I have a real problem with sitting still these days. I’m that guy casually stretching his hips and sitting in a squat at the party (and to all my friends and family upon whom I selfishly inflict this awkward social behaviour, I’m deeply sorry). Most people would probably interpret this as an unhealthy obsession with exercise, but that really isn’t the case.
I’m just bored, and moving is so much more fun than sitting still. (Also, there might be a bit of an obsession there…)
Anyway! Our exercise physiology professor said something in class recently that I often forget: it is very difficult for those of us who enjoy being active to understand the mindset of those for whom exercise is an uncomfortable and tedious pastime steeped in mystery and misconception. (I may have pontificated a bit more than she did, but the essence of the statement holds true.) Yet for me, someone who does, admittedly, obsess about movement, it’s such a regular part of my life that I don’t think twice about stretching on the floor when watching a movie with friends (trying not to be distracting…), hanging from some trees on the way through the park (in fact, I often make detours for just this very reason), sitting in a squat while I wait for a cab (this brick wall is obviously here so I can pretend to be a gargoyle), or spending my lunch breaks bear crawling around the grass (which might be the weirdest activity to observe unexpectedly).
I guess I’ve found peace in being a complete weirdo.
But I do find it sad that physical play is considered weird for adults in our culture. I should specify, I suppose, that random physical play is what is considered odd. No one has a problem with you throwing around a football, going to a climbing gym, or busting out a slack line, but the minute you step outside the activity norm, (as I tend to) or the physical confines of the gym, field, or studio, it tends to freak people out.
The response isn’t always negative, though. Sure, some people get a little bit embarrassed (particularly those who are unfortunate enough to be associated with me), but others manage to find my behaviour amusing or interesting enough to suffer it. And then, every so often, people will actually join in! Nothing makes me happier than, for instance, talking about crow pose at a party, being asked to demonstrate, and watching a handful of people curiously attempt it, and have fun doing so.
Listen, I think it’s high time we reappropriated movement from sport and fitness. There’s nothing wrong with those things, but they are just two branches on the movement tree. (Insert some insightful comment about sampling all the fruit, etc. etc.) Making movement a part of your life is so much simpler (and, at the same time, so much bigger) than suffering the grind of exercise.
Okay, so, in conclusion, moving can be fun. And I’m sorry I weirded everyone out at your party.