Hey friends, and welcome to this episode of HGTV. Today I want to take 3 minutes to elaborate on a metaphor I used in our last conversation:
“It’s all about using exercise science as a tool – a piece of technology, really – to elevate our experience of movement outside of the gym. Exercise is about developing the physical tools, the metabolic technology, with which we engage with the world around us.
If there’s a single line that everyone seems to remember from high-school biology, it’s that the “Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.” We learn all about adenosine triphosphate, we learn all about these metabolic pathways for athletic performance, but what if we instead thought about them for artistic performance?
Focusing on fitness for the sake of fitness is like making an instrument and then never playing it.
Here’s a fun little fact for you – for about a year when I was studying music at the University of Delaware, I very seriously considered getting into the research and development of cymbal making. I got books all about the history of the cymbals, which have been made in Istanbul for centuries. I also got into speciality cymbals like this K Custom Flat Ride. It doesn’t have a domed bell shape like other cymbals, and that provides it with unique sound qualities.
Just like someone took the time to experiment with and research how to create those specific sound qualities, the application of exercise science can be applied with the same intention.
When you’re exercising, you’re playing the role of the artisan. You’re a Turkish cymbal maker, or you’re Stradivarius, building violins. You’re the person sharpening chisels for Michaelangelo. You’re producing paper and ink for Emily Bronte, or creating paint for Frida Kahlo, or building the computer for J.K. Rowling.
O’Shaughnessy wrote that, “We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams.” He did not write, “We are the cymbal makers, and we are the sewers of seams.”
The cymbals are made to be played, the clothing is made to be worn. It’s in this sense that we play multiple roles within our own navigation of movement. When we are exercising to intentionally improve our metabolic machinery, we are playing the role of the artisan.
When we are moving with the intent of experiencing something delightful and artistic, then we are playing the role of Artist, taking advantage of the work that our inner Artisan put in to enhance our ability to create our art. It is of the utmost importance that we know when we are wearing the hat of artist, and when we’re hearing that hat of an artisan.
If you really want to be nerdy about this, the hat of the artist dances on top of the support of the hat of the artisan… just like a pair of hi-hats!
Canadian philosopher and media theorist Marshal McLuhan said, ““We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”
When I bought this crash cymbal, or this splash cymbal, the inclusion of a new instrument provided me with a richer palette, an increased the variety of sounds that I was able to make. I had more tools to use to create my art.
It’s in this exact same way that I envision us using exercise science: As a technology of biology with which we can shape the tools of our metabolic machinery so that they can in turn shape us with broader, deeper, and more meaningful experiences of the world around us.
First we make our LaDucas, and then we go dance in them.
Alright friends, that’s it for this episode of HGTV – the Artisan and the Artist. Thanks so much for joining me, and now I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think about this framing of fitness? How does it apply to your life? When are you the Artisan, and when are you the Artist? Send me a message, or leave a comment, and let me know!
As always you can watch these words on Instagram. Cheers!