Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Katniss, The Movement Specialist

   The cool water has an invigorating effect on my body, my spirits. I shoot two fish, easy pickings in this slow-moving stream, and go ahead and eat one raw even though I've just had the groosling. The second I'll save for Rue.  
   Gradually, subtly, the ringing in my right ear diminishes until it's gone entirely. I find myself pawing at my left ear periodically, trying to clean away whatever deadens its ability to collect sounds. If there's improvement, it's undetectable. I can't adjust to deafness in the ear. It makes me feel off-balanced and defenseless to my left. Blind even. My head keeps turning to the injured side, as my right ear tries to compensate for the wall of nothingness where yesterday there was a constant flow of information. The more time that passes, the less hopeful I am that this is an injury that will heal.
(The Hunger Games, pp. 228-229, Suzanne Collins)
It's interesting. When I was 15, I blew out my right ear during swim practice. 20 years later, I blew it out the left three weeks into a Smolov cycle. The first was surgically repaired and both times, hearing returned, albeit with a lifelong case of tinnitus. While coaches, trainers, and "movement specialists", often screen t-spine, hip, and hamstring mobility and stability, we often forget that dulled senses and poor breathing can often just as easily and severely impede quality movement. Although I would need some convincing to jump headfirst into any approach  that claimed to hold the keys to movement through improved sensory function and breathing, only a fool would not include these things, at least as a part of incidental training, somewhere within the training cycle. For many sports, you'd find sensory training and breathing focus within the warm-up. For others, you would see the inclusion of special drills and exercises throughout the competitive, pre-, and post seasons.

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