go to bed at night. They don't smile too often, and somewhere along the way, life has piled up so high on them that they are too lethargic to fight back. They no longer have any drive or fight to overcome, because they have ignored it for too long. You know these people. They are the ones who cannot overcome themselves. They know they should make better choices, but they don't. They know they need to take a walk, but they won't. They know fast food is not what they need, but they eat it anyway.
The Life of the Driven
You are probably not like that. You are driven. You have not silenced your desire to overcome. You want to be capable of anything, and able for everything. You might not know what really moves you, but yet you still move. And that is probably why you are still driven: you move.
Movement is what you were made to do. The internal drive you had as a child, the desire to be an overcomer, was the fuel that put your body in motion. The drive got you moving. The more you moved and conquered, the more you fed your drive. In our early years, drive and movement fueled each other. They also perpetuate each other now. The biggest reason many people have been able to successfully silence their drive is because they have decided to stop moving. When we quit moving, our drive's nemesis starts to take over the scene: apathy, boredom, complacency. Whatever you want to call it, not moving snuffs out our drive.
When you are born, your drive gets you moving, but when you are older, your moving keeps your drive. If you are driven, if you engage in physical training to better yourself, you are obviously a mover. If you know a person who has a hard time overcoming their own apathy, or mental inertia, you can probably observe that they don't move too often, at least as much as they should.
The Cure for Those Who’ve Ceased to Move
The fix for these people is really simple: they need to start moving again. The best fix for them is actually to start moving the same way they did when they were a kid. They need to learn how to move on the floor again. They need to overcome gravity and learn how to move their heads again. They need to learn how to crawl again. It is ridiculously silly, except it works. It restores their movement, and their ability to move by restoring their reflexive strength.
Having reflexive strength can also restore their drive and it can reawaken their desire to be capable because it gives them the ability to regain something they thought they had lost - their capability. For many people who have lost the drive and the lives they were meant to have, remembering how to move and regaining their reflexive strength can restore them. It can reawaken their drive and allow them to see they can be capable.
The Solid Foundation for the Driven
But this article is not about the people who have lost their drive. It is about you, the driven. Your drive still moves you and your movement still drives you. You want to succeed. You want to overcome and live life. But what if you are not as capable as you could be? What if you could not only become capable, but you were always able? To truly be as able as you could dream to be, you need to own all of your original strength as well. You, too, need to have a rock solid foundation of reflexive strength. It is your reflexive strength that allows you to remove all the brakes on your body. It enables you to perform at an optimal level. It keeps you healthy and resilient, almost impervious to injury. When you have a solid foundation of reflexive strength, you can do almost anything.
Here is the crazy part: you can regain or fortify your reflexive strength the same way our friends who have lost all of their drive can. Remember how to move the way you did when you were a child. Rolling, rocking, and crawling on the floor can all help you recover and build your reflexive strength. These movements are hardwired into your brain and they sharpen the reflexive connections between your nervous system and your body. A simple way to say it is that moving through the developmental movements you once did as a child is like pressing a reset button on your body. It is an easy way to turn on all the right switches. It turns your reflexes on. Reflexive strength is simply the body's ability to anticipate movement before it happens, and its ability to react to movement as it happens.It allows your body to let your stabilizers become stabilizers again, and it allows your prime movers to move again without having to be stabilizers. In other words, pressing reset and regaining your reflexive strength allows your body to become stronger and more mobile because all of your muscles are "on" and performing the way they were designed to perform.
What does this mean for you? It makes you capable and able to do anything. It allows you to compete at a higher athletic level. It allows you to move better, making your body more efficient. Your brain becomes more efficient at communicating within itself and to your body. In fact, all you becomes more efficient - your metabolism, your cardiovascular system, your immune system, all of you.
Best of all, reflexive strength helps keep your drive alive. Owning your reflexive strength allows you to always be capable of moving well. Moving well fuels your drive. Moving well and being driven enables you to embrace, conquer, and overcome life along with all its adventures. It allows you to be capable and able to enjoy life. You were made to move.
If you have not tried the 4-Week Crawling Challenge, give it a try. It is so simple, even a baby could do it. After all, simple works and it just might be the missing link in your training.