Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tensegrity

"Tensegrity, tensional integrity or floating compression, is a structural principle based on the use of isolated components in compression inside a net of continuous tension, in such a way that the compressed members (usually bars or struts) do not touch each other and the prestressed tensioned members (usually cables or tendons) delineate the system spatially."

Not so much poetry as much as reflection. I've been running regularly for over a year now, been kicked around with lower leg injuries too often for my own happiness. I'm trying a new tactic: running slowly, less mileage and focusing on how i feel while i'm running. I read how Geoff Roes (ultra runner extraordinaire) doesn't plan his training runs as much as he feels his way through them. As i consider how massage therapy school is affecting my sense of well-being and academic knowledge of the body, i have to say this plan sounds very sane to me. If i deeply acknowledge that i'm not going to be running for any placement in an ultra-marathon, perhaps i can have some realistic goals on how to run ultra-marathons in any regular fashion...

For starters, my cross-training. God bless my ex-wife. Master Pilates Therapist. Her years of "work on the core" and my education in exercise science have me developing a training program that conceives of the human body doing what it was designed to do in nature, by Nature. By understanding what is homeostasis in a physiological context, i may be able to construct a holistic physical training program that puts the human body as running machine as ultimate evolutionary result. That's a bit obtuse so let me whittle that down. We were designed by evolution to run - so - how can we get back to this paleolithic healthfulness that is our birthright?

Well, that's where tensegrity comes in. Our bodies want to stay upright. Our bones defy gravity to keep us stable. Our muscles ingeniously conspire to wrap themselves around our bones to move us efficiently. Our fascia and tendons, like so many rubber bands delight in springing against gravity's ongoing assault. As i study our human anatomy and physiology i am creating a curriculum for physical training that combines standard exercise science, Pilates, physical therapy, massage therapy and uniquely helps restore the balance that is innate to the human body. Namely, the tensegrity that keeps us running with little effort. The body's innate brilliance in standing upright within our world.