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#Take it to the limit, one more time... - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Sep. 14th, 2007

06:18 pm - #Take it to the limit, one more time...

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Date:September 15th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
I remember hearing a description of rowing - I think it may have been from pozorvlak: The trick to rowing is realizing that our bodies lie to us. They tell us they can't do any more, when really they can.

I think that's true more of the time, and with more of the population than it isn't. I don't necessarily think that the best way to show people what they're capable of is by shouting at them, but I do think that most people are capable of lifting more and for longer than they think.

I've seen the same thing in intellectual places too - people who will believe themselves to be ignorant of how to do something (like copy files), but are actually capable of doing it with maybe only a couple of false starts - if they can be encouraged to try. When teaching maths or CS to students who're finding the worksheets challenging, you don't let them give up and you don't do it for them. You ask them leading questions, and help them figure it out. I've never taught gym, but maybe those guys have similar tricks to figure out how much you can or can't do. I know that it's safe to stand in a low taichi stance until your whole body is shaking with the effort - and then stay there some more. It doesn't feel like it's going to be safe (or sane) when you start, but it doesn't damage you - it makes you stronger. You just have to trust that the teacher understands what he's teaching better than you do.

I like what susannahf said about learning the difference between being tired and being incapable. I think that's actually a really difficult and subtle thing to learn, and I don't think I've got it right yet. I think a big part of any physical training is going through that learning process with yourself - and you have to do it on your own, because no one else can feel those feelings for you.
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Date:September 15th, 2007 07:50 am (UTC)
You just have to trust that the teacher understands what he's teaching better than you do.
That's where I have the problem. I've had one that didn't, and made me very ill, so I find it very difficult to trust that others won't do the same.
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