Author: Skoti Pepper
I was your typical ‘energetic’ child (that’s what we called it back in the late 80’s early 90’s, not *insert a popular behavioural condition*) always up for an adventure, through my maze in the backfield, archways made by tying the long lofty dry grass to go crawling through. Numerous tree houses and territorial areas of play colonised over the fields, hills, rivers and swamps where ever I would be calling home.
I became the master of the “recycle, renew, reuse” saying during this period of my life, farmer’s fences and whatever scrap wood, carpets, nails, tools, roof felt, rope, pallets we could ‘harvest’ the more ‘extra’ our dens and tree houses became.
I hurt myself a lot, but I learnt so much, without realising it. I was teaching my body the many abundant ways in which we could use the animal more; our bodies. When I moved to the town I didn’t have much of a physical outlet until I discovered dancing. Moving your body just for the sheer expression and release, to purge without wasting food, but using it as fuel to radiate your non-verbal message. Fast forward the best part of a decade and the dance world had taken its toll on me, I had become a performing monkey and not a creature of genuine expression. It was forced and contrived, it wasn’t expressing what was deep within me, which seldom resonates with me. After a stint in the military, building a more endurance and calisthenics foundation in the body, I pulled the plug on everything.
A few years later, I discover climbing and it couldn’t have come at a better time; several members of my family had recently been diagnosed with various forms/stages of cancer, another developed fibromyalgia, there was severe depression wreaking havoc through the family. Between them and my learning to deal with my own issues surrounding the abuse, ‘mental medication’ and other low key issues I was developing, climbing came along and just diverted me. I fell in love.
I wanted to get good at it, I love the intricacies of the movement it required, I love being part of the physics in action, the random crazy hit of adrenaline where you then have to go and burn it off on a million other routes. I was energised and as I said, I wanted to get good at it, I was super driven by how beautiful a climb moved, looked and graded, in that order. I simply want to move well, that is it. I know I will get better over time and I might slip back, but I’m not retiring anytime soon and I treat it as a meditation; you just have to gently keep coming back to the task on hand once you’ve realised you’re off on an unhelpful tangent.
Yoga, calisthenics, animal movement, cycling all joined my life because I had an innate knowledge that they would complement each other’s common ailments associated with said discipline. I had to start fuelling my body accordingly in order to keep up with my physical output, because I really wanted to see what I could do with my body. Meditation become something I pursued, explored and practiced, leading me to lessons and psychological developments that had pushed me much further than the medical world were able to.
Upon reflection, as I age looking back at my relatively short life, I look to movement as a life-source; it is why I often choose to build my body with the food I eat; it has times where it is a an additional meditation. All of this I strongly believe has contributed towards my continuous healing as a human, and is what is turning me into a constantly advancing being whilst giving that inner child a stronger, more structurally sound and more capable body to play around as. This experience, continuous knowing, exploring and appreciation for our evoluntionary blueprint is what I truly believe is the route towards being a healthier, stronger, MF Badass animal. I cannot explain nor emphasise enough how much giving myself to movement and really seeing the bigger picture of it has changed my life for the better, you end up honouring yourself more, which is a far cry from the suicidal child I once was. I cannot ignore that and that is why I share, partake and keep exploring, because I know the damage an unhealthy environment can cause in all aspects of that word so you have to ultimately save your own life.
Mixing different disciplines has been so energising for me, it has taken years of exploration, approaching life physically and spiritually whilst riding the peaks and troughs of being very lucid whilst being in the very moment; flowstate. Discovering flowstate, learning about it and then exploring it beyond my the education in a first person context is so rich and mind blowing. It is a bit like putting yourself into a state that is a kin to wearing a VR headset and you just feel different because visually you are out of your perception and understanding of the world. That is what flowstate can feel like, you become so involved in your senses and your point of focus; norepinephrine, dopamine, endorphins, anandamide, and serotonin are all taking the lead and you become one with arguable one of the ultimate states of consciousness.
When you get to experience something like flowstate during movement, it just opens up a whole new set of layers to using your body. The cerebral aspects of you start to integrate with the physical aspects of you and this is a sensory experience that you cannot manufacture. It is an experience that you can only build upon and continue to learn more about whilst constantly working towards environments (both internal and external) that provide the possibility for us to drop into flowstate. I get tingly just thinking that my body has these experiences, it is a gift from generations of evolution thanks to the mighty universe working its magic.
And that is why I move.