I love swimming and I am proud to say that I am able to do so 4-5 times a week. For me swimming is like going back into the womb. It calms me down and, rather effortlessly, I enter a delightful, blessed peace of mind. As I swim, I enter a state of mind I call “serial appreciation.” (I feel gratitude for one thing or another, then for something else that is related to the former and then for something related to the latter and so on for 40 laps). Swimming yesterday, I discovered an evolutionary step, which has been “under my nose,” that I only comprehended then (after about a year of swimming crawl!) I found out that when swimming in that style I could either place my palm in the water facing the bottom or I could aim my pinky upward towards the sky and my thumb towards the bottom of the pool.
There Is a World Full of Difference between the Two
In the first option, when the paddling palm is squarely facing the bottom of the pool, it would continue its trajectory straight down towards the bottom of the pool and move under the body (where there is less water resistance). The second option, with the pinky pointing up and thumb towards the bottom, the hand would paddle down and sideways, like a boat’s oars, where there is an opportunity to push the water harder, thus intensifying muscles’ strengthening and moving faster.
The second option, the one with the pinky pointing upwardly, is the preferred option. It produces more speed and is simply more elegant, since at its outset the activity is performed with a minimum of extra effort.
The amazing thing is that I first learned to swim crawl just about a year ago, and I am still discovering, learning and innovating in that regard. For me, such process is a sheer pleasure. It was constantly under my nose and waiting to be revealed, to be exposed at the right time and place.
This never-ending mystery of motor perfection continuously unfolds in my experience. I keep seeking it, investigating it and rejoicing in its revelations 20 years after I completed my physiotherapy studies. And I wonder with awe what else awaits me. I am delighted that this process of learning and refinement is endless.
If you’re one of my followers, maybe it’s like that for you, too. I Hope it is. I hope that you’re intrigued by your body, as I am about mine. Curiosity comes with self-love. And self-love brings compassion with it. It relieves us from pain, from stiffness, from limitation.
How good it is to feel gratitude for the revelations which are given us as gifts, instead of being disappointed of how little one knows, how helpless one feels in the face of pain.
Most people experience helplessness and fear of pain, about the need to treat the causes of their pains, and possess a sense that feeling pain is inevitable and that nothing could really help.
The truth, as I see it, is that no conventional medical treatment can really save us from our pain. No surgery. No medication. The relief it provides, if any, will be temporary at best.
Why? Because we will continue to damage our bodies without grasping how; with the same motion habits that have eroded the body into its present condition.
In fact, all conventional treatments, as good as they may be (especially if they help …) obscure a deeper layer of reality: The true cause of the pain. It creates an illusion that now everything is fine, that now you can go back and function in the same manner and conduct the same motions that had, more or less, caused the pain in the first place.
That is exactly why I devoted more than 20 years of work, as a physiotherapist, in order to assemble my plans.
I consider it crucial that we do not lose hope about the body. In most cases it is not a matter of age or of the erosion brought upon us over time. It is just a question of awareness and exercise, which should be accompanied by curiosity and a desire to explore and get to know our bodies in depth.