Saturday, May 15, 2010

A man can dream...

I'm really enjoying my new venture into physical therapy (P/T, I think, is the commonly used abbreviation). I'm finding it a wonderful expression of the concept of "meeting you at your point of need." Your therapist helps you today do what you need to do today to work on a weakness that you have today. And the goals are always wonderful: control first, power later; control first, speed later. Power and speed are useless without control; and really, even more than that, what good are power or speed if you have no means of controlling what you're trying to do?

In some recent electronic correspondence between college classmates, one (who is currently in P/T because he had some cardiac issues and was completely bedridden for a few weeks) described P/T as being "for people who or old or sick," and longs for the return of the day when he will be able to ditch this "therapy" stuff and go back to the good old days in the weight room.

Now, just think for a moment, how the world might be different if every person who wanted to go to the gym, or enter any fitness program, had someone with the same "meet you at point of need" guidance as I have been given in my own physical therapy. They might be told that flexibility is more important than bulk; that endurance is more important than short-lived force; and--here's an idea--that control is more important than raw speed or raw power, because after all, what good is speed or power if you have no control over it?

"Gentleness," after all, happens when someone has strength, but chooses not to use it. Given the choice between a world where people are so bulked up that they can't move, glistening with sweat, and grunting as they engage weight-lifting machines, and a world where people are powerful enough, flexible enough, strong enough--"enough" meaning "enough to meet their real needs"-- and have strength but, in choosing not to use it, are gentle...

Well... as Professor Farnsworth in Futurama once said, "A man can dream."

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