Tuesday, June 17

"to take the body seriously

"is to admit one can suffer."

From the Tao Te Ching.

Seems relevant to training for ultimate somehow to me.

Then again, that has always been the beauty of reading this particular book. Almost a way to gain insight by using a different lens to view the same things you've thought about every day. This time around, it is ultimate.
In other news, the pike season is starting to take shape. A lot of new faces and old faces in new places. I am really excited about the way it is shaping up, but it is not at all what i would have predicted even as recently as a week ago, let alone when accepted the role of "captain" with Tim (who has since injured his knee and is fully expected to miss the entirety of the 08 campaign).

We've got vets, we've got youth, we've got serious untapped potential in both. We've got parts that fit together already, and we've got parts that should fit together once they get together on the field often enough. We've got decisions yet to make, and the team is not yet completely defined, but we're on the right path.

I can't wait for practice this weekend and the Boston Invite next weekend.


smellis said...

at some point earlier in the season, i was going to post a link to an interesting NY Times article regarding the relationship between physical and mental suffering/training.

Check out the article at:

The following is my favorite part:

...Researchers, however, have long noted a link between neurological disorders and athletic potential. In the late 1800's, the pioneering French doctor Philippe TissiƩ observed that phobias and epilepsy could be beneficial for athletic training. A few decades later, the German surgeon August Bier measured the spontaneous long jump of a mentally disturbed patient, noting that it compared favorably to the existing world record. These types of exertions seemed to defy the notion of built-in muscular limits and, Bier noted, were made possible by ''powerful mental stimuli and the simultaneous elimination of inhibitions.''

Questions about the muscle-centered model came up again in 1989 when Canadian researchers published the results of an experiment called Operation Everest II, in which athletes did heavy exercise in altitude chambers. The athletes reached exhaustion despite the fact that their lactic-acid concentrations remained comfortably low. Fatigue, it seemed, might be caused by something else.

In 1999, three physiologists from the University of Cape Town Medical School in South Africa took the next step. They worked a group of cyclists to exhaustion during a 62-mile laboratory ride and measured, via electrodes, the percentage of leg muscles they were using at the fatigue limit. If standard theories were true, they reasoned, the body should recruit more muscle fibers as it approached exhaustion — a natural compensation for tired, weakening muscles.

Instead, the researchers observed the opposite result. As the riders approached complete fatigue, the percentage of active muscle fibers decreased, until they were using only about 30 percent. Even as the athletes felt they were giving their all, the reality was that more of their muscles were at rest. Was the brain purposely holding back the body?

''It was as if the brain was playing a trick on the body, to save it,'' says Timothy Noakes, head of the Cape Town group. ''Which makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. In fatigue, it only feels like we're going to die. The actual physiological risks that fatigue represents are essentially trivial.''...

And the best line...

...Now I am reaching where there is nothing that is too hard for my body because my mind is hard. Nothing!''...

dusty.rhodes said...

ellis, that's phenomenal. thanks.