Flashes of memory, Optimism, Dad

During practice this morning, remembered that Matthew Sweeney made a specific point of telling us to look at our shins during forward bends (versus straining to look at the feet). Got the impression that as the hammies and lower back open — in their own time — the ability to look at the feet will just evolve on its own.

Someone asked about curling forward (i.e., curving the back) in forward bends, versus folding forward through the hips. He entertained the question but did not want to make any definitive pronouncements. Well, except for this (characteristic) one: try something and if it hurts, try something else. Then see how it goes. If you are feeling better, keep going; if you are feeling worse, cut back.

This is similar to what he said regarding working through injuries: push into pain spots a little and see how it feels; if better, carry on; if worse, cut back. The subtlety inherent in this little bit of what would appear to be common sense is that you have to be making the better-or-worse judgements continuously, day-to-day and moment-to-moment.

I know I’m guilty of being optimistic and tend to push into pain figuring everything’ll be fine. So far, luck has been with me.


Last night at dinner, The Cop and I were talking about something that could go awry (can’t quite remember what it was), and I said, “I’m sure everything will be okay.”

He made some comment about how that statement is typical of me. I was amused, but then thought about it a bit. People tell me they like to talk to me at work or when they have problems, because I tell them that everything will be okay. Again, I am amused, because surely everyone is capable of telling themselves that things will be okay — which they will, one way or another. Even if something goes horribly wrong. Eventually, things will sort out. Possibly not the way one might prefer, but whatever.

My dad is both stoic and an optimist. A lovely combination, I think. What I learned from him is that optimism is simply a habit — possible to cultivate with some practice, and handy to have available in this world.


Yes, I still intend to post about Matthew Sweeney’s classroom management skills. Have a bunch of notes and will need time to sort it out in my head. Probably something I can get to this weekend.


3 Responses

  1. What a great life skill Karen. I agree that optimism and stoicism is a great combo, because you don’t get what you want all the time, but you can be happy with what you get. Hum, now I feel like maybe the stones have said this at some point…

  2. I like how MS deferred to common sense regarding injuries and experimentation. Really, the only protection we have against our excesses is our sensibilities.

    I found that I can put work difficult spots more assertively if I can keep the tingle or the discomfort mobile. If the discomfort is immobile then it’s probably something more complex than just tight muscle.

  3. You know, Carl, he said exactly that — if the pain is moving, you’re probably just fine. If it settles, it’s time to pay more attention.

    He definitely is a proponent of common sense. It was quite refreshing: no mystical stuff, and no “smarter than thou” stuff. Just plain old paying attention to what you’re feeling.

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