Seven schoolgirls have sparked a major search and rescue mission—after being frightened by a herd of cows. The terrified pupils, aged 14 and 15, were on a geography field trip in Swanage, Dorset, when they sent out an SOS. They were dropped off three miles from their outdoor centre and told to find their way back using a map. But the teenagers, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, got stuck on a hill when they came across a herd of cows in a field blocking their way. A coastguard rescue team, police and an ambulance were scrambled to rescue them after one of the girls called for help on her mobile phone
I say let the cows eat them. They are already useless, because they’ve been taught—at home and at their ridiculous school—that they can’t do anything for themselves. I say had they been doing a Flow working out, a herd of English cows would not present so intimidating an obstacle. And at this late stage, Flow may be their only chance at a life free from shame and embarrassment.
Now, I realize that there are hundreds of millions of individual examples of people throughout the U.S. and Europe who have grown to a ripe old age without having engaged in either hard physical work or hard physical exercise. So why does it matter so much that people are out of shape, especially if it has no apparent effect on longevity? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in being 85 if I have to hire somebody to help me get up off the toilet. Very often in discussions of the public health benefits of exercise, the only consideration is longevity; an 80-year-old man with Alzheimer’s might argue that longevity in itself is not always a benefit, if he could.
So let me say something a little meatier: you owe it to yourself and the millions of lives that generated yours to live as though you appreciated it. Over and above the fact that you’re healthier—and as a result cost everybody less money and aggravation while you’re here—there is just something wrong with getting up every day and moving through your existence with the least possible effort. Doing it this way makes you more than merely less than optimum. It makes you afraid of cows, and unable to understand that you should not be.
If your expectations are always those of someone content to live without physical challenge, then when it comes time for mental, moral, or emotional challenge, you fail to meet it because you are out of practice. Meeting and overcoming obstacles are skills that can be honed, as opposed to talents with which we are born. The best way to prepare for the inevitable shit that life occasionally hands us all is to live in a way that prepares you for it. If you can treat personal tragedy like a TGU or 50 Burpees, you’ll do better than someone who has never met any challenge. Intentionally placing yourself in the position of having to complete a task when you don’t know if you can is the single best way of preparing to be in that position unintentionally. And that, my friends, is the way your training should be approached, so that you get more out of it than just “wellness.”