Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
As Primal enthusiasts, we owe it to ourselves to spend time in the great outdoors – early man’s original stomping grounds. Sadly enough, the increasing encroachment of civilization upon nature’s boundaries makes it easy for most people to forget about the wilderness. Opting for the mall or the TV is simply easier and more convenient than making the trek out to the woods and connecting with our Primal roots. But mimicking Grok has many health benefits. We are products of Mother Nature. This idea forms the backbone of the Primal Blueprint. We’ve since moved onto condos and white bread, but that doesn’t erase the fact that our bodies are attuned to living in the wild (and all that such a life entails). Which is why we highly encourage you to “get Primal” in the great outdoors. In this PB adventure not only will you be getting away from the city for some fresh air and a stress-free experience, but you’ll also be moving your body like Grok for natural fitness gains and soaking up some valuable rays for the all-important Vitamin D in the process.
Read on to find out the dirty (literally) details of this Primal Challenge:
When you finally do make it outdoors, don’t treat the trail like a treadmill. If you’re after a sanitized experience, just stay home and use the Bowflex. Project yourself into the mind of Primal man. Try experiencing the day-to-day hard-scrabble life of Primal man. You won’t be running from saber-tooths or taking down mammoths, but you can do a pretty faithful job if you commit to the experience.
At first, it might feel a bit weird. After all, those guys were doing all this stuff out of necessity. They had to climb trees to escape predators or reach honeycombs. Heavy rocks were thrown to fell prey or protect kin. There weren’t staircases, or trails, or ladders, so early man had to be able to get himself around and stay out of trouble. Aren’t you just some tourist tricking yourself with artifice? No! You’re a Primal Blueprinter deeply committed to being the most authentic person you can be. It’s the best you can do without a Delorian and flux-capacitor.
Try it all! Keeping a measured pace interspersed with shorts bursts of intensity, explore your surroundings as Grok would have. Grip the knobby shaft of a tree branch and hoist yourself up and over; scramble over streams and boulders on all fours, using every muscle in your body; engage your senses and listen for wildlife. If you hear something, go after it. You might encounter a mountain lion, but that’s just a glorified house cat. And besides, you’re not some doughy weekend warrior – you’re a warrior! (Okay, don’t chase mountain lions, but still…) Pluck lizards off of rock faces, and then release them. Immerse yourself in the experience.
Avoid the trail (but keep an eye on it) and blaze your own (but check for ticks). See that tree? Climb it. That cliff? Scale it. Swing from vines, wade through rivers, and don’t be afraid to get dirty. Lift heavy rocks (with proper form – even cavemen suffered slipped discs), and then throw them as far as you can. Aim for a pretend antelope. Grab a stick and dig. Unearth a tree root, imagining it as a tuber necessary for survival. Carry a heavy stone for as long as you can like you’re transporting a fresh kill back home.
Bring plenty of water and carry a cell phone in case things go wrong. But most importantly, enjoy yourself. Getting away from the madness of city life will relax and soothe you. Even if you live in a tame suburb, you’ll immediately notice the absence of ambient noise. The silence in the wild can be almost deafening – in a good way! Forget your job and your bills for a few hours and go back to that time for an immersive Primal experience.
Live like Grok for a day and then come back to the comment boards and share your story. I look forward to hearing about your experience!