By Michael Abedin
No pain, no gain.
It’s the marketing mantra of hard-core fitness ordeals designed to make you pass out, get hurt, or fail, so somebody can scream at you and make you feel like big ol’ wuss. Good for your inner masochist or wannabe SEAL, maybe, but anyone who’s ever seriously followed an intense, disciplined physical training regimen knows no pain can also mean no injury – and they know something else.
Want to be good at anything you do? Be able to stretch. The key to keeping body, mind, and spirit humming along harmoniously is flexibility – without it, strength, determination, and hard work can turn into liabilities.
Push boundaries, they push back. Stretch them, they expand and give you room to grow. Determination and resistance may build strong muscles, but flexibility makes them useful, and keeps you a lot healthier and happier. True, even stretching can be painful, but there’s good hurt and uh-oh I’ve hurt myself hurt – and you know the difference.
In the zone.
Want to learn a new skill, or up the ante on an old one? Take your first steps, get better at them, and go a little further. When it’s time to hit a new level, you’ll plateau, feel the pull, maybe even lose a little progress – but then that cool moment of release comes and you’re there, in the zone, free and easy and ready to take the next leap.
September cover boy Joe Vitale found that out when he set out to become a legit musician and record CD’s. After cranking out more in a short time than the seasoned pros he worked with thought possible, he decided to stretch a bit more by learning to play the Devil’s Horn, and singing in front of one of the hottest vocalists in Austin.
Stretched himself right into a new CD, and an original piece of Smokin’ Joe cover art by Donna Aloia.
Want to be all you can be? Join the Army.
Want to be more? Stretch yourself.
Stretching the truth.
Back in its earlier glory days as an actual print newspaper, when you could see its headlines jumping out from the news rack, the Onion ran a doozy – one of its finer moments. The front-page header screamed WEBSITE CONTAINS INCORRECT INFORMATION! Internet Apologizes to Users! (Almost as good as Girls Gone Wild Released Back Into Civilization, about a program that taught them not to peel off their T-shirts and shower with girlfriends, in hopes of placing them in jobs as Hooter’s waitresses or tanning salon receptionists.)
It’s easier to believe wild girls can be tamed than to believe everything you see online – or in print – is completely true. Many years ago, the truly outrageous (and outrageously brilliant) author and social gadfly Norman Mailer spoke at UT Austin, and told the audience to read about the talk in the papers the next day.
They would, he said, get it completely wrong.
He was completely right.
That made an impression, one reason why Austin All Natural has pretty strict editorial guidelines for contributors, requesting articles that are interesting, informative, and enjoyable to read. Unsubstantiated health claims, client testimonials, and advertorials that simply extol the virtues of a specific product get edited.
The question has been asked on occasion (on few enough occasions, actually, to count on one hand and still have one finger left to, umm… extend while drinking tea), if we research or try all these things out, to see if they work.
Nope. Natural healthcare and spiritual practices are pretty much subjective experiences, and everyone who uses them will have completely different results, based on what they bring to the table. Professional debunkers make a living off that – and have their own agenda.
If you’re sick, as the requisite disclaimer says, go to the practitioner of your choice. In the meantime, educate yourself, use common sense, and follow your intuition about natural healthcare and metaphysical practices – and never, ever turn your back on a Girl Gone Wild.