What I've Been Thinking About...
When working with middle school and high school kids, sometimes the conversations in the gym are all over the place. This week we had one such conversation where I was telling a few of them about the mysterious healing abilities the mind has.
There is a variation of the placebo effect known as a "sham surgery". This is a surgical intervention where the surgeons pretend to do the operation by making an incision, go through all the motions but not actually do anything structurally. During the "procedure", they communicate to each other as if they are performing the surgery and even hand surgical equipment back and forth. After all this, they sew you back up and send you off to recover. On the surface, this doesn't really make sense but it has been studied and reviewed multiple and the results stay the same: sham surgery was beneficial in 74 percent of trials, and in half of them, it was beneficial to the same degree as the actual procedure. In some cases, it was found to be more beneficial than the actual procedure. (Here is a link to an article on it from Psychology Today: Sham Surgery)
In a country where medical interventions and surgical procedures continue to rise, it would be wonderful to figure out a way to tap into that placebo power and prevent some of these from occurring. It could cut back on the amount of medications one may take and potentially help preserve the body from undergoing a procedure that may not be 100% necessary.
Fitness Tip of the Week
Want some help getting to your first chinup? Here is how I would approach making that happen...
Rule of One Moments
A few years ago I did an interview with a former professional runner and friend and she shared a sad story. She was a high level runner in high school and earned her way to get a Division I scholarship. While there, she had a coach who was constantly on her about dropping a few pounds in an effort to get faster. These conversations began to weigh on the young college student and eventually, these words paved the way toward a lifetime struggle with disordered eating. This "coach" used his position to harm a young athletes life in an effort to support their own selfish needs: a better team. He never took into account what is best for the athlete and in the end, almost cost this person their life.
In the end, our words have power. Choose them wisely. They can be power for good or power for bad. It is our choice each and every day how we are going to use them. One person, making one comment, just one time can change the trajectory of someone's life. Lets use our words to uplift rather than to break down!
What I've Been Reading...
1984 by George Orwell
A little over 70 years ago George Orwell released his final book, 1984, to pretty immediate success. Orwell, a democratic socialist, wrote this book to highlight the problems associated with authoritarian governments like that in Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany. This book seems to highlight the role of truth and fact within societies and the ways in which those so called truths can be manipulated by those in power. As the book states, "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past". (Side Note: I first learned this line from the Rage Against the Machine song Testify back in 1999. When you can lump Orwell and Rage in the same category, it is a win-win for me!)
Quote of the Week
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -- Maya Angelou
I hope you all have an awesome week!