ON: EXERCISE Pt 2/3 - Understanding what is possible

Watch any professional sport long enough and you’ll start to see that the shape of the competitors are similar in more than one way. Most of the time you’ll see tall high jumpers, shorter jockeys, lean marathon runners and larger than life strongmen. People often don’t find these sports themselves, the sport finds them. Can a tall high jumper still learn to wrestle? Of course. Can a jockey still train to do long jump? Absolutely but they may not break any world records.

Our bodies come with a set of unchangeable characteristics (at least in 2021) such as height, hip width, shin length, hand size and skeleton make up. This explains a lot of when you see people (or have experienced this yourself) being “naturals” in sport or certain types of exercise. No matter how you’re built there is an exercise routine or sport for you.

Understanding how you’re built and what your body may be able to do with a little more ease aids well in deciding where to start.

I am the heir of long shin privilege which bodes well for running but I missed out on a thick skeletal frame with wide shoulders and hips to lift or throw anything with world class strength and power.

Now unless you’re looking to be an elite athlete, it matters less what kind of exercise you do, however your body will be better suited to certain exercise types and sports.

Every human body is built with different capabilities but it’s safe to say given you’ve been born with the default human frame of two arms, two legs, feet and hands*; you’ll be very capable of walking, hiking, running (long or short may differ here), lifting heavy objects, climbing, swimming, throwing or jumping. The variables at play are dependent on aspects such as injuries, body weight, mobility, how you’ve treated your body over the long term and age is a factor but not a complete hinderance.

Take a moment to think about what you may naturally find easy (walking, running, swimming) and what you may be less likely to naturally fall into doing (yoga, high intensity or sports with fast change of direction).

Whilst the saying anything is possible isn’t necessarily true, more things could be in your grasp than previously thought.

Go ahead and dream. Watch some different sports, think about what skills you have already and what you tend to pick up easily. Who knows, you may be the next Tiger Woods in Rock climbing… The golfer, not the womaniser.

*Even if you’re not born with the default human frame, you’d be amazed at what you can achieve. The more I see Paralympians perform, the less I see it as any sort of “disability”

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