Thank you so much for joining The Body Mechanic Blog. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope enjoy this journey into health, fitness and longevity! As always, please share this, as well as any other, post with people you care about that you believe could benefit from the information. Now, on to the topic of the day…
The Problem IS the Solution!
I love to talk about the 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman as an example of how the great ones conquer “insurmountable” odds. They do this, it seems, by understanding that the problem before them also holds the key to their success. And I believe we can learn a lot by studying these examples and applying them to our own lives. And always remember that The Man loves to tell you what you cannot do 🙂
Statement: George Foreman has not been passed the second round in forever! He throws everything he’s got into every punch, and he has knocked out nearly everyone he has fought
Question (for the challenger, Muhommad Ali): Is the above statement a problem or an opportunity?
Answer: It is both! The fact that George had not been past the second round in a very long time was seen by the experts as a demonstration of Foreman’s power and ferocity. The George Foreman of 1974 was not the lovable teddy bear you see eating the hamburgers freshly made using his “George Foreman Grill”. The Foreman of 1974 was vicious, big, strong, and had lots of attitude. He seemed to always be angry, and no one could beat him. Everyone that fought Foremen was demolished within 2 rounds, including Joe frazier, who by the way had recently beaten Ali. Therefore, the reasoning was, Ali had no chance. However, Ali saw the same fact not as a problem, but as a demonstration of Foreman’s weakness. The Man said, “No one has lasted more than 2 rounds with Foreman; he is going to destroy Ali”. Ali said, “No one has pushed Foreman past 2 rounds; I can test his endurance, and break him down psychologically and physically”. And so it was in this fight that Ali invented and implemented what he called, “The Rope-a-Dope”. First, Ali angered Foreman by taunting him in the days leading up to the fight. He had the locals chanting, “Ali Bumaye! Ali Bumaye!”, which means “Ali kill him” in the local language. Ali knew it didn’t take much to anger ole’ George. And by fight time, Foreman was ready to destroy Ali. During the match, Ali covered up and leaned back against the ropes for several rounds, allowing Foreman to punch himself out (This was the “rope-a-dope”). In between Foreman’s (slow) punches, Ali caught him with flurries of jabs and crosses, effectively exhausting and demoralizing the champion. By round 5, Foreman was completely exhausted. And in round 8, Ali caught Foreman with a flurry of punches that put Foreman on the canvas for the 10 count. And some say it took Foreman 14 years to get back up.
The same reasoning applies to your chronic pain. The pain you feel is, in fact, your salvation. Think of this. Your pain gives you the opportunity to learn to relax in a way that you never could learn without pain. Trust me. This is something I have learned through several “opportunities” (read, painful injuries). This is why Mary and I use the “8 to 5” pain control Trigger Point work to help our clients to conquer pain (thereby conquering the fear, and thus injuries). How can causing pain help someone to conquer pain? Because your pain is not only the problem; it is also the very reason you will get stronger!
And, by the way, this same logic can be applied to any problem you face. Look for the solution in the problem. The problem is just an obstacle, put before you as an opportunity to make you more powerful. If you turn away and give up, or cower or complain, you don’t grow. If you figure out a way to climb over, go through, or go around, then you come out on the other side a far better and stronger version of yourself.
Remember my vision for us — We will age together! But we will be different from previous generations. I want us to be functional centinarians, free from the chronic diseases and pains so common today. Know this: Aging is mandatory. Maintaining functional fitness and vibrant health — well, that’s optional!
Have a super great day, and an even better tomorrow! See you soon!
To Your Health!
Jeff Wooten, “The Body Mechanic”