Weekly musings, 5/7/17: Discomfort


“We live in a world where we don’t get scars. We get paper cuts.” ~Morgan Spurlock

The documentary, “Rise of the Sufferfests,”* chronicles the boom of obstacle course racing (OCR). In it, filmmaker and journalist Scott Keneally suggests people are spending hundreds of dollars to be seriously uncomfortable because we miss the sense of accomplishment that goes along with physical challenge. Our lives are filled with all of the comforts we could ever want, he argues. We never have to be cold, most of us don’t ever have to work physically hard; we don’t even have to get up to adjust the settings of the lights anymore. All of these conveniences are creating a void between us and the physical world.

There is something to be said for a physical challenge.** Hiking a big hill, scrambling over rocks, or climbing a tree all create a connection between us and our external environment. Our daily lives don’t require this, and as time marches on, many of us continue to move further and further away from the ability to rekindle that connection. We lose flexibility and strength and we go to gyms instead of trails. 

I don’t necessarily think getting electrocuted or tempting hyperthermia is necessary to rekindle this connection. I do, however, think there is power in playing outside and physically challenging yourself on a regular basis. I strongly believe what people do in the gym should support the ability to spontaneously react to their external environment when an opportunity presents itself. As Laird Hamilton said, “You can never have too much fun. You just need to be in really good shape to do it.”

*The documentary, “Rise of the Sufferfests,” is available to rent online. 
Catherine Cowey wrote a guest blog on my site about the importance of daily discomfort. Check it out here: http://www.bewellpt.com/blog/2017/4/27/resiliency-training-daily-discomfort-vitamin

Improve flexibility, mobility, and learn how to react to the physical environment June 2-4 at the Nature and Movement Retreat in Napa Valley: http://www.bewellpt.com/events/2016/9/11/mind-body-nature-a-two-day-movement-retreat