Join Date: Feb 2007
I've gotta find this article about an American high school kid from the ghetto's born with one leg. It was in a magazine sponsored by Nautilus about 30 years ago. The African American kid's family was so concerned with just staying alive that they had no time to give him any special treatment. He just had to fend for himself and was a loner. I think his last name was Brown, or Bruner, but I'm not sure.
So the article, with photo's etc was about how the kid was a sprinting, gridiron, and basketball star, holding school and state records. It was produced as an aid to inspiration. He never even clicked when he was little that anything was wrong, and due to circumstance he had no conditioning that there was. He just learned to do everything on one leg. In fact, as he got older, and realised what many other people thought, he actually felt it was an advantage in gridiron and basketball, when it came to direction change, and deception, or faking. He wasn't tall, but could dunk, and was a nationally ranked sprinter. His opponenets commented on how awesome he was, and how difficult to tackle, or defend. He had never used, and didn't use a prosthetic. He could just live a totally, by most peoples standards, champions level, normal life.
I'll never forget the photos. One gridiron photo had him almost horizontal to the ground, like a GP bike cornering, driving off one leg, tacklers being brushed aside, and from there he would just hurl his leg any where he wanted, again driving off it in any direction. He sprinted with the same action, hurling his leg forward and driving off it. Professional teams admitted that he was elite, easily good enough to play, but it was almost an embarrassement, a one legged African American, in that era, destroying their top athletes. They admitted it was too hard for them to come to grips with.
I had the magazine, but gave a lot of stuff away when I stopped playing at that level and moved to Elliston. Some people from Nautilus remember the magazine, and have given me a contact from back then, who may be able to locate a copy. I'll contact him and see what happens.
Can you imagine telling someone with one leg, that they don't need a prosthetic, and that they could be a professional level track, gridiron and basketball star. People would say you are dangerously deluding the kid, and filling their head with impossible dreams, setting them up for failure.
I don't know the answers to all your questions, but I know that conditioning runs deep, and in ways most, me included, don't fully, perhaps even remotely understand. I was abused really radically for 17 years, my whole childhood and adolescence, and have done mountains and mountains to address it. But sometimes even if my georgeous, loving wife, that I adore and love deeply, happens to touch me in the wrong way, or wrong time, something just happens beyond my conscious understanding. Instantly, I'm back there. Severely abused people, or severely traumatised people will tell you about dissociation, like a state where you go somewhere else. In that state you could be getting your head kicked in, and you wouldn't feel a thing. Its like slow motion and you watch. Other times that I have been able to mostly address, it causes the slow motion thing, but it triggers things I am ashamed of... literally kill or be killed. In that state I would start and win ridiculous fights, against anyone who triggered it, because I was conditioned to see everything, walls, teeth, words, corners, tables, knees, door edges, fists, nails, objects, everything and anything as weapons to not only avoid or survive, but to use. And everything, except me, including the one I was fighting would honestly... honestly be moving in slow motion. And in that state, only being knocked out, which I was used to from a little kid, would stop me. Then, when it wouldn't happen and I would win, it became more reinforced. Then you would see the conditioning of the other person fighting. Deep down not many people will fight until they can't, despite whatever lessons in the skill of fighting they've had, or what they consciously say. And as ugly, and as demeaning, embarrassingly rambling, ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ dribble as it sounds, not many people are conditioned to use momentum to put a face into a door edge, or wall corner. This all sounds like self grandiosing dribble, crap, but its the sad truth. And it has taught me about the deep, little understood or measurable power of unconscious conditioning.
Who knows why some achieve dreams easily, and some don't. One day someone will, I think some already do. But I truly know it has something to do with the unconscious power of conditioning. Like, I consciously believe I must go to the gym, eat a certain way, rest, blah, blah, blah, to stay fit, and healthy, but I kind of know its because I still really think, embarrassingly even as a fifty something year old, supposedly grown man, that I'd better be ready at all times to face abuse. So going to the gym, training, eating good is absolutely effortless. Necessary in fact, or something feels wrong, dangerous.
And I also honestly think that one day it will be normal for people to be in the best shape of their lives, or achieve anything, just by thinking it. And everyone will be conditioned to think it. Someone will find out how to do it, Maybe a Maxpower, maybe a Mark Lapierre, maybe some kid from anywhere. Guys thinking like me will be dinosoars.