|Quantity vs. Quality|
September 26. 2011
Quantity vs. Quality
by Cat Fitzgerald
This month we are going to do an exercise. I was trying to figure out how to discuss two topics that will follow in the next two segments. Doing this exercise is the intro to those topics and will allow us to delve into them much more deeply and effectively. Normally we add and add to what we already know simply increasing the breadth of knowledge. Now I want to look at our depth of understanding. So let’s get to it.
I am going to ask that you only do one leg so that we have a control to compare to. First you are going to lie on your back and draw your right leg across your body and up towards your left shoulder (fig 1). What I want you to do is hold the stretch and feel it: where do you feel the stretch, which muscles, do you feel it closer to the knee or the glutes. You want to feel the stretch in the Lateral Hamstring and in the belly of the muscle – the thickest part between the knee and glutes.
Start with those questions and then after a couples sessions come back to try this next part. I think most of you will either skip the whole process or skip to the next part. Those of you who do the process as designed will have a welcome outcome and those who do either of the other scenarios support what I am saying about the “more, more, more” mentality of quantity in lieu of quality. Ironically working on the quality aspect becomes the base for quantity later.
So now I want you to do the same stretch, but really be in/with the stretch. Now that you have done the quantification of the stretch I want to work on the qualification: how deep into the tissue do you feel the stretch, where else do you feel tension (neck, shoulder, back, etc). Release any unnecessary tension in the body – yes, you now have to figure out what is and isn’t necessary tension. How is your breathing, has there been any change since you first did the exercise. Now deeper, how did you know when you were done with the stretch, what did you feel that let you know, was there any change in your stress levels before and after, did the room seem brighter when you were done, and of course, how is the quality of your movement at the end of the month?
All of this talks to how we approach learning and being. Are we interested solely in the external end product (a trophy – fish, medal, or otherwise) or do we let whatever our passion is become a training method for life learning and becoming, truly, more than who, not what, we are today. Next time we will get into anxiety and the body.