Wednesday, May 2, 2012

When in doubt...burpees!

From one thing, know ten thousand things.
- Miyamoto Musashi
When in doubt do burpees
I'm interested in axioms.  Why?  Because everything you do must have foundations and those foundations must continually be examined, corrected, and transcended.

Euclid brought to the world 5 basic precepts to all geometric thought.  Riemann did an even greater service to the world by eliminating the impossibility of parallel lines meeting and restructuring our perception of the world.  We literally see something different now when we peer at the universe because Riemann simply asked a simple question:  'why'.

Studying the basis for Non-Euclidean geometry will serve an athlete well.  And so studying burpees with discipline and patience will serve an athlete well.

The moral of the story:  always stick to basics from which you build whole architectures.  Stick to foundations and you will build great things.

For me the burpee is grounded in all the important components of fitness and movement.

Never substitute form for achieving higher numbers.  I'll do 2 good burpees over 200 so-so ones.  You are only cheating yourself.  Break down each and every movement of the burpee.  Stop yourself at every point and feel every muscle contracting and flexing.  Go maddeningly slow.  I remember as a musician how hard it is to play slow.  Same for fitness.

(Good luck trying to play this at the original tempo...only a skilled master should dare attempt!)

I fret and fuss over form all the time.  Why?  Because there is the root of all your future successes.  You will never excel beyond the starting line if you are not digging deep into fundamentals for traction.

Here the work of Thomas Kuhn becomes paramount.  Newton was a very smart man but his work could not account for WTF Mercury's orbit was doing.  Einstein, who was nerding out over the foundations of space and time, quite simply solved the equations by looking at foundations.

Why all the links and references to scientific and philosophical heroes of mine?  If I can convey one thing in this post it would be this:

If you want to excel as an athlete, embrace your inner scientist.  If you want to excel as scientist, embrace your inner philosopher.  If you want to excel as a philosopher, embrace your inner athlete.

1 comment:

  1. Addendum.

    Love your words, once again (see previous comment in another post). They couldn't be more insightful, or true. May I suggest though, that on this (antrophomorphic) quest of athletic enlightenment, we also maintain our inner kid? Not the temper tantrum throwing, whiny (snotty) kid, but the curious, always imagining, joyful one who never stops asking why, or paints the driveway with water because her mother said she it was impossible to do with a water color paint brush (now we know it was so Mom could rest, but a huge challenge for a small child who deems nothing impossible). :)

    Albert Einstein also said "The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives."

    In simple terms: don't forget to have FUN! and SMILE. It's contagious.