Friday, March 16, 2012

Lets Get Physical !!


Today we’re discussing a bit of physics.  Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be like those lectures in high school where your teacher started drawing all sorts of circles and arrows on the chalk board, assigned them letters, usually greek, and then couldn’t figure out why the entire class was lost. Today I want to talk about 2 concepts:  Inertia and Momentum.  Inertia is that force that makes it hard to get something moving. If you’ve ever pushed something heavy, you’ve noticed that it’s harder to get it moving than to keep it moving.  That difference is inertia   It is sometimes expressed as “A body at rest tends to stay at rest” or for the hardcore geeks, Newton’s First Law of Motion.  Isaac Newton studied inertia in terms of the forces that moved the planets around the heavens.  It is also a very important concept in exercise and fitness.   Inertia is also the force that makes you say “ I’ll quit smoking tomorrow” or “come the first of next month, I’m going to do sit ups every morning”  Coming up with the ideas of how to get healthier is never the hard part, it’s getting those plans in motion that is difficult.  I think anyone could do 1 sit up, but for me, doing 1 sit up is really, really difficult. I find it really hard to do the first one.  Once I’ve done the first one, the 24 or so are relatively easy.  It’s the same way with going for a run.  Just getting suited up and out the door is the hard part.  Once I’ve gotten that far, the rest of the run is actually pretty enjoyable.  The opposite of inertia is momentum.  Momentum is that force that keeps you going once you’ve started something.  It’s what lets you do that extra mile or two when you didn’t even think you could do one.  It’s what makes it easy to not snack between meals because you didn’t snack last night, and managed to go all morning without one.  Once you get some momentum going, things get easier.  Momentum is your friend.  Inertia is not.   The next time you’re having trouble getting something going, just remember that once you start it, it gets easier.  If you can get something going from a standing stop, it’s much easier to keep it going.  Don’t think about how far you have to go, or how long you’re swearing your morning donut, or anything like that.  That just makes the task seem harder.  Just get started.  Even if you do it wrong, just do it and then make improvements along the way, because once you’re moving, its much easier to change course.  Newton used these concepts to study the heavenly bodies of his time.  If you want to have anyone studying your heavenly body, get moving.  Overcome the inertia, embrace the momentum, and just start whatever you’ve been putting off until tomorrow !!

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