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Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Sunday musings 6/7/15

Sunday musings…

1) American Pharoah. History. 37 years in the making.

2) Chignon. Multi-purpose Spanish word that means awesome, cool, strong, smart, tough. Always something good. Used prior to the Belmont by the American Pharoah team to describe their horse.

My new favorite word.

3) Time. Maybe it’s a stretch, but it seems to me that the a watch depicting a single time is somehow a bit…I dunno…provincial in some way. Shouldn’t one have an eye on at least one other time zone?

Kinda like knowing more than one language?

4) Dulya. Ukrainian word for control-alt-delete or “force quit”. Also comes with a hand sign equivalent to the letter “T” in ASL (no idea why) which has quickly morphed into a dismissive gesture roughly translated as “forget you”.

All of which makes me think of the wildly different interpretation of otherwise culturally innocuous gestures across time zones and cultures. You know, like crossing your legs, a ubiquitous sitting position in the West which can get you banned from households in parts of the East.

Or the peace sign. Did you know that our All-American, iconic gesture created seconds before “Teach the World to Sing” is a vulgarity in Western Europe? Yup. Means “up yours”, or something equivalent, if you turn the palm side of your fingers towards yourself.

Just when you thought those Parisians had forgiven you for ordering your Pommes Frites in English.

5) Easy. Man, it’s tough out there. Just last night my iPhone ran out of battery power while I was Tweeting in a restaurant that didn’t have WiFi while straining to watch The Belmont on a 30 inch screen. The struggle was real, I tell ya.

I know you can all feel my pain.

Funny, isn’t it, how “First World Problems” take on such outsized importance? We are surrounded by convenience that only 10 years ago would be unimaginable. More than that, we have so internalized their existence, those conveniences, that we have come to prioritize them in many ways. Admit it, you don’t even blink at your data plan bill but you chafe at every doctor’s office co-pay. It’s come to a point where we not only expect comfort and convenience, but we are annoyed to the point of near anger when the next wave is slow to arrive.

Fat-burning pill, anyone?

What makes this phenomenon all the more interesting is the fact that we are likely wired both mentally and physically to respond to inconvenience. To difficult. At least when it comes to the further reaches of performance. There is a veritable bounty of research that shows better and deeper learning if the material to be learned is presented with even the tiniest of obstacles. Heck, just taking notes with pencil and paper rather than a laptop increases retention.

What does this have to do with CrossFit? Kind of a batting practice fastball, that one. “Relative intensity” by its very nature forces us into a zone of discomfort. We never really get terribly comfortable if we are doing it right. How many times have you heard something that goes along the lines of “It never gets easier; you just get better”? The closest we ever get to comfort is becoming comfortable with discomfort. I don’t think you can escape the conclusion that we, as physical beings, respond to relative difficulty in our physical training as predictably as we do when obstacles are placed along the pathways of intellectual gains.

After all, “chignon” was uttered by those around American Pharoah when they watched him work.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at June 7, 2015 6:18 AM