I rode by bicycle to work again today. That in and of itself is not much of a story to write a blog post about.
I also attended a free yoga session at O Yoga Studios downtown last night. And I got started thinking about cross-training. In my mind, cross training is the combination of various exercises and activities, sometimes in a circuit and sometimes on varying days or times, with which to make up for the weaknesses of any one form of activity. This is of course, a form of compensating for the sedentary and deterministic senescence many persons experience on a day-to-day basis at their jobs.
Cross-training is great actually, and I might suggest that besides the physical or social benefits one gets from attending the gym, that one consider what environmental, spiritual, community, and survival benefits can result from participating in activities of a post-capitalist cross-training regime.
Here’s how my week happens to play out, and I couldn’t be happier. First because I am getting physical activity to offset the 85%-95% of the time I spend at a desk during my day job. Second, because I have coordinated my life to include these types of activities and that they are a part of my “world”.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 27th: 2.5 hours of moving boxes, desks, chairs and other materialsfrom the Gear Factory to 717 Otisco St to transfer the office space of the Alchemical Nursery. It has been a fun 3+ years at “the Gear” but the cost of maintaining office space, with the near ability to occupy the house at 717 Otisco, meant is was time to move and grunt.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 28th: Keg delivery and cleanup at Rozum for Congress Halloween Fundraiser event at ArtRage. 30 minutes or so of stacking chairs, carrying tables, and loading/unloading vehicles both at ArtRage and back home at Bread and Roses.
MONDAY OCTOBER 28th: Bicycle Commute to Work and Home. This has been a traditionally 2.5 mile ride in each direction, with a nice uphill to the Westcott neighborhood from the Erie Blvd corridor on the ride home. I’ve modified it recently so that the ride home is about 4 miles, in order to utilize the new Connective Corridor bike lanes (more on this in another post – or probably numerous other posts).
TUESDAY OCTOBER 29th: Bicycle Commute to Work and Home. Free O Yoga class from 7 – 8:15 (this was a special freebie to make up for their cancelling a scheduled class on Monday night due to Hurricane Sandy).
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 30th: Bicycle Commute to Work and Home.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 2nd: Rahma Forest Garden Planting Blitz. 2 hours of digging holes, planting trees/shrubs/bulbs, picking weeds and garbage.
So besides the physical exercise, these activities also represent benefits that will be a necessity to cultivate in a post-capitalist culture. Working to move the office provides service to a community benefits organization, and allows the coming together in shared physical labor for shared goals and camaraderie. Event volunteering for the Rozum campaign provided much social connection/interaction and networking, and contributed to a political campaign which represents many of the good things in life as represented by the 10 Key Values of the party. The bicycle commuting allows the building of a personal transportation skill (which will include over time how to maintain and make adjustments to the systems that make up the bicycle), a closer experience of the environment you live in, and a non-corporate-produced source of joy and fun that can be claimed by anyone. Planting at Rahma also allows the coming together in shared physical labor for shared goals and camaraderie, but also shares skills and knowledge related to ecological wisdom, gardening, and tool use, as well as creating the foundation for an egalitarian food system into the future as perennial systems such as these forest gardens mature.
There are alternatives (such watching TV, going to happy hour, buying your food at the supermarket, etc) to each of the physical activities that partially make up my week. My goal isn’t to get you to write any of those activities completely off at this point but to rethink the balance in your own life between lesser-physical activities that serve you, and greater physical activities that serve the commons of your mental, spiritual and community well-being. Look hard at yourself sometimes, and allow yourself to feel the complete release and temptation to break from the path of force-fed habits and consumerism.
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