Recently, a friend suggested I start talking a little bit about HEMA. It’s really to be expected, what with the whole Barbarian thing going on here.
My initial reaction was to reject it. After all, while I use the imagery of a barbarian here, I want to focus on real-world applicable activities. But I decided to delve a little deeper and see if there were any applications we could use in our modern world.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “HEMA,” it stands for Historical European Martial Arts. Generally, it’s thought of as a whole set of historical sword fighting methods, though it also incorporates unarmed techniques like pugilism and wrestling.
For a while now, I’ve understood that we weren’t really evolved for our modern world.
Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t want to go back to living in mud huts and gather fruits and nuts as a way to make a living. I just understand that in the course of human evolution, our modern world is but a blip. We haven’t had time to evolve to consume the kind of food we consume while lacking the need to move much, if any.
However, earlier this week I came across an article that argued depression, of all things, was a disease of civilization. It also suggested some interesting ways to deal with it.
Not every day is going to be filled with motivation. You’re not always going to feel like lifting heavy weights and getting all sweaty.
I know. I had one of those days today. I was feeling down for no really good reason and just didn’t want to do much of anything. I just felt like I wanted to crawl back in bed and take a good, long nap.
Our culture is littered with cliches about how bad days happen. “You win some, you lose some,” or the very similar, “you can’t win them all,” or even, “Some days, you eat the bear. Other days, the bear eats you.”
We all know that bad days happen, and anyone who has spent much time on this planet knows that they can happen in bunches.
I’ve had kind of an up-and-down week. I’ve had great days and great workouts, but I’ve also been feeling a little down…always on days I’m not lifting.
Now, this tells me something. It tells me that lifting improves my mood. This isn’t surprising in the least. It’s probably pretty normal. If I lift, I feel like I’ve accomplished something and perhaps triggered some endorphins to release. Who knows.
But here’s the problem with that fact.
Starting Strength calls for a three day per week lifting schedule if you do it by the book. While I’m generally a fan of the program, there are problems that I’ve recognized even beyond my previous review. At this point, I’ve been doing it for three months, and I’m seeing some lifts lag behind a bit while others do incredibly well.
Further, the lack of anything in between is problematic for me considering what I’m seeing regarding my mood.