What is ecological fitness

is as new as farming, gathering, hunting- Not new at all. Lift a little more, carry it a little further, feel colder in the morning, and get the warmth your movement created. It has been called everything from life, to country livin or mountain living, back to the land. I think there is a twist. The twist for today is that I’m speaking to those of us whose lives are not ecologically integrated. I can’t imagine that is not each of us. Even some solar powered chamie shined anarchist living on bed bugs drove to the “land” they bought with a bond extricated at the top of time. Forget shame but dont sham we are historically situated (I’ve been told this is so). We have so much delivered to us by near slave labor.
Ecological fitness begins where we are. It doesn’t require leaving, and understands we are “in the country” right now, always. So, as much as being a fitness program, this is an attempt at re conceptualizing our articulation with and of the environment. How do we move in our environment? What is both the internal and external milieu, How is it supporting us and we it. Are we it distinctions useful?
What might some basic tenants of Ecological Fitness look like? If you have a wood stove, your workout is getting firewood. If you can carry one piece, that’s your workout. If that keeps you warm, an integration has happened. If your still cold, you might continue to collect more firewood, developing fitness in the domain of staying warm. Perhaps you need help getting firewood. Your neighbor might help you. That neighbor has now integrated fitness again, now bringing community and perhaps even caring into the equation. She is now stronger, both of body and whatever name we apply to those other domains. Simply Country living? Perhaps you are hungry in the city. You walk to the corner store rather than drive. Now, instead of conceptualizing this simply as a fitness regime, it is extended. You see your neighbors, they see you. A child sees you talking to his mother and his world is changed. Perhaps on the way you notice some litter. Tomorrow you carry a small bag and pick up a piece of recycling. An integration has occurred. Neighbor(hood)s are connected, body is strengthened, and those other domains, the ones with names like mind and spirit are altered. Ecological fitness is a recognition that the world and ourselves are always already in a natural state. The idea that city and country are somehow qualitatively discreet is dismantled or ignored. The belief that we and our world are either natural or industrial is recognized as the convenient construct that it is.
Might ecological fitness be a movement? Sure. We can create workouts. An example goes something like this. I imagine you can be far more creative. Carry your neighbors groceries home two blocks, or, if you need it, let your neighbor help you. Perhaps talk with one and other en route. Advanced workouts? Boot camp becomes a month long volunteer project in your neighborhood. Do the labor. Feel the labor. Rather than simply trying to get the work done, re conceptualize it. It is making you stronger, it is integrating you ecologically.
Clearly many are and have always done the workouts. As I said up front, this has gone by many names. Most of all I’m trying to create a new conceptual framework around fitness. This new model will include variable long valued and promoted. The only novel idea is that fitness is not only about the the movement of mass over time. It begins to employ or be made up of a more complex set of variables.
You might argue that there is no need for this. It is fine to continue to define each concept in narrow terms. Fine to let fitness be about mass over time, and leave the other stuff to concepts of community, faith, love etc. One argument in favor of integration relates to time. If there is value deemed in community and love and faith, why spend not integrating those concept into our life. Why not integrate?

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