I come from the space that says we ought to believe in our ways with violent passion. Furthermore, I believe its our job to sharpen these beliefs, whether they be about politics, religion, nutrition, exercise, or otherwise, with deep, painful critical thinking. In other words, if you believe something.. great. Step two is making damned sure your reasoning is sound.
Heated debate will do one of two things to your position. It will either negate your position or make it stronger. In many cases, I’ve read, thought about, and discussed more about an opposing view to mine than those that support the position themselves.
Considering this approach, it is baffling how much of our actions and beliefs are “just because.” Think about how certain things in your life are the way they are, simply because that’s how they’ve always been…
OK, sometimes these beliefs don’t really matter like putting your batteries in the freezer or that swallowing chewing gum will stay in your stomach for 7 years, but sometimes we really are misguided to a fault. For instance..
- Why do you stay up late? – It’s assumed that it’s completely normal to stay up until 10, 11, or 12 o’clock at night. Considering the abnormal rise in cortisol being awake for such a long time and the harm such habits cause to our rest/light rhythms, staying up late may be number one habits we do “just because.”
- Why do you drink flavored drinks? – We are the first generations to drink our calories. Think about how ridiculous it would seem to an ancient ancestor to drink something other than water, coffee, tea, beer, or wine. Fruit juices and sodas are fads that have major health consequences.
- Why do you seek soft surfaces on runs to avoid injury? – We see this everyday on the bluffs. Folks, seemingly in search of soft ground, use only the grass for their runs to avoid injury. Of course, their stride is, in fact, injuring them and the soft surfaces (sand especially) used as a crutch actually contributes to more lower extremity injuries than hard surfaces.
- Why do you take Vitamin C when you have a cold? – Let’s just say I know tons of people that abide by this one and I don’t know tons of folks with medical degrees. Vitamin C has been found to have no positive affect in treating or preventing the common cold, yet we reach for it 9 times out of 10.
- Why do you do push ups with your elbows pointing out? – Other than A) You’ve always done it that way or B) It’s easier (See: A), this common fault isn’t natural, sustainable, or the highest performing position. Shoulders back and down! Elbows in!
My point here is less about these specific misconceptions, but more-so about awareness in general. We all can benefit from turning up the dial of our intention and these silly examples expose when we act without critical thinking. It’s this type of behavior on a bigger scale over time that lead to huge problems like the one’s we face today with the American diet, healthcare, and our obesity epidemic.
Do what you do, but have a reason. Beyond that, go to battle for your reasons to keep your logic sharp.
Complete the following for time:
30 Double KB Clean (53/35)
30 Hang Squat Clean (135/95)
30 Inverted Burpees