Friday, November 28, 2008

What One Thing Implies the Rest?

When I first encountered Alzheimer’s and dementias in the ‘80s when it became the epidemic condition of aging, I was struck by the unresponsiveness of such people, particularly since there seemed to be nothing otherwise wrong with them. And that is the perplexing challenge of that condition -- that the brain seems disconnected from every other functioning of that individual, so that it was impossible to have any clue and interaction with such an individual anymore.

It was very obvious to me that if there was any one thing worthwhile for them to do, it would be to retain that expressiveness until it was absolutely impossible -- yet by doing so, they never lost it, but increased that ability of expressiveness.

The remarkable realization was noticing that the maintenance of that range at the extremities of expression, required and activated the support of the large muscles designed for that function of providing base stability, support and empowerment.

One is familiar with the impressive physical development of those who for a brief time in their lives, devote themselves dedicatedly and wholly, if not exclusively, to finding out what is the greatest development possible for them to achieve. That is a healthy and healthful impulse that unfortunately becomes corrupted by the competition for great commercial and professional success afforded to only a few -- which means competing by some standard not determined solely by one’s own best potential., unless one just is that genetic freak with that potential.

All others will be consumed by their failure to achieve that singular success -- and fail to appreciate their own great accomplishment. The approval and approbation of anyone else, or even everyone else, is never the best reason and motivation for doing anything. The highest achievement is to set one’s own standards -- and exceed them always.

‘The traditional measure has been increasing the workload or resistance, rather than the much simpler and more meaningful increase in the range of one’s movement -- that tends to deteriorate with greater resistance. Inversely, the range and form of that movement, is greatest when there is no resistance to achieving it.
But the beauty of this realization, is noting that the muscle achieving this greatest range of motion, also achieves its greatest contraction, which is the ultimate expression of each muscle -- and not any other measurement.

That is seldom even thought, or supsected, in the preoccupation with lifting the weight, throwing the ball, or running many laps -- but assuredly, it is that which is the greatest achievement and significance any muscle can be conditioned to achieve.


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