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  1. #21
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfie View Post
    However, if you feel it's just stiffness of muscles, any stretches cheer leaders do can help. Cheer leaders and gymnasts have to be extremely flexible.
    Sometimes I feel like I'm just shouting into the wind. Not everyone can become flexible (keeping in mind flexibility - Range of Motion - can vary from joint to joint within any one person).

    Yes, you can usually increase your muscle length - but not always - and not with any old exercise. But if you are not capable of the ROM due to a range of factors - you can try all you like - all you'll do is become frustrated at best, waste precious time - and at worst injure yourself - and some injuries are long term (arthritis and ripped ligament for instance)

    I blame the years of "girls can do anything" - no they cannot if you are looking at any one individual. As a group - yes. Cheer leaders and gymnasts have particular body type plus hard work and talent. Wishing does not change bone configuration, muscle/ligament composition nor undo old damage.

  2. #22
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanazel View Post

    Back to topic: I've been thinking that the original question involved a "stiff jointed" student. Is the problem with muscles or actually with her joints? Makes a big difference.
    Good point! No underlying problems like arthritis etc, just a lesser range of motion than myself, but I am hypermobile so it's not a good comparison! And a newness to belly dance movements, but a lot of people have that, it takes effort for most people to figure out how to do belly dance movements, although some lucky ones pick it up quickly (I was very lucky myself that way, except for the camel!)
    There isn't a problem with the muscles, just short hamstrings which seem to be affected by running (runs marathons) so some gentle stretches are good.
    The good thing is that this person is physically very healthy and fit.

    Tiny bit off topic: any other dancers who have fibromyalgia (or other artritic kind of issues)? Can you suggest exercizes for for me to lessen the pain? I have it mostly in my upper back (the pain can be pretty bad I must say)

  3. #23
    Member Elfie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post
    Sometimes I feel like I'm just shouting into the wind. Not everyone can become flexible (keeping in mind flexibility - Range of Motion - can vary from joint to joint within any one person).

    Yes, you can usually increase your muscle length - but not always - and not with any old exercise. But if you are not capable of the ROM due to a range of factors - you can try all you like - all you'll do is become frustrated at best, waste precious time - and at worst injure yourself - and some injuries are long term (arthritis and ripped ligament for instance)

    I blame the years of "girls can do anything" - no they cannot if you are looking at any one individual. As a group - yes. Cheer leaders and gymnasts have particular body type plus hard work and talent. Wishing does not change bone configuration, muscle/ligament composition nor undo old damage.
    I promise, you are not just shouting in the wind.

    I am not a big believer in "can't" and "cannot". I do believe that any single woman can do anything. In the society I live and grew up in, not just United States Society, but West Virginia society, which is a world away from the rest of the states, a can do attitude is a survival thing. Here, if your behind simply "can't" go down into a mine and work like a man, or "can't" chop your own trees and firewood like a man, "can't" haul your lumber for that extra bedroom addition and then start building it yourself... then "can't" becomes a matter of "must" when you have no job, heat, food, or bedrooms for your children. Then there's no choice left.

    So yeah... "can't" and "cannot" aren't big parts of my vocabulary.

    I'm not saying, nor will I ever say, that any person could cheer for the Dallas cowboys, or be an Olympic gymnast. However, it is never impossible. After all, I didn't say she should become a cheer leader or a gymnast. Simply that the stretches they do promote flexibility and may be able to help, not cure, the issues at hand. And I did not mean professionals at all... more the beginner stretches little girls do when they first take on these activities. I figured starting at the beginning would be a given fact, and not something I needed to state.

    I suppose the fault is mine. I do forget that text often leaves out inflection and vocal cues, so words are taken exactly at face value. I should have been more clear.

  4. #24
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Can or can't depends a bit on talent and body type as well. Some people are just better at some things than others. But health is an issue as well. I for example am very limited, if I try to be like everybody else I end up in hospital. Luckily most people are not like me
    As for body type, some people are just more flexible than others, but doesn't mean they can't get more flexible. Some people are more muscular and can lift heavier weights, others are better at making things. I guess we all can work with what we're good at and improve what we're not good at.

  5. #25
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfie View Post
    I am not a big believer in "can't" and "cannot". I do believe that any single woman can do anything. In the society I live and grew up in, not just United States Society, but West Virginia society, which is a world away from the rest of the states, a can do attitude is a survival thing. Here, if your behind simply "can't" go down into a mine and work like a man, or "can't" chop your own trees and firewood like a man, "can't" haul your lumber for that extra bedroom addition and then start building it yourself... then "can't" becomes a matter of "must" when you have no job, heat, food, or bedrooms for your children. Then there's no choice left.
    Well, I can't get even 90 degree turnout - the head of my femur jams in the hip socket. If I work very, very hard on flexibility I can get 15 degrees from my hip joint and if I'm stupid I'll get a bit more from my lower back ie overusing what is already overflexible.

    I can't be a pilot - not because I'm a woman - but because my eyesight is very bad - and with thin corneas surgery isn't an option either.

    After a major brain injury some years back I also discovered many abilities that I assumed were humanly innate and were not expressed by some people due to laziness can also be limited by biology.

    By all means try as hard as you can - and don't let social convention limit you. But all people are not created equal and some people can never achieve some tasks. The downside of "everyone can do it if they try hard enough" is a layer of guilt on those who cannot achieve.

  6. #26
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I repped Kashmir privately and want to do it publically now for that last paragraph.

    I'm not slamming you, Elfie, but the ability to pare one's use "can't" and "cannot" from one's vocabulary is not necessarily an indication of personal hardiness, can-do attitude, and determination. More often it is a blessing which will likely prove temporary over the course of one's life.

    Limitations need to be respected and accepted. Given serious back injuries, even a West Virginian mother cannot cut her own wood or get her bottom into a mine. Given an IQ of 60, she cannot excel at MIT. Given severe clinical depression, she might not even be able to get out of bed in the morning. To quote Kashmir:

    The downside of "everyone can do it if they try hard enough" is a layer of guilt on those who cannot achieve.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  7. #27
    V.I.P. Yame's Avatar
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    Kashmir and Shanazel, I wholeheartedly agree, but I think we must be careful about making "can't" statements just like we should be careful with "anything is possible" statements.

    Yes, if you say "anyone can do anything if they try hard enough," a lot of people will blame themselves for their failures when they're not their fault.

    On the other hand, I do believe we are generally capable of more than we think. Sometimes we set limits for ourselves and we really, really underestimate our potential. I think this generally happens more often than people overestimating their potential and then being disappointed.

    So, this is why I also don't like the words "can't" and "never." None of us in this forum can ever be an Olympic gymnast, for example. Most of us can never be a gymnast, period. But I believe all of us would be able to improve our strength, flexibility, and balance in most areas, if only just a little bit.

  8. #28
    Member Elfie's Avatar
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    Not to worry, Shana. I doubt any regular member of this forum is capable of slamming anyone without heavy provocation. Besides, I know that not everyone has to, or even should, agree with me. I'm game for amicable disagreement.

    I agree that serious injury can make things harder. Disability - however light or severe, depending on the cause - can limit people. I'm not one to say anything to the contrary, given that my mother is severely disabled herself. I am not trying to downplay physical limitations because they do indeed exist.

    I think Yame got the meaning of what I was trying to say. Our bodies are capable of far more than we give them credit for. Will we do backflips and ariels and somersault our way across the stage? Highly unlikely. Will we get a quarter of an inch more stretch out of our muscles if we work hard, take care to do it properly and safely, and remember that Rome was not built in a single day? I'd say we just might get that quarter inch. Perhaps more. Perhaps less. But striving toward the goal (safely) of improving flexibility doesn't mean the one reaching needs to get more than a centimeter. Improvement is improvement, no matter how small. And I feel words like "I can't" keep people from trying to improve at all. Knowing your limits does not mean you have to give up. It simply means you have to work harder and yes, you may never get that huge stretch out of your muscle that the girl two rows up from you in class can get. But you can get *something*. Limits can always be reset, and boundaries redrawn... even if just by a little bit, as Yame said. Addendum: For most. Maybe not all, but most people.

  9. #29
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmir View Post

    I can't be a pilot - not because I'm a woman - but because my eyesight is very bad - and with thin corneas surgery isn't an option either.
    Off topic: I got a bad cornea too and such bad eye sight I can't see dept so I can't drive a car or even step down from a little height without help (that's what my boyfriend is for ). I might get a surgery to fix that eye, but they are going to try to fix it non-surgically first, I doubt that will work though. But at least it is fixable for me Do you have keratokonis? or something else that caused your cornea's to be thin?

  10. #30
    V.I.P. Kashmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amulya View Post
    Do you have keratokonis? or something else that caused your cornea's to be thin?
    Never followed it up. I went for the free assessment and they tried several scenarios but they couldn't safely work with me. Ironically my 75 year old father had no problems.

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