Saturday, November 8, 2008

It Becomes What You Use it For

On Friday, in Anatomy class, we learned about Wolff's Law, which states: "It becomes what you use it for.". Wolff was talking about what happens when muscle attachments pull on bone. When you look at a skelleton of an active adult, there are bony landmarks all over it. Those bony landmarks are where muscles attach via their tendonous connections.

Wolff hypothesized that those bony landmarks exist BECAUSE of the muscle pulling on the bone where it attaches. And thus, it becomes what you use it for.

Since Aubrey, our Physio/Path teacher at HealthWorks told us this, I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. It reminds me of the childrens book A House Is a House for Me

This cyclical statement has become, to me, a proof and a mantra. It becomes what you use it for. Lets start easy: think of all the types of athletes you know, or saw in the Olympics: swimmers have a certian type of body, generally, long, lean, big backs, low body fat. Triathletes have another type, stringy, with "runners" legs. Cyclists are huge on the bottom and small on the top. Surfers are relatively balanced top to bottom, and can withstand more body fat without impacting their sport, in fact, it may be helpful as an insulating layer.

What if we moved that idea to the intention for the way we live our life? It becomes what we use it for. My heart becomes open when I use it for compassion, especially when I want to judge. My faith in myself becomes larger when I choose to believe in myself, especially when I want to give up.

There are times in life when we come up against judgment. Self judgment, as most of you know, is the bane of your athletic existence, I spend a lot of time in my coaching practice finding ways to get the athlete to set aside judgment and give themselves permission to do the thing they are there to do, without apology. What if you knew that you become what you use it for? If you want to be an excellent skier, go skiing.

If you want to be an excellent mom, hug your children. If you want to be free from the internal judgment, practice an hour free from judgment. If you are a person who likes to beat themselves up for being lazy, or someone who can be hyper critical of yourself because you didn't do something that seems easy (WHY do I always run out of dish soap before I buy more? Stupid, make a list, geeze, other people are able to act like adults and get their soap. Why can't I?)

You are, in that moment, becoming what you are using your mind for: a vessel for self-loathing and hatred. This becomes the power, this removes your power. You become a channel, a conduit, for negative thought.

What if in the hour in which you practiced setting aside judgment, you became what you were using it for? You might find space, just a little, to take a breath. There might be room in there to make a different choice.

For four years, I have intended to get back to Yoga class. Today, I went, because I want my body to become the thing I use it for.

No comments: