Monday, May 2, 2011


I hate sitting.

The arc of my life's transformation takes me further and further away from sitting. In my younger years, I read a lot until I found video games. Then I planted myself before a computer and read a lot. The reading has blessed my life a great deal while the sitting has been an unmitigated curse.

Studying the psoas muscle, particularly my own issues with the psoas muscle, has led me to think along these terms.

The hips produce the force for running, fighting, dancing, leaping, loving, living. Plant yourself in a chair and your tell your hips this position is natural. Your pelvis tilts back, the spine comes forward and the head lowers, falling further from the sky. Sitting degrades your hips. Compromised hips, hips that can't run, fight, dance, leap or love properly, ruin the spine. Without a spine, it becomes nearly impossible to stand tall. Who can respect, much less love, a man who's forgotten how to stand tall? What woman is love-able when she doesn't believe she's worthy of love?

So stop sitting.

Repair your hips.

Cure your unnatural addiction to television reality game shows and comedy dramas with life. Breathe it in deeply, the purer, rarefied air of living worlds.

I was teaching a friend good running form this past Sunday, showing him how to finish his stride with his feet coming up towards the buttocks. "Doesn't that use more energy?" he asked. "It's running. It uses energy. Dragging your feet is the act of someone uncommitted to the reality that they're running. They don't want to use energy, don't want to open up to the possibility that running may be enjoyable. These people believe that running must be awful and are determined to be right about their belief no matter the cost. Lift your feet."

Move. In any direction. Open your hips. When you run, stride with commitment to each step. Yes, I am running, so let me run beautifully! God, free me from plodding and power-walking and all such half-hearted efforts! When you fight, let your hips explode with their full fury and force. Don't just throw arm punches, afraid to get hit or hit others. Throw a true punch, snap a true kick. When you dance, let your hips come to the party. Don't just awkwardly shimmy your shoulders on the side of the dance floor like you're afraid someone will see you trying to have a good time. In all that you do in life, do it with your most powerful driver, your hips. Don't go to the grave never having brought your body's engine to redline.

Unlearn sitting. Unlearn all the practices of life that destroy your core, your strength, your integrity. In that vacuum, rediscover possibility. It will start slow. For many years, I struggled to do a single pull-up. It took what felt like forever before I could run 5 miles without stopping to walk some part of it. Even in my 2nd year of running, I still took breaks in the shorter races to catch my breath. Keep fighting. Keep striving. The habits you've acquired over the course of decades will not dissolve in a few well-meant weeks. Before you can build a new life you must clear the rubble of your current one, and to do that, you most certainly must get up off your ass.

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