Everyone knows that going to the gym as an adult can seem impossible. It’s February, and your New Year’s resolution to “get fit” has sadly taken the back burner. The minutia and struggles of day-to-day life are priority now. With discount valentine’s candy in hand, we are now consumed with packing our kid’s lunch, making sure we don’t piss off our boss for being late (again), or perhaps taking some time to ponder our country’s support for a certain presidential candidate. Fear not, readers. There is hope for us — not only for a fit president, but also for our physical fitness.
Extreme calisthenics. While the word extreme in front of a workout style can seem daunting to the average American, know this workout is more than an avenue to a godlike physique; it’s an art, a passion, a lifestyle. It may sound foreign, but this craze is not new; it’s been sweeping the nation for almost 20 years. Its roots can be traced back to urban metropolises such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami, but it is branching out to cities everywhere, including our very own Oak City.
Native North Carolinian and accomplished filmmaker Rain Bennett fell in love with calisthenics in 2007 and has been actively practicing and promoting it ever since. As an artist and athlete, Bennett has been on a lifelong search for an activity that would marry his passions, and he has found his heart in the art of calisthenics. He discovered calisthenics on what he calls the “rabbit hole of YouTube” and moved to New York to immerse himself in the culture of it. He says that it “borders disciplines that are all growing … yoga, gymnastics, parkour, cross fit and breakdancing.”
Bennett’s love and admiration for the calisthenics’ culture motivated him to create the documentary Raise Up: The World is Our Gym. It chronicles the social and cultural benefits that street calisthenics has made — and is making — globally. When asked his inspiration behind the film, Bennett simply says, “I’m all heart.” His heart is evident in Raise Up. The film premieres at the Rialto Theatre on Thursday, March 10 at 7 PM.