The world is a place full of specialization. Everyone of us is a specialist in our own life, whether we mean to be or not. Our bodies, while separate from our minds and the knowledge we hold, reflect that same specialization. While capable of incredible feats of flexibility, endurance and strength, our bodies will become equally specialized if we are specialists in World of Warcraft and bingewatching Archer. In the beginning, the only real “training” humans had at their disposal was their natural elements; the vast wilderness makes the perfect gym, and our ancestors knew it. That’s why we are always impressed by the fortitude of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon Man (they were RIPPED, bro). Chasing down Mammoths, climbing mountains, and running around in fur loincloths is serious work, and sculpted the bodies of ancient humans into similarly powerful specialists. But, as time went on, those ripped calves in loincloths became pants, skirts, suits and ties, and our mammoths became Cobb salads and two for one combos at Applebee’s during our lunch-break.
In ancient cultures like Greece, the Maya, the Native Americans, and the Polynesian kingdoms, warriors trained from early youth to be prepared for any type of conflict. They were proficient swimmer, wrestlers, soldiers, and horsemen. All warrior-children of this more rugged, ancient world were prepared to survive in the wilderness, because it was where they lived, played, hunted and fished. Today, we have all the same tools the warriors and survivalists of old, and infinitely more technology. So we get to have more fun.
Instead of having to fight each day for survival, we have a surplus. This extra food, fuel, water, and shelter lets us work more on things that are secondary to survival, like banking or art. So, when we aren't painting or balancing the numbers, we can RETURN to those really difficult, really physical things to blow off some steam. And we ALL have steam.
Whether you're a student living paycheck to paycheck or a homemaker with three kids of your own, you have a responsibility to yourself and the community you're a part of to be your best. And in order to be your best, you need to be happy.
The greatest thing for me about all this new technology available to us is the ability to create new and exciting things for ourselves. The internet allows people to share recipes across oceans, be fans of Japanese comic books and have never left the states, so why can’t it also be a way for you to explore what options the wider world has for you? I’ve been an athlete in some kind of sport for most of my life, and I can only confess to having tried a small handful of the interesting, challenging, and physically demanding activities out there. I’ve been able to come to the jungles of Panama today to better understand what some of the other greatest challenges we can put in front of ourselves are, and how to bring them here to Jungle Strength, and into people’s lives, for everyone to enjoy.