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  • Writer's pictureAsh

Why you should stop moving.

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Christmas can be a barrage - buy, eat, drink, run every day in December... there seems to be an endless supply of things you 'must' do.

If you love a journey, and whether that is running, climbing, cycling or walking, it is essential that you know how, when, and what to do when you do stop.

"no-mad" is about nomadic style journeys, and doing it in a 'not mad' kind of way. Learning the ability to stop, to sit, to exist within your journey is a really key skill - it is the campcraft / bushcraft / hill craft that enables enough us recovery time to continue. And like everything else (navigation, first aid etc) it is a skill to be practised.

In journeys that rely upon physical and mental strength to complete, the need to recognise that we only adapt, physically and mentally, when we are at rest is crucial. Remember it is not the act of press-ups that makes you stronger, it is the rest afterwards that allows new muscle tissue to grow. For some journeys (mental or physical) and training, that rest needs to be, at times, incredibly mindful. Whilst looking at and appreciating the space around us is important (being in nature, or for navigation for example), what we feel inside is also very important to acknowledge.

Many people with an endurance sport background learn to ignore niggles, or pain, which is really useful in competition, and other circumstances where resilience is needed, but longer term this isn't hugely sustainable. Also many people subscribe to the doing more must be better, junk miles in runners terms. But, in resting, properly resting, we allow our body to recover, in feeling we allow our minds to recover and adapt to challenges. Whilst this might sound a bit 'hippy' or therapeutic it's how many nomadic people who take on huge journeys not only survive, but become successful at thriving in adverse conditions. Many rituals are in place to allow this recovery or to stimulate growth in members of those tribes and people. This is something in the cosseted world can lose in day to day life in a more privileged domestic, western setting.

If your calf hurts, or fearful of a certain ridge, specific white water rapid, or if you have a level of fatigue through training, or journeying, then only really connecting with that pain/injury/fear/fatigue will allow you to not only continue, but become stronger and more capable.

So whilst the Boxing Day sales rage, and the general excess of Christmas subsides - stringing a hammock up, under a tarpaulin and rocking gently feels a very 'no-madic' way to spend a few hours.

And, as a friend recently pointed out - Confucius said "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."

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