Fascinating. Word of the day. Dictionary result for fascinating/ˈfasɪneɪtɪŋ/adjective
“a fascinating book”
synonyms: engrossing, captivating, absorbing, interesting, enchanting, beguiling, bewitching, enthralling, enrapturing, entrancing, spellbinding, transfixing, riveting, mesmerizing, hypnotizing, engaging, compelling, compulsive, gripping, thrilling
Bodies are fascinating and behaviours are fascinating, probably because they’re connected by ‘minds’, which are endlessly fascinating. Your brain will help you organise your movement to its best ability, regardless of whether you think it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Your brain is also clearly responsible for organising your thought patterns, which result in behaviours, some of which you might consider with hindsight to be less than ‘ideal’.
Let’s look at what we’ll put up with.
Common ‘put-up-with’ subject matters could be pain, stress and difficult relationships. What won’t we put up with? Given clinic rooms the world over are being frequented by those looking for solutions to the same three problems, we might consider the polarity to be fascinating. Some folk suffer a lot. Some folk find their tolerance limit sooner and seek help. What seems clear is the existence of a ‘tipping point’ – “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point” (Malcolm Gladwell, 2000, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference) – is a pre-requisite for a call to action.
Shutting the door after the horse has bolted is another way of phrasing it.
Seeking help along the way seems less prevalent than reaching out when body behaviours and/or mind behaviours are living in or close to the ‘scream-zone’.‘ Preventative’ isn’t nearly as common as ‘if it ain’t broken (yet) don’t fix it’.
And wonderful because it explains such a lot.
In the context of running – which I live, breathe and dream – it clarifies why injury clinics are busy (folk will prioritise funds in this direction once they can’t run) and running clubs can only charge a pittance otherwise no-one will buy in (it’s just running, right?). I know, I’ve tried for years. Just a small core of folk will put value to ‘preventative’, to seeking help with the intention of understanding how to avoid pain and over-training and how to build movement knowledge in order to fulfill their goals …. And the rest? I’ve just read something that I feel deep down I’ve always known, even though I don’t truly understand it: “People don’t want to pay to run”. Swimming? Yes. Golf? Yes. Horse-riding? Yes. Climbing, skiiing, martial arts? Yes. One2one anything (including running – generally of the please-fix-me variety) and ‘specialist’ anything, naturally. But ‘just running’? No, and this is in spite of running injury statistics not declining.
Fascinating. Because the running manufacturing industry is HUGE and money flows. Does your foot fall in? There’s a shoe that’ll ‘fix’ that. Does your Achilles’ tendon keep getting injured? There’s a strap you can sleep in that’ll ‘fix’ that. Piriformis keeping you awake at night? There’s a ball you can sit on that’ll ‘fix’ that. Need special kit for a particular event? Just google and you’ll find it.
Wonderful. Resources are wonderful. And yet. Hiking, trotting, running, sprinting … these are all natural human behaviours, that so many people have to stop, because the pain becomes overwhelming. Freedom in the outdoors, gone. Simple pleasures of walking or running with the beloved family dog, now history; it either can’t be done or it becomes a chore because it hurts too much. It makes me feel sad.
And then this kind of thing happens …
“I have found this whole experience most enlightening, in that I hadn’t anticipated learning so much about myself from this injury – the pelvis position, the need for micro instructions to get the best out of the drills, noticing that my feet don’t flex, but boy, my toes do, how quickly minor adjustments can make the “old” feel very strange. Yes, bodies are amazing, and the more I get to know how much mine has been put through, the more admiration I have for it! And the less inclined I am to take meds or have operations – I just need to start paying more attention to the body, without waiting for it to shout at me.”
I can’t change the world. But I can offer something the world seems to be missing. The opportunity to discover so much about your running self you didn’t know: your hidden talent, your incredible adaptability, your path – the one that’s ‘just right for you’ – the one that will keep going as far as you want it to, if you actively seek information from within. You can use what you learn to help yourself and THEN you can use it to help others on THEIR running journey.
So the question I keep getting asked is “What’s Wrong With My Running?” And the answer is, a tweak of a mindset: it’s everything you don’t know about your running. Awareness. If you aren’t paying attention in the same way as when you tee-off, dive in, saddle up or block your opponent, your brain will help you organise your movement to its best ability, which may well be less than your potential simply because you haven’t paid them (body and brain) enough attention.
Awareness is the answer. Learn the language of your body, and discover what your body is trying to tell you. As PFM Coaches, you’ll have the tools to help your clients get there more efficiently: faster with less effort.