SPRING HOPES ETERNAL

Did you know that the torso acts like a coiled spring when a golfer completes his or her backswing?

So much tension must be released…..but how? On the follow-through, that’s how!  The energy that is created and stored in the torso is the force which helps to “throw” the ball down the fairway (or onto the green).  Because remember, it ain’t in the arms!

“So let’s see…energy….in the torso…..hmmmm.  I got nothin’…..wait!  Could this concept relate to abdominal strength and its subsequent control?   Does this imply that if I strengthen my core; my abs; my torso, that I too will be a tightly wound spring that begs for release on the tee?  This could be the missing element that, if somehow applied, will change my handicap forever!  I could even apply this technique to putting!”

So don’t be a putz when it comes to your putts.  Do your game a favor and hit the Pilates mat before your round.  Heck, it might even benefit other areas of your life: your metabolism; your sleep; your love-life; your humours; your attitude; your spirit, etc.

None of these being more important than golf, of course, but you never know!

SOUND OFF!

Contrology done everyday!

CONTROLOGY DONE EVERY DAY!

Did it Joe Pilates way.

DID IT JOE PILATES WAY.

I know what you’re thinking….”Bruce, I thought you said that, in the end it doesn’t matter the style of Pilates one practices; even bad Pilates is good Pilates.”

This is ultimately true BUT….we can always aspire to a higher level and a deeper challenge.  Besides, even Rembrandt started his career with finger paints.

SOUND OFF!

TIME TO GET IN SHAPE!

AS SOON AS IT’S TOMORROW!

Such a mantra!

What can we do to get out of our rut and take a bit of time for ourselves and our physical health?

“But my time is so limited!”

Pretty soon time will NOT be on your side Mr. Jagger.

“Pilates is too expensive”

There are plenty of inexpensive choices: a class at the Y; a good Pilates DVD…….ok there’s 2.

“I don’t have anything to wear!”

When it comes down to it, the excuses that we make simply define our over-all struggle with life in general. When it comes down to making decisions, taking the initial step can be mentally agonizing for some.  But, as we know from yesterday’s post, all we have to do is prime the well a bit and water, that will trickle at first, soon will flow with ease.

There is always something positive to be gained with positive thinking.  Look forward to your workouts, and their dynamic results.  Dreading any task will make that task dreadful and interminable.

Repeat after me: “Exercise is a good thing; exercise is a good thing; exercise is a good thing; exercise…..”

COMPUTE THIS

I don’t envy the folks who are in front of a computer screen as a term of their employment.  Not only is it hard on your eyes, but the countless number of scenarios involving poor posture would overwhelm you and make your head hurt.  It would make your back hurt too.  Incorrect posture at the computer work-station lends itself to so many of our physical problems as modern humans in general; but our brothers and sisters in offices everywhere must really be suffering because of the dreaded idiot screen (to borrow/amend a phrase oft-used by my father when I was a lad).

Many factors contribute to these problems: poor chair/desk height-ratio (the middle of the screen should be horizontal to our gaze, and our legs at a 90º angle); poorly constructed chair (the carriage or wheels may have called it quits); poorly lit work area (needing to lean down to clearly see the copy that you are typing might be the reason for your aches and pains); and my personal pair of favorites:

1. Most people are ignorant as to how to hold themselves in correct posture. (Knowledge and understanding of our body can happily limit the ill-effects of letting gravity win.)

2. Most people don’t exercise enough.  (It is far easier to hold one’s self upright if the muscles of the body (especially the core muscles) are in decent shape.)

If we all can simply address these last two deficiencies in particular, then it just becomes a matter of choosing the hippest tri-focals 40 years down the road.

LONG MAY YOU RUN

Well you heard Mr. Young sing about her.  So did I, but when I heard that song as a kid I always assumed he was singing about a person.  Who knew it was about a classic car?  Well, apparently everyone but me.  I would, however, like to believe that a parallel exists between the two.  Cars are mobile; people are mobile. Cars have moving parts that wear out over the course of time; so do people.  Cars can be well maintained and highly functional long past their prime; see where this is going?  The maintenance of our physique can be vast and caring or it can be minimal and neglectful, or anywhere in between.

Would we aspire to this?

Or a better maintained version?

Correct vintage, different model.  But you get the idea.

Does your engine look like this?

Or like this?

I personally like the second of these two 1966 Mustang engine bays.  But that’s just me.

If we all just change our oil [do Pilates]; vacuum our interior [do Pilates]; wash our paint [do Pilates]; be on a first name-basis with our mechanic [our Pilates instructor], we can drive our vehicle with the same enthusiasm as those days when we rolled out of the post-adolescent showroom.  A real objective is to keep your chassis and engine in such fine working order that you will never need replacement parts.  Unlike those for cars, replacement parts for humans do not work as well as the originals and, as they are mostly installed in much older models, they take a serious amount of time to assimilate into the body, if at all.  So drive well and obey the speed limit of life.

Long May You Run!

HISTORICAL SPOTLIGHT: Alexander Selkirk

In the early 18th Century, Daniel Dafoe published his intriguing novel, Robinson Crusoe.  Some readers may be surprised to learn that Dafoe’s story was based, in part, on a real-life episode of a sailor named Alexander Selkirk.  Selkirk had spent around 4 years alone on a small island off of the coast of Chile, after being put ashore by his commanding officer.  Following a certain period of fear and uncertainty, he would eventually be forced into a more powerful and physically enhanced way of life.  This was, of course predicated upon his survival.

He astonished his English rescuers upon first meeting.

“Our pinnacle return’d from the shore…with a man cloth’d in goat-skins, who look’d wilder than the first owners of them.”

Whether using his increased stamina and strength to successfully flee and hide from inquisitive Spanish sailors who would surely have taken him as a prisoner–

“…he had much ado to escape; for they not only shot at him, but pursue’d him into the woods, where he climb’d to the top of a tree…but went off again without discovering him.”

–or to pursue and capture wild goats–

“When his powder fail’d he took them by speed of foot; for his way of living, and continual exercise of walking and running, clear’d him of all gross humours, so that he ran with wonderful swiftness thro the woods, and up the rocks and hills.”

–Selkirk completely redefined his physique from the ground up.

“He soon wore out all of his shoes and clothes by running thro the woods; and at last, being forced to shift without them, his feet became so hard that he ran everywhere without annoyance, and it was some time before he could wear shoes after we found him.  For not being used to any so long, his feet swelled when he came to wear ’em again.”

Four hundred-odd years ago a Scotsman named Selkirk was a unique example of fitness as a European for his era.  He had to be marooned on a desert island to achieve his distinction, but achieve it he did. Ironically, being rescued would be the worst thing that could happen to him physically, as he likely returned to his former state of health back in Great Britain.  But for a short period of time he was one of the worlds greatest athletes!

Meanwhile, the following exchange did not happen in Weimar Germany–

[knock knock]

Anna Magdalena Bach [answering door]: Ja Fritz?

Fritz Kleinenwasser: Frau Bach, I am here for my harpsichord lesson.

A.M Bach: Sorry Fritz, Herr Bach is still at his Ashstanga Yoga class….please have a seat.

Prollynot.

The real lesson for us modern men and women?  Use and work your body to its fullest potential and it will serve you with dependability and regularity.  Neglect will cultivate the opposite effect.  Besides, who the heck want gross humours?

Quotes excerpted from A Cruising Voyage Round the World by Woodes Rogers, 1712