You notice, inevitably when you really starts getting in shape. Everything, even plain walking becomes that much easier. Every step is an amazing experience. It’s like you are actually levitating. You don’t, but it feels like you do. After two years and more with slow, painstaking movement I noticed that things were finally happening, that I could tell myself that I had actually started with the exercise. I started pushing myself in earnest, pushing myself hard every time I ventured into the forest. Paths and forest rails that had seemed endless suddenly appeared more than doable, at least in anything resembling my old pace. Then I started experimenting, to push even harder every time I felt up to it. I can’t recall exactly when I began tracking time. It just happened, in a natural way, and during just a few months during that summer I improved my personal best almost daily. Oh, there were days when I misjudged myself and the track and was completely exhausted long before I reached the end, but I learned slowly but surely how to best utilize my strength and exercise more effectively.
Yes, a day without exercise practically becomes a day without meaning. You feel that in a very tangible way eventually. You may get downright miserable if you don’t exercise for a few days, if you don’t take that trip into the forest and experiencing the Life out there. There is both a mental and very physical element to this, and they’re mutually reliant on each other.
I learned to handle injuries on my own, to heal while exercising, learned to know my body, know myself in ways I had hardly believed possible. It is more than clear to me, now that this was the first step on what would become my further spiritual development. Most people believe that you should take a step back and relax when injuries appear, but that’s just in extreme cases. What you should do the moment you realize you have a prevalent injury that won’t go away «by itself» is to do alternative exercise, move differently from what you usually do. The correct response to an injury is to train yourself back to full health. Oh, months of inactivity could pass before I learned that, but eventually the injuries became the exception, not the rule. I learned to discover an injury before it appeared, so to speak, and that, among countless other great impacts made me feel like two-hundred percent more than once during a given period of time. Everything feels so easy, no matter how hard it is.
It was wild beyond reason for a while. I did a run before breakfast, one before dinner and one a while afterwards (and one even at night). A run followed by hard physical exercise, like sit-ups, push-ups and lifting and lowering myself from a pole, often a random branch in the forest and around the house. During summer swimming added to the variety of my prowess, long, hard swimming trips many times, back and forth and around the large lake not far from the house. Swimming is incredibly effective exercise. You get to use virtually all the muscles in the body and all excess fat vanish like dew in the sunshine a summer morning.
During winter I was doing more exercises, more power training, so to speak, more of the push-ups and sit-ups and all, and I grew pretty big. I was hundred and ten kilos with pure muscle. I decided it was too much and decided to shrink myself a little, making it easier to run again, to once again become a more effective exercise machine. To be ten kilos above your ideal weight is good if you’re lifting weights in competitions and stuff, but quite tiresome otherwise. So, I learned to trim myself. When Brandon Lee told Dolph Lundgren in the film Showdown in Little Tokyo (not a very good movie btw) that an excess of muscles makes for a less able body, I nodded empathically. I noticed it easily when I trained with my katana, my Japanese sword, noticed how much easier the flow was after months with focus on agility instead of muscle-building.
As always I learned everything on my own, and as always that makes everything feels even better. No one has stood there and pushed me. I was growing, not only once but many times, and that was when I found my pretty straightforward philosophy: if there is any reason we are here, any reason at all it is to learn, learn of our own volition, without being forced into a pattern or a narrow mindset. When I started with Magick, when I became the witch I had always been, had been born to become that was an even more useful lesson. Humans are eternal entities without beginning, without end and we gain ever more experience as the centuries pass by.
The level of exercise has waned and waxed since then, sometimes high, sometimes low, but the foundation is always there, available if I wish to go sky high again. Sometimes I manage to keep it going during the entire winter and gain a fantastic foundation for the spring and summer. Other times I take it easy. But the most important, the crucial aspect of it is never going away: the forest and the wilderness and the life there, so contrary, so much opposed to the society of death we exist in every day. The exercise isn’t the most important component. The wilderness and our Life there is. We are born Wild, and that is also how we should Live.