Crawling in the woods is a great way to get in touch with both the nature inside you and the nature around you. Hands and feet touching the ground. Almost every muscle in the body engaged. The smell of soil and organic matter. All the small details on the ground I never used to pay attention to now reveals themselves. An ant crosses my finger. “There you crawl and here I crawl,” I say out loud to myself.
I practice my leopard crawl. I know that I don’t look as supple as an Eurasian lynx.
But when I now see a squirrel climb down a tree, I do it with much more attention and admiration.
Because now, even I, a modern human, know how it feels like to have a lot of pressure from my body weight on my hands and through my shoulders. Watching that squirrel, my mirror neurons start firing.
And the more I crawl, the stronger I become also in upright positions. I feel a desire to mimic ancient human work. So I start moving a log.
Using a wide variety of different techniques.
My body feels awake. I begin to think of how the old school cross-country skiers used to train. Even up until the early 70’s, all the best cross-country skiers worked as lumberjacks. I increase the intensity and start battling the log up a steep hill.
Breathing and working like this (note: it’s not only me breathing, the cameraman had just done his 2.5 minutes of log moving himself…), makes my body and mind feel just like it did on my best days as a cross-country skier.
My training buddy and I continue into the woods. Running fast in the terrain while we throw and catch a birch stick between us. The hand-eye coordination becomes fine-tuned and it’s exciting to do something that demands focus and speed.
The sun has set. On our way home in the dusk, I’m still excited and creative. I want to try to combine crawling and moving a log. Both down the hill:
And up the hill:
The next day, it is back to work. I work as a teacher. We go outside.
[This would have been the best part of the article, but I work at a public school and I’m not allowed to share pictures of my students.]
Thank you Original Strength, MovNat and Nutritious Movement for your great inspiration and generous sharing of knowledge!
Text: Kjell-Christian Markset Photos and videos: Joachim Løvenskiold
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