The human being is an incredibly adaptive mechanism. We can live on a variety of foods, in a variety of climates, alone or in groups. We can perform amazing feats of physical endurance and strength, yet compose music, produce artwork, and create things that save lives. This adaptability has it’s drawbacks. It creates a canvas that is richly dramatic so that choice becomes too complex and it complicates the most basic of decisions. For example, the “water cooler” discussion many years ago could be what Walter Cronkite said on the CBS Evening News. These days there are hundreds of channels. Finding common ground in conversation may require an internet forum if your hobbies are exotic.
By having the ability to really have variety and custom fit our lives with a unique flavor that is distinctively our own,… we have shot ourselves in the knee. We become “civilized” as they say in the Rocky movies. We become so ingrained in the comforts, conveniences, and nuances of our personal lifestyle,.. we become dependent on them and flounder without them.
Think about your bed,… ever sleep in a hotel bed and have a lousy sleep? What about your bathroom,… ever try using a really busy public toilet? How about food? Can you eat a healthy diet on the road? Do you have to eat only homemade food? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself about the patterns in your life.
I’ve had trainee’s tell me they drive across town to work out at a gym because it had that one special training device in it. This apparatus was ” of utmost importance” in their training program. Can you imagine that? What would this guy do in prison with bad food, constant stress, and lousy equipment? Then again,… ever see those guys lift weights in prison?
The ability to adapt is consistent with survival. We can adapt to cold weather by starting fires and wearing clothes. We can adapt to excessive sun by creating shade. We can dig for water, eat vegetation and use tools. Animals can’t adapt to that degree. The strongest animals are not the lion or tiger, but the cockroach and rat. They can live on anything, and survive anything. They preceded us and will no doubt be around long after us. ( Not in current numbers however. rats and cockroaches flourish largely because of the waste of man and the shelter he provides. )
In reference to diet and training. Become adaptable. Don’t cling to the familiar. If you have been powerlifting for years then it’s time to do a couple of months of bodyweight training. If you only eat at home and the foods are specially prepared, then it’s time to start eating out and becoming skilled at choosing healthy foods on the road, in any restaurant including a gas station at 3AM.
If your life involves such specificity that you can’t leave your home or foods, or bed, or TV, or toilet,…. get a grip and challenge yourself. Be adaptable and don’t paint yourself into a corner.