Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash

Now here’s a word I love in every possible way. And probably more than any sensible person should love a specific set of alphabets aligned in a meaningful way. Despite the risk of sounding like a hardcore weirdo, here goes.

I love the way it looks on a piece of paper (or on the screen), the way it resonates in my ears, the way it feels in my mouth when I say it out loud. Or even better, when I whisper it on to a microphone while looking at myself in the mirror. 

Ah, the way people look at me when I say it. The way I look at people when they look at me when I say it… Ok, it wasn’t that weird.

Resiliency. Say it with me. Resiliency. Now go stand in front of the mirror and say it again. “Resiliency…” Let it linger. I was right, right?

But most of all, I love what it means:

The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

I love it in both the mental and physical contexts. But for now, let’s stick with what it means to be physically resilient.

Resiliency to injuries

You’re running through the woods, taking deep breaths of fresh air, filling your nostril cavities, odorant receptors and lungs with the smell of the misty rain. A bird! As thoughts of admiration for those vibrant colours of the feathered creature form in your mind, you take a miss step into an old wombat burrow. Thumb! You face plant with force and twist your ankle in the process. 

“Scheissen!”, you scream out loud and expect to see a throbbing ankle stare back at you. Your mind plays through the near future misery. You’re convinced that these silent misty morning runs are going to be on hold for a while. At least an ankle strain, if not something worse.

But, alas. After five minutes, the ankle feels normal. You put a bit of weight on it. Feels fine. So you put a bit more weight on it.. Still fine. Marching in place, running in place, vigorous cossack cavalry dance in place. All of it feels fine. And indeed, your ankle is fine. 

You sweep up the broken pieces of your ego and return to the trail with a sense of having just dodged a proverbial bullet shot out of an old wombat burrow and aimed at your ankle.

Resiliency. That strength training you’ve done has paid off.

Strength training doesn’t mean that you’ll never get injured.

Because sometimes you might. But it’s likely that the strength training you’ve put in allows you to escape with less damage to the injured area. 

With a buffer of physical resiliency from training the body can absorb more of the impact. Bend more without breaking and protect the joint for further injury.

Resiliency to complete unplanned tasks in life

Now, this is not the greatest feat of strength anyone’s ever mastered. But it serves as a good example. And makes me look like a decent bloke. Which is really the reason for this website to exist in the first place. So here goes.

The other day I ducked out to the shops with our son.

After parking, I carried him on one arm as we made our way through the car park and towards the shops. Just before walking through the sliding doors I saw an old geezer with a cane. He had a trolly filled with cases of soft drinks and was he clearly struggling to push the damn thing forward.

There was no way he was able to push the trolley down the ramp and to his car. Let alone being able to lift the cases into his car. How he got the cases in the trolley still remains a mystery to me.

I could see his eyes were searching for a connection. To raise the attention of any helpful individual. As he was being ignored by the able, but bad mannered and ruined youth who just walked past him, I offered to help. 

So I took the geezer’s trolley to his car and loaded the cases in the boot for him. Despite him being adamant that shouldn’t or couldn’t do it while carrying a child. Which I guess tells something about how physically intimidating I am.

In the end, it made the old guy’s life just a bit easier. And despite my persistent and repeated decline of reward, he shoved a five dollar note in my son’s pocket as we turned to walk away. Which I guess tells something about the homeless look I have. 

Either way, he wanted me to buy candy for the kid. Which we didn’t do. I bought a beer for myself instead. Sacrifices us parents do to protect our kid’s teeth from cavities.

One has to wonder about that old geezer…

What if he would’ve been strength training his whole life? Maybe he wouldn’t need my help. Maybe he wouldn’t need a cane. After all, he wasn’t that old. Just in a sad state of physical health.

Or maybe… he had been strength training his whole life. Maybe he once was strong and resilient. And maybe everything changed in a car accident years ago. An accident that left him physically incapable. Who knows?

Regardless, I know I will do whatever it takes so I have the resiliency to carry my own groceries when I’m his age.

So yeah, being physically resilient makes life better.

It makes us more resilient to injuries. And when injuries do happen, the physical resiliency allows us to recover quicker.

It’s about helping the old geezer get high on soft drinks.

Giving your friend a helping hand to move the couch (and a fridge and “would you mind moving that piano and the full fish tank too”).

Or running to catch a bus and not feel like you’re sucking all the coronavirus oxygen out of the vehicle once you sit down.

Having physical resiliency makes life better.