How’s that for an opening statement? It all started with the book “The Turning Point” by Fritjof Capra, Frank Capra’s brother. Frank won 3 Oscars for Best Director in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s. Fritjof was a “high energy physicist” from the University of Vienna. Must have been quite a household as they were growing up. Fritjof has attempted to explain to the lay person how quantum physics works and the more I read this book, the more I realized its implications are absolutely astounding. Someday (if quantum physics is really what it says it is) – we’ll all be able to manipulate matter at will. Here’s what I found out. And, I need a disclaimer here. I am DEFINITELY NOT a physicist - at all. Nowhere close. I am reading a book for non-physicists. And, I’m interpreting it as I go – with a specific desire to change the way my body is working (or not working). And you must also realize that a truly mature runner is a specimen who is constantly needing to re-form his/her body – body part by body part. Running does do a number on our “parts”. We do the best we can at avoiding injury, but things wear out. And if you’re not into replacing body parts (a current trend – replace a hip here, a knee there, etc.) – then what’s left is directing the sub-atomic particles comprising all matter to do whatever you have in mind. Really, that’s the gist of what I read. First of all, these sub-atomic particles comprise all atoms. And the atom I’ve learned is a non-destructible item. They are all as old as the universe. So, since the atoms comprising you and me are indestructible, why is it we “age” or have worn-out parts? That’s where quantum physics comes in very handy. It was discovered that an “observer” (the term physicists use to refer to themselves while they are playing with particles) can directly affect how a sub-atomic particle behaves – just by his thought. And this particle in question can be on the opposite side of the Earth. He can change the direction of its spin by thinking so. And I welcome a truly trained scientist to engage my in this thinking. This is where the book went by page 87 (a Bantam paperbook published in 1987). “The electron does not have objective properties independent of my mind.” And another result says Fritjof, is “the results of quantum mechanics and relativity theory have opened up two very different paths for physicists to pursue. They may lead us – to put it in extreme terms – to the Buddha or to the Bomb, and it is up to each of us to decide which path to take.” So, how to take these ideas into our present day world, and start affecting a change in the matter around us? Well, if you can influence what a sub-atomic particle can do, then hold in thought the fact of needing a new knee (for example). Or an improved knee, or a knee that works without pain. The kicker is that sub-atomic particles are SO small (billions of them just in the dot that ends this sentence). So, yes, one has to be incredibly persistent. But it DOES open up amazing possibilities. We are all part of a complex web of interconnected energies, and I can imagine (and to imagine something IS the 1st step in making something happen – haven’t you been told that???) …that more than one sub-atomic particle is going to…to… to…I don’t know how it works, but, move here or there ….and it must be according to one’s will. Yes, this steps outside of Capra’s book, or maybe not, I’m only up to page 120. But say you could influence 1000’s of sub-atomic particles to cluster in a different fashion than where they presently are (and quantum mechanics will say you can never know where they are at any given time). An inflamed knee (for example) shows you where billions of these particles are working – so – just get them to change their nature. Yes, I’m being terribly simplistic here, and that’s okay. But I’ve become quite excited about my (perhaps) exalted imagination and where it could lead. And, by the way, my workouts are improving faster now than they have in the last several years. So there. …..your turn. - David Summerfield
David Nutter Summerfield
The following blogs were first published in The Windrinker, a running newsletter published in Bozeman, MT (www.Windrinkers.org). There is a constant attempt at viewing the foibles of long distance runners in a humorous light so we don't take ourselves too seriously.