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Exuberant Animal.

  • By Vishwa on Health

  • February 13, 2012

I am reading a wonderful book entitled Exuberant Animal penned by Frank Forencich. I am blown away. We have to seriously ponder the author’s perspective.

Speaking on nourishment, he says that nourishment to us is not only provided by food, but we also derive it from other sources– nourishment from movement (he uses the word kinetic), social (interacting with fellow beings), experiential (intellectual), and biophilic (love for life). These categories are not pigeon -holed by Forencich. Rather he says that these categories are subject to change and interpretation. For example, biophilic nourishment is closely connected to social nourishment.

To make his point clear, he narrates a story of an orthopedic surgeon who finds his profession more nourishing. He says, “A few years ago I attended a sports medicine conference on functional training and rehabilitation. One presentation made a profound impression on me: a prominent orthopedic surgeon spoke about his experience with knee reconstruction, especially the surgical repair of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). I became fascinated not only with his detailed knowledge of anatomy, but also with his sheer enthusiasm for his practice. It was obvious that this man lived and breathed ACL repairs. Later, when I described this physician to my friends, I told them “This guy would rather do ACL’s than eat. Offer this doctor a choice between a plate of lobster and a new patient with mangled knee and he’d go for the knee every time. He drew actual nourishment from his surgical practice, nourishment that sustained him in a substantive and meaningful fashion. For him, surgery was food.”

I hope you are with me. What he says about the physician is profound. Yes, we not only derive support from food alone, but we can also get that from other sources. Let us consider giants like Picasso, Bruce Lee, Gandhi, Einstein, etc. These men didn’t live by food alone. These intellectuals were in pursuit of nourishment that was beyond food.

What is the take home message? From a fitness perspective, don’t try to pigeon-hole it. I have come across many fitness aficionados, who are strict to the core when it comes to following their diet or regimen. Don’t think that nourishment is derived only by food. Consider other categories that the author discusses. Try to have a wider view point. This reminds me of the quote by Bruce Lee. He says, “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless—like water. Now put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle, you put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” Embrace fitness from a holistic view.

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