What is the scope of human body? What is its range? Is it simply a hairy bag of water that responds to the world by cause and effect? Is it something that can be isolated on a laboratory bench or a treadmill and tested to discover its true nature? Or is it something larger, bushier and more dynamic? In days gone by, we used to think that the body was simply a fancy, stand-alone organism, bounded by skin and separated from the rest of the world. But now, with recent discoveries in neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology, we're coming to the realization that the body lives at the center of a vast web of forces, influences and processes. Our bodies are not stand-alone structures; they are in a constant dance of relationship and adjustment with habitat, team and tribe. If we are ever to really understand and train our bodies, we need a multi-disciplinary approach.

But multi-disciplinary studies are often messy and wide-ranging, so we need a way to condense our understanding into simple forms. As I've struggled with this challenge, I discovered that we can put many of our insights into a simple list, all beginning with the letter "E." This led me to The Exuberant Animal Essentials, a compilation of principles for training and living. Try this list for yourself and see what you can do with it. Feel free to pass this around to your friends and training partners.