[Side note] If you’re reading this, thinking it was a sailing and travel blog and wondering why I’m not taking pretty pictures of the ocean and swimming with dolphins and stuff, it’s because we still haven’t left London yet and this is just the thought process that builds up to what’s to come.
Part 01 – Is exercise necessary?
When it comes to health and fitness, my take on it has always been simple and gritty is the best way to go and nature has the answer. Henry David Thoreau knew this when he wrote, “life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” He probably wasn’t talking about doing the 100-day pushup challenge or running a half-marathon when he coined the life-altering phrase that shows up on motivational posters. More than likely he was talking about lifestyle and peace of mind. But my question is why can’t you combine exercise, lifestyle, and peace of mind all into one?
In St. Louis I created Tuff gym.
It was in my garage, it was gritty and simplistic, it involved tossing kegs, climbing a peg wall (never got around to building the rock wall), monkeying around on ropes and bars, moving bags of sand from here to there, lifting a rusty set of free-weights or dragging an old tire; and it was built utilizing trash, scrap materials, and what I had lying around. I created a place to exercise that was not only comparable to, but rivaled most gyms out there. When I ran, I ran outside. If it was cold, I was cold. It was Tuff! What’s Tuff? Tuff is tough at its most primitive and a way of getting fit and being too cheap to pay for it.
See that hill? Run up it!
Not hard enough? Run up that hill dragging a tire!
The ground’s wet? Get wet!
I finally quit the gym! (It’s not as tough as Friends makes it out to be).
In London, indoor space became even scarcer and I was forced into nature once again. Sunshine and vitamin D are somewhat lacking here, but I happily run Brewster in the parks and even found a pullup bar. Really, that’s all I need to be Tuff.
No glamour muscles get worked anymore.
Pullups – pullup bar. Pushups, squats, handstand pushups – ground.
Health and fitness became simpler out of necessity and I do what I can with what I have.
But as the clocks endlessly spin and the time we have in London shortens with every rotation, I’m quickly realizing that once again, if possible, indoor space is going to become even tighter than before and having a place to exercise will be at a minimum. Although as indoor space gets scarcer, the amount of outdoor space is going to expand to a point of incomprehension – and that’s when health and fitness begin to combine with lifestyle and peace of mind.
Placing me, Leah, and Brewster on a significantly small boat and finding ourselves with an extreme lack of land lends itself to a whole new opportunity of exploring what Henry David Thoreau was so eloquently trying to tell us – simplify – and not only incorporate that into a mental capacity, which is a major part of a person’s health, but also bring his idea into our fitness regime.
Exercising is still important, but preparing ourselves for a sustainable life also means that we have to give up a lot of what we once deemed as a necessity. A simpler style, a slower style, a more relaxed and meditative style will become what feels normal and health and fitness will come out of necessity more than out of want.
Kitesurfing, swimming, diving, sailing, are all excellent forms of exercise and we used to do them only on vacation, but soon, Brewster’s walks will become Brewster’s swims, my trip to the store will be a dive in the ocean, Leah’s yoga class will turn into Leah’s yoga on a boat. That’s because our environment and surroundings have a huge effect on our lifestyle. People that live near waves, surf, and those that live near mountains, hike. Lakes – swim. Trails – walk. Parks – play.
Freediving for food: fish, lobster, crab, conch, seaweed, critters of the deep, is what I’m looking forward to the most and lends itself to a certain amount of athleticism. Breath control and relaxation come into effect and, similar to running and exercising, push the body and mind in a powerful way. Fun fact: The longest breath hold is 24m03s by Aleix Segura Vendrell. I’m hoping to get mine to four minutes.
The quality of food will drastically change and so will how much and what we eat. It’s not that we eat badly or overeat either, but the options of what will be available on a boat in the middle of nowhere will be somewhat limited. Fresh over chemically enhanced, hand caught versus store bought, natural ingredients bring on a whole new meaning. I know we’ll still have to hit the store quite a bit, but I hope that fishing, diving, and harvesting food will become more of a common and everyday occurrence, and in given time, what we find normal. Beer won’t be readily available, but we’ll have the Distillsonrey, so that’s not my biggest concern. My biggest issue will be missing scoops of Nutella and peanut butter on a spoon. I could eat an effing mess-full of that stuff!
The concept of sitting, meditating, staring into a point of oblivion, basking in the sun and soaking up all the vitamin D I can – all while letting the mind drift and wander into an unknown world – sounds mind-numbing to some, but I consider it one of the greatest opportunities for peace that most will never have a chance to know. I could also get bored out of my mind, wherein I’ll take a swim with Brewster and her shark friends.
Honestly, I don’t know what else there is to do on a boat. I’ll work on my yoga, meditate in the sand, do pullups on the boom, but the health and fitness regimen that I’m accustomed to is going to change and I’ll embrace it as it comes…cause I’m Tuff. The point of all this (I’m not really sure anymore myself) is it’s easier to quit the gym than Chandler thought and that’s because nature in itself takes the time to supply us with an endless amount of enjoyment, simplicity, peace of mind, and should not be taken for granted.