Eat Sleep and Play Primally

Go Climb a Tree!

Since I’ve started the primal lifestyle from Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint  I’ve done a lot of thinking about more than just diet and nutrition.  As I pledged in my first post, my main goal in this primal journey is to live healthier, happier, stronger and leaner.  Party of my pre-primal lifestyle always included exercise.  After reading The Primal Blueprint I started to think that maybe what I thought was exercise to make me healthier, stronger and leaner was not making me happier or having the real benefits that my body needed.

My routine for the last 10 or more years included, almost exclusively, running and cycling.  I was pretty passionate about these activities.  I’ve run 5 marathons, countless 1/2 marathons, biathlons and triathlons.  I’ve also logged thousands of miles on my bike, having followed the Tour De France on my bike twice, once through the Alps, and once through the Pyrenees and Alps.  I thought I was strong, healthy and lean. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the running and cycling, but, there were too many occasions to count when I would dread the next long run or bike ride.  There simply wasn’t enough variety in my activities to keep my body strong as it could have been.  More importantly, because of the lack of variety, simply running 3-4 times a week, and cycling the remaining days, wasn’t enough to keep my mind focused and engaged.

To top it off, all of those years of pounding out the long mile, seemed to take a toll on my body and my mind. I was plagued with injury, knee issues, hamstring issues, and calf problems.  You get the picture.  Typically, I would trudge on, through the injury.  I got to the point where my mind just couldn’tkeep up anymore.  After a series of injuries in the last year, the stressesof life and some family issues, I stopped running and exercising.  I would bike once in awhile, take a spinning class, but that was about it.  I never thought I would get to the point where I wasn’t working out every day.  In fact, I often questioned the dedication of friends who would take a week off when they had a minor injury, cold or the flu.  Not me, I had to be really really sick to skip a day of running or biking. 

Well, I found my self in that very position.  The combination of injury, boredom and lack of variety got me to the place I thought I would never be.  I started to put on weight and generally felt like a sloth.  So, in the late winter of this year,  against my will again, I was talked into starting the P90X program by my partner.   This is an intense program which includes a variety of high intensity aerobic and strength workouts.  I made it through the 90 day program, and in fact started it over again, and am now finishing phase 2 this week.  While I think that this may be too intense of a program for most, and probably not the ideal primal exercise plan, it made me realize something important.  I wasn’t bored with my workouts anymore.  There was plenty of variety and I was learning just how weak I was in certain areas that I didn’t need or use just didn’t use while running or biking.

Lets face it, variety makes everything more interesting. P90X helped me realize this.  The Primal Blueprint was the final piece of the puzzle.  It made me realize that my  previous notions about exercise was causing me to injure my body, joints, mind and happiness level.  Now, its no longer about chronic cardio, its about making myself leaner and stronger and enjoying it all the time.  This means lots of low level aerobic activity, walking and hiking for example.  Its about lifting heavy things once in a while.  Its about high level aerobic activity once in awhile.  Its also about rest and allowing my body to heal. 

I will no longer force myself to run 50 miles a week and bike 100 miles a week.  I may have some weeks where I will bike over a hundred miles or run 50 miles, but they will not be the standard.  However, because of the variety I am providing in my life, when I do these things, I will enjoy them more and be fit and strong enough to do them.

See that picture at the top.  That’s me this past weekend.  We went to Johnson Shut-Ins State Park which recently reopened after 5 years of being closed due to a catastrophic breach in a reservoir that sits way above the park.  Notice the big smile on my face.  I hiked about 5 miles through the Scour (this is where the breach devastated a part of the forest below the reservoir).  I then climbed, swam and simply just had fun in the river.

What a blast.  I was active and was having fun.  Afterwords I felt happier, healthier and stronger.  goal accomplished.

Rethink how you live your life.  Whats going to make you healthier, happier and stronger.  You can accomplish this and still have fun.  Throw a Frisbee around in the yard.  Go for a walk in the park. Go Climb a tree.  I guarantee you will have a renewed interest in life, you will still burn calories and you will be stronger in ways you never thought possible.

Live healthier, happier, stronger and leaner.

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 Uncategorized

5 Comments to Go Climb a Tree!

June 15, 2010

Check out what Dr. Mercola has to say at

June 15, 2010

About what?

Beth Hughes
June 15, 2010

Steve this is great! I was wondering what the shut-ins would be like now. My ‘sport’ of choice is CrossFit, which is how I got into Primal initially. If you search the site for Greg Glassman’s (founder) article “World Class fitness in 100 words”, the last six words of those 100 are “Regularly learn and play new sports”. Last weekend for Competition Sunday it was Hooverball!

June 16, 2010

love it! want to check out johnson shut ins … how far away is it? steve and I (yes I am in fact doing it) are on day 4 of P90X and loving it. rebecca

Steve A
June 16, 2010

They did a really great job at Johnson Shut-Ins. While some of the trails are still not open, there are some that are. Its about a 2 hour drive from St. Louis. Its well worth it. Awesome Rebecca and Steve – you’ll be noticing the difference in no time. I do have some tips for you if you are interested.

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