Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Know Kung Fu

Kevin at The FitCast has been reminding me every week that I haven't updated my blog in months. Even Tony called me out for not updating, and he's the guy that hangs out at Lord of the Rings festivals...allegedly.

I've been hard at work with my Orthopedic Residency at the University of Delaware, but unfortunately my 60-70 hour work weeks leave me little time for much more than recording the show once/week and updating my Facebook page. The good news is that I'm learning a lot, so it will definitely be worth all of the long hours, sleepless nights...and dusty blog posts.

With all of that going on, I did get the chance to unwind with one of my favorite movies, 1999's groundbreaking instant classic, The Matrix. Taking cues and inspiration from religion, classic literature, modern cyber-culture, Hong Kong martial arts and Japanese anime films, and even a healthy dose of Alice in Wonderland, The Matrix redefined how we create television and cinema.

Neo, the protagonist of the film, transforms from a simple 9-5 computer programmer and hacker into a modern-day super hero capable of amazing abilities, learning how to move faster than a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings in a single bound. But just like a certain blue-and-red suited crusader for Truth, Justice and the American Way, Neo didn't need to work hard for years and years in order to perfect his skills and abilities: all he really needed to do was plug himself in and download the information! I can't think of anything easier than that...except maybe just stepping outside and being able to fly Under a Yellow Sun.

The idea of achieving an amazing life without an equally amazing dedication towards achieving it is littered throughout our culture, unfortunately. We play the lottery so that we can become instant millionaires and we cram the night before an exam so that we can pass a test.

The fitness field is rampant with "Instant E-Gurus" that announce themselves as experts, producing sloppy YouTube videos and e-books in order to make a fast buck without the slightest bit of education or experience (insert Tracy Anderson joke here). In turn, they feed into our own "something for nothing" instincts by promising the world for as little as 10 minutes a day and 2 low payments of $39.95


And you won't even get bulky!

As you might have guessed, the solution to any problem is rarely as simple as this, and it usually only works in the movies for people named Morpheus and Trinity. By feeding into these impulses, we often end up wasting more energy and time by not achieving our goals than had we simply dedicated ourselves to performing the hard work that we should have done in the first place. It's almost always better to do something rather than nothing, and if you can dedicate yourself to even 10 minutes of exercise each day, I'd much rather see that you do; however, if you're just making excuses to yourself and trying to "cheat the system," at the end of the day you're likely to end up with exactly what you've put in: excuses.

In the last three months, I've averaged 65 hours/week at the clinic. I've worked as much as 17 hours in one day, and average 13-14 hours each day. In the end, I will have learned an enormous amount of information, acquired a huge amount of experience and become a better therapist because of it...and that's why I wanted to do this. When it's done, I will be applying for Fellowship training in manual physical therapy, another year of advanced training and education. When I say that I want to be "the best," I mean it. But unlike Neo, I know that if you want something, you have to work for it. Sometimes, you really have to work for it. But if you do, good things will come of it, too.

Whatever your goals are, keep at them. Resist the temptation to take the easy way out or the quick fix. Earn your results through your efforts and your dedication, and you will be better for the experience.

Trust me.

-Jonathan