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The Highlight Reel: Sunday musings 9/16/12

Sunday musings…

1) Floss. Floss and then brush, or brush and then floss?

It’s the new “over or under” for a new century.

2) Flossing. Traditional PT, rest, injections? All ineffective, ultimately. Several sessions with a Voodoo Floss band sandwiching a trip to Savannah? No pain.

Do the Voodoo.

3) Epic. “There are decades where nothing happens; there are weeks where decades happen.” –Lenin

Do you have that same, eerie sense that one of those weeks is nigh?

4) 35. It seems that most Nobel Laureates make their signature discoveries before the age of 35. They may not get the word out right away, and given the average age of Nobel Laureates they certainly don’t receive recognition for those discoveries until years or decades later. Some of our non-Laureated geniuses certainly came up with their stuff pre-35 for sure. See Gates, Bill et al.

Doing a little math with a calendar in front of me it looks like a certain guy we know, a trainer with a little math in his educational background, came up with an idea at age 35 that has turned out to be pretty important in the fitness world.

A little thing called CrossFit.

5) Reel. Real life in many ways is more like the CrossFit Games than it is like CrossFit training. In the Games we have winners and non-winners; in the Box we have you vs. you. We are trained it seems from early in life to not only compare ourselves with others, but to allow ourselves to be compared BY others. In this we somehow allow the creation of a zero-sum game of our own sense of self, and we allow the scores to be kept by others as well as ourselves.

Kinda like all those singing contests now on TV; the judges are supposed to be judging only the contestant singing at the moment, the contestant to be focused only on herself and the judges. Invariably though, both judges and judged compare the contestant with others, for this is an openly zero-sum game. Someone will only win because everyone else lost.

I’m more than OK with this for the Games, and I’m quite fine with this for all of those silly contests (which I admit are a guilty pleasure Chez bingo). There is a real problem, however, if we allow this kind of process, this kind of judging, to be a metric for how we view ourselves. We have an unavoidable frame of reference bias that threatens even the healthiest among us when we use these external controls to judge our internal outcomes.

Why? We tend to compare our “behind the scenes” moments, our rehearsals and our trial runs, with everyone else’s “highlight reels.” We are not usually privy to someone else’s dry runs, the failed efforts that eventually culminate in the masterpiece before us. We cannot forget our own struggles, the efforts we ourselves have made out of the limelight, and we all too often use these memories as the “compare to” when ourselves evaluate ourselves against others.

I’m reminded of a story that Grambingo tells often and well. I am one of 4. We were pretty successful youngsters, at least in the eyes of the community and at least by the standards then in place by which we (and by extension Gram and Grampbingo) were measured. My Mom would listen as fellow parents bemoaned this or that child-rearing difficulty, often followed by “oh Anne Lee, you wouldn’t know anything about this; your kids are all [whatever].” Grambingo would politely nod and smile, all the while thinking “oh boy…if you only knew!”

You see, Grambingo remembered all of the hard work, the heartaches when her kids disappointed and the battles fought so that they, the kids, might succeed. The other parents were comparing their “behind the scenes” with Grambingo’s “highlight reel”, but she knew better, she couldn’t help but remember her own “work in the gym” so to speak.

What’s the ultimate lesson here? We all compare, and we are all compared. It would be simply lovely if life were a non-zero sum game but alas, ’tis not. The lesson is as simple as making sure that you are always comparing things that are alike. Your rehearsals with someone else’s. Their highlight reel with yours.

When you are comparing apples to apples you must be sure that you are either looking at the fruit itself, or recalling the labor required to fill the basket.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at September 16, 2012 6:20 AM


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