i’m not much for the “enduring” anymore; that’s what most of my life has been, and while it’s probably built character, i’ve had enough of it.
and interestingly enough, slow and steady also leads to gains. it’s the progressive challenge that does it, and the progress does not have to be huge. i’ve got a lot of mobility issues due to illness, giving up on exercise, and becoming more and more sedentary, and i watched some very interesting lectures by dr kelly starrett on how we should rebuild our bodies. he’s a physio therapist who works with a lot of pro athletes. when i started out i could not do a barbell backsquat because i could not get my arms back far enough without excruciating pain. i started working my shoulders with a series of light to heavy resistance rubberbands, then a PVC pipe, then a broomstick, and gradually my shoulders became mobile enough to no longer scream in pain. i hadn’t even noticed how my mobility had decreased over the years; if you had asked me, i would have said my shoulders are perfectly fine. you really do lose it if you don’t use it.
quite often pro athletes are not actually all that healthy because they push themselves constantly. it’s interesting to see how the body adapts not only in old men who don’t move for fear of back pain, but also in young athletes who push themselves with bad form — they can end up with serious damage in parts of the body that didn’t evolve to do the things they unconsciously force it to do.
i am definitely a convert of the “get back on the horse” school. it turns out that DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which one can easily get from strenuous or unused-to exercise actually improves if instead of resting you give the same muscles a very slight workout the next day (just walking will do it). i was surprised to learn that this isn’t all in my mind, but there is an actual physiological effect happening in the muscles themselves.