Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mistaking the Effect for the Cause

"Correlation" is the co-incidence of two events happening simultaneously -- neither of which may have caused the other.  It is just noted that when there is an incidence of one event -- the probability of another event occurring at the same time, is that correlation.  

Less well understood, especially by those with just a politically correct (liberal arts) education without any science courses -- is the cause and effect relationship -- that is to say, that one thing causes the other, virtually without fail.  Then we're pretty certain, that one thing, is the cause of the other -- so to see the other, we have to cause it.

Nowhere is this misunderstanding greater than in the field of conditioning for fitness -- where one hopes that by doing certain things, one improves their chances for survival and success -- which is being fit to do so.  So essentially everything a person does -- is a preparation for everything else they will subsequently do, and if all they are experiencing is failure in everything they do, they have to change their behavior to produce the desired outcomes.

But that doesn't happen just because one wants them to; there are preparations and practices one must take to increase the likelihood and probability of those favorable outcomes -- all one's life.  There's never a point at which one can just call it a day and coast on in to the promised land of everything good, and nothing bad will ever happen again.  It requires a vigilance, constant preparation and practice -- or the results become less certain, unpredictable and erratic -- the normal definition of failure, disappointment and frustration leading to depression.

Thus the bottom line question asked by most health professionals, is summed up by the question, "Have you experienced depression in the last several weeks?"  Not to, indicates the resilience and robustness of that individual to feel they can overcome most challenges and difficulties -- and the future successes of that individual.  But that does not require a Ph.D or M.D. to master; it can come from any regimen that empowers one to feel that way -- capable of being successful at what they have to do in life, including all the things healthy people take for granted -- such as their own self-care, grooming, hygiene, cleanliness, nutrition, practices, interactions with others, etc.

Failing those minimal tasks, is a dire prognosis for the future of that individual.  So one hopes to get at least that much right -- for all the days of their lives.  Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, those lessons are seldom taught, systematically and rigorously, which already sets one up for a lifetime of successes or a lifetime of failures, and in the end, even the most previously successful succumb -- thinking they never have to improve anymore.  But all of life, is this evolution of being and improvement -- or there is extinction.  That is the Way of Life.

Still, many think that if they were only rich and famous (first), they would surely become good at something eventually -- and not that it will simply speed their self-destruction.  In the field of physical conditioning, many are prescribed a course that is impossible, and if they don't (can't) do it, they will predictably be in bad shape, but if they could walk on their hands for 100 yards each day, they would assuredly remain in remarkable condition they had never achieved before at any time before in their lifetime -- as though that was any wisdom and usefulness.

Yes, I suppose if one could fly or walk on water, one would have godlike powers -- and health.  So the question one asks, is not what one cannot do that will one day result in their doing so, but what can they actually do -- and improve?  That answer should be obvious and self-evident -- in increasing the range of motion of what movement one already manifests.  By that, one means more precisely, increasing the range of motion one can obtain voluntarily and willfully -- and not by any outside force forcing a range of movement that can be done safely and healthfully (without injury).  Otherwise, we can just snap a head back with the justification that "whatever doesn't kill one, will make them stronger and better off for it."

Obviously, that is the wrong understanding -- but not unlike much advice one hears in many highly competitive and destructive activities -- especially to see how far they can push the limits without injury and death.  There is a certain appeal and thrill to some -- who misunderstand the first rule of survival and fitness is not to be injured or killed by anything one does.  That includes the realization that if one doesn't use their legs anymore, the chances of them becoming permanently disabled are inevitable -- that can be effectively maintained by using them daily, for at least a few repetitions in increasing that specific range of motion -- daily.

So rather than being a hard thing to do, it should be made easy by practice and intent -- even if one does nothing else otherwise.  That is especially so for those who have no better use of their time than to devote it to dissipation and destructive habits -- even if they think that is what their "retirement" should be all about -- hastening their own end until it is over -- as the only way they know how to be.  That is the only way they've seen it done before -- and not that that stage of life now has to be re-created and re-imagined, because it was never possible before.

But that is the challenge of this time and age -- as never before.