MAKE ADAPTATION YOUR FRIEND

As we find ourselves back in lockdown, Victoria, we love these timely philosophical words of wisdom from the clever Andrew Firth.

Stay well everyone and keep moving.

‘As I write this, Melbourne has just gone into a 5-day snap lockdown. The hammer has struck, the knee is recovering from a sudden jerk response, and already we find ourselves adapting to this new (and yet strangely familiar) situation we’ve landed in.

Which got me thinking.

Adaptation. Just as Covid has proven itself frustratingly adaptable, developing new strains and thriving within numerous environments, so too has society been forced to exercise its own adaptation muscles. Muscles that had been – dare I say it – wasting away?

Amateur philosopher that I am, my mind quickly dragged me into deep reflection.

Exercise is, at its core, a process of adaptation. In order to get stronger, you must challenge your body’s limits. Send your focus (and your willingness to sweat) into those areas where you are weak, and load them up to create stress. Once suitably exposed to its own weakness, your body is forced to accept that it cannot meet the demands you’ve placed upon it. It is sorely lacking, and so it responds to this unhappy realisation by initiating a process of – you guessed it – adaptation.

Your body works while you sleep. It renovates your musculature, making your inner mechanics stronger, better, more efficient. Perhaps it rebuilds you as a more durable, more mobile, more relaxed version of yourself. Or maybe you’ve performed exercises that demand greater coordination, heightened balance, and improved activation sequences, so that your body has no choice but to upgrade its dexterity. That is the art of exercise selection – choosing movements that target a specific weakness and thereby exploit dysfunction, turning it on its head to bring about the improvements you desire. You could call it “calculated adaptation,” and if nobody else has laid claim to that little phrase before now then it belongs to me, it’s mine, you can’t have it.

Anyway. Returning to my original point.

Adaptation lies at the heart of everything. Historically, those things that have failed to adapt have also failed to survive, quickly outgrown by the world they inhabit. That is the struggle we face today, both on a global scale and also as individuals. My personal goal (and I encourage you to consider it for yourself) is to acknowledge that adaptation is upon us whether we like it or not. We cannot change this fact, but we can calculate our adaptations. Even in lockdown we can choose our individual challenges to achieve a desired result. Develop a new skill. Ply a new trade. Or, god forbid, get down on the floor and do an hour (yes, a whole hour) of exercise. Let adaptation be your friend, and reap the rewards’.

ANDREW FIRTH