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Issue no. 1: Defy Gravity

Updated: May 11, 2021

Having been suspended in liquid for the first nine months of our lives, as newborns we find ourselves utterly helpless in the face of gravity. This impersonal and invisible force, which keeps us pinned to earth and slowly seeks to draw us toward the center of the planet, is, paradoxically, the catalyst for our physical strength.


We are hardwired to push back against gravity. Our spine develops the curves that mitigate its effects as we learn to stand. Our bones build density in response to its constant mechanical load. The opposing muscles on all sides of our bodies work against it to achieve a standing posture that can walk, run, and leap away from it if even for just a moment.


Throughout history we’ve held up as heroes those who defied gravity: warriors and athletes; artists and philosophers; scientists and inventors. Today, connected as we are via the web and apps, we marvel daily at the people who push the boundaries of human performance and space exploration. As I write this, NBC has released an ad for the Tokyo Olympics with gymnast Simone Biles defying gravity, and 190 million miles away on planet Mars, the Ingenuity helicopter has just completed its fourth successful flight over Wright Brothers Field.


This fascination with the greats may be one of our biggest mistakes. As passive spectators, we assign the task of defying gravity to others, and in our distraction, we often forget that gravity is there at all, or worse, we choose to ignore it.


It may be something we can overlook when we are thirty, or even forty, but by the time we cross into our fifties, gravity’s constant stress on a sedentary body, along with the absence of a proper training program and good nutrition, creates a toxic combination that makes itself felt through symptoms: tightness, stiffness, weakness, swelling, irritability, instability, aches, and pains. These are like text messages from your body telling you to act.


When I share this analogy with people I know or meet, I often get a polite smile and sometimes a nod of agreement that tells me they won’t change. One person recently shrugged his shoulders and said, “whattaya gonna do?”


I have a conflict avoidant personality, so it surprised us both when I replied, “You should defy gravity.”


What was different, I realized later, was that for the first time in many years I finally had an answer to the next obvious question: “How do I do that?” That answer is the Over Fifty Fitness program. It’s a step-by-step recipe for reclaiming our movement and connecting to our heritage, one that traces back in time through infancy and beyond, spanning millions of years, to the day when we made the daring decision to crawl out of the weightless oceans and face gravity for the first time.


As humans, we are born with an incredible potential for movement, and what's really amazing is that even with injuries, even with age or difficult circumstances, we can repair, heal, and move again. I've seen it happen in the young and old, and it inspires me to keep moving every day.


Do not think for a second that you are too old to start or begin again; It is not too late. You still have time. If you have breath in your body, you can still act. Let this day and every day until your last be a shining example to the generations that follow us. Wake up! Rise up! Defy gravity!


Patrick Przyborowski

Dayton

April 3rd, 2021

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