If you’ve followed my tweets or Facebook status updates, you already know I’ve made my annual pilgrimage to Miami to see my teacher, friend, colleague, sensei Dr. Nicholas Romanov. As usual, my trip to see Dr. R was fulfilling, as I eagerly gobbled up every proselytizing nugget of information he shared. This time, there was an undeniable wisdom to his words, a deeper acknowledgement of our interdependence on gravity to move, and more importantly, to sustain the youthful vigor all of us cherish. “Life is movement and movement is life”, he emphasized.
In his lectures with me, Nicholas dissected the essence of movement: support – action – support. Because of gravitational pull, our body mass has “weight” and this weight is discernable by the pressure we feel (think, the load we feel on our feet when we stand). Pressure automatically engages our muscular system, preparing us for the specific coordination of actions required to release our bodyweight and immediately return to the next point of support. The most efficient means of releasing our weight is by falling.
This means that the pillars of sports performance (speed, agility, quickness, endurance, stength) are linked to how far and fast you will fall and the skills necessary to do so. According to Nicholas, the key is your ability to understand and apply these concepts to your movement. Through your psycho-emotional network of sensing, perceiving, desiring and thoughts-processing, each of us possesses the ability to improve our performance exponentially.
Although my stay at the Romanov’s home was brief, Nicholas was always the gracious host, generous with both his time and insights. As he drove me to the airport for my return flight to Philly, he reflected on our conversations. “Who was that, actor, very famous, died young?” he asked. “Uh, James Dean?” I guessed. “Yes, right,” he said before poignantly summing up life’s seemingly endless complexities. “I love this quote from him: ‘Live life like you will die tomorrow, do as if you will live forever’.”