Monday, June 6, 2011

In the Beginning VII

The physiotherapist is highly experienced. He has photo's in his clinic of himself with various famous athletes that he's treated. I assume I'm in good hands. Initially I thought that my knees were the problem but was informed that it's my gluteus maximus - yes, my bottom. The physio explained how a group of muscle fibres run from the sides of the behind down to the knees. Because I've gone without exercise for so many years these muscles have become highly inflexible and the knees are experiencing the brunt of the tightness. He  proceeded to teach me stretches for every main group of leg muscles, with a stress on my 'glutes', and assured me that the stretches alone would alleviate the pain as long as I persisted with them.

I went home and began to perform the exercises. I was shocked at how rigid my muscles had become and the degree of discomfort I felt even with light stretches. However, I know that sometimes it's only when faced with resistance that we come to perceive our true state of affairs and can then improve them. For instance, as long as our eyes allow us to see clearly, we pay little attention to them. But, as soon as our vision is challenged by our distance from an object, we become aware of our eyes and attempt to gain clarity of vision.

The idea of resitence facilitating self awareness is alluded to in the verse describing why G-d provided Adam with a partner: ' is not good for Adam to be alone, so He made a helpmate against him'. In other words, Eve helps Adam improve himself specifically by being against him at times, challenging his views and methods. This way Adam gains self awareness and can refine himself. 

Yet another poignant analogy, one I'm fond of, is that of a ball bounced off a solid surface so that it ascends higher than its point of origin. Applied to my situation, I felt confident that my muscular aches and pains were the resistance I needed to help me realize how unfit I am so I can reach higher levels of fitness and well being than before. And I was committed to bouncing back up...              


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