The two words in Creative Calisthenics are inseparable. Take one away from the other and the whole system breaks down. Here’s the obvious one: Creative [Blank]. You’ve taken the body away, there is no more exercise. The subtle one: [Blank] Calisthenics. You still have bodyweight exercise, but the whole beauty of it has been compromised.
Tricks Are For Kids
There’s a common saying “tricks are for kids” and it is uttered by ones who pretend that being grown is cool, that being repetitive should be your goal. Where does this delusion come from? Sure, strength is more fundamental than tricks – but it’s nothing without expression. Tricks are a form of expression, and expression keeps you young.
There is a lingering group of people involved in calisthenics that have all together dropped the creative, and they frown upon anyone who tries to be expressive. No. For them strength is all there is. Bigger, Badder, more reps, more weight. These folks are in the business of the mundane, and are actively trying to convince others that their fantasy worlds are ideal. Pay no mind. Expression is ideal, and to be constantly strong is to be weak. Strength is a means to an end, it is driven by the creative. Without the creative, strength becomes a chore. It becomes work.
A Word on Street Workout
I’m going to sidetrack a little to talk about Street Workout. It’s another alias for Creative Calisthenics that’s used often. Even though the name was given with the best intentions in mind, “Street Workout” is both vague and has a negative connotation. It is vague because you can be lifting weights on the street and it can be referred to as street workout. With the same token, running is a form of street workout. You are getting a workout on the streets, albeit on the sidewalk. It also connotes a certain mischievous act, belonging to the poor, belonging to the outlaw, to the uneducated. Creative Calisthenics is both descriptive and sidesteps this connotation.
The Fit Accountant
Without strength there are no tricks, but without tricks the strength decays. It fights itself, it tries to outdo itself. Here lies the stress of uncreative calisthenics. The only goal is more. More reps, more weight. How can you constantly push yourself to do more of the same thing and not be stressed? This type of attitude is seen not just at the playground, but at the workplace. We compete to fill out more sheets, work longer hours. We exhaust ourselves without ever thinking to get creative and make the whole thing a game. Reps are repetitive, cyclical. And if your whole goal with exercise is to go in circles, you will constantly find yourself where you began. Your dreams will consist of doing more repetitions. You are dealing with numbers. An accountant has been born. You were working out, but you became a mathematician. How is this possible?
Forget willpower, it is not necessary. Forget pushing yourself to go to the park or gym to exercise. If you embrace the creative, it will drive you to the park. Your body will itch until you exercise, until you invest your energy in expression. It has to do with how you use your energy. Will it be to repeat yourself? Or to express yourself? Again, the strength is needed and vital, but it should not be your focus. Not why you get up every morning.
If you embrace this realm of creativity, the endlessness of its nature, all will be easy. Exercise will at last be easy. Pre-workouts will be replaced with nothing, because nothing external is needed to be motivated to grow. Goals of doing more will inspire you, not stress you out. Your goals will be to do more with your body, not to do more of the same that you have done yesterday.
Next time we’ll talk about how to ignite creativity, and come up with your own movements. Till then,
Lead. Inspire. Change.
-Images by Banga Studios