Friday, February 5, 2016

Creating, consuming, and caretaking

Brian on his way to a 70 lb PR deadlift.  He's starting to see some serious strength improvements after training with us for the last 7 months.
About a year ago, I ran across an article that talked about how there are two main kinds of activity: creating and consuming. Creating includes writing, creating content of any kind, making art, building things, cooking - producing. Consuming can mean reading, watching TV or movies, using social media - taking in information. I thought this was a really interesting way of classifying things, and I determined to be more aware of my create-consume balance. It's easy to slide into too much consumption and forget to create. And it's useful to focus on high-value creation and consumption - writing something meaningful rather than another Facebook smackdown, reading good books instead of watching Real Housewives reruns.

But recently as I was revisiting this idea, it occurred to me that there is a third category of activity, and that is caretaking. Caretaking is caring for others or yourself, and when you're doing that, you're not really able to create or consume. There are many kinds of caretaking, from caring for children or older adults, to working in customer service, to working with animals, to working on the land. It can be exhausting and leave little energy for meaningful creation and consumption. But it is an important job and a necessary part of being human - we need to take care of ourselves and each other; we need to make time for caretaking as well as creation and consumption.

The one kind of caretaking that everyone has to do is self-care. We make time in our day to shower and brush our teeth, we eat meals, we go to the eye doctor and the dentist and get our hair cut. We spend time with other people and we take time to ourselves. I see training as an important part of self-care. I think that you can view your time spent in the gym as critical to maintaining your well-being, which makes it a high-value caretaking activity.

So I encourage you to take a moment and evaluate how you're spending your time. Are you balancing creating, consuming, and caretaking? Are your creating, consuming, and caretaking activities meaningful and high-value? Are you viewing training as a chore or as an opportunity for self-care? What trade-offs are you making, and how can you change them for the better to be a well-rounded, fulfilled person?
Workout
strength - add weight from last time (more info) 

Press 3x5 

then

For 20 minutes do:

5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 squats