In the small group communication classes that I've taught, we always discuss the various dialectics that a person encounters while working with other people/in a group. You've got the conflict-cohesion dialectic (do you let someone know if they've pissed you off or stay quiet to maintain harmony?), the leadership-followership dialectic (not everyone can be a Chief, sometimes you have to be an Indian), and many more. Dialectics can be defined as "any systematic reasoning, exposition, or argument that juxtaposes opposed or contradictory ideas and usually seeks to resolve their conflict."
Sometimes people can never find a middle-ground between these opposing sides. You know the person (sometimes me) who always claims that they are going to "sit back" and let "other people take charge", who can NEVER ACTUALLY DO SO? Yeah. They can't balance their dialectic.
You may wonder why I'm writing about this. No, I haven't been brushing up on my communication research (and shit, I really should). I was reminded of dialectics today when I read this terrifically inspiring post about this incredible woman who just qualified for the Boston Marathon, after running a marathon on 30 minutes of sleep in an altitude that is about 10 times higher than where she trained. She, in short, kicked all sorts of ass and reading her post brought tears to my eyes.
As I was reading this, I was like "Well, this woman seems fully dedicated to her fitness routine, works, and seems to have friends and a full and social life...it IS possible!" and I was filled with all sorts of optimism and enlightenment and hope and what not. That unfortunately crashed about 45 seconds later when I thought "I just don't possess that level of discipline...I can't be like that..." Holy shit negative self-talk...why must you rear your ugly head?
This inner dialogue reminded me of the lululemon manifesto, especially the one that reads "The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought." I sort of agree with that (I think my brain can possess more than one thought at a time, but usually when that's happening I'm generally sort of confused and feel a bit batty) and give the power of positive thinking maybe a 78% (meaning I think it's effective about 78% of the time).
I'm trying to think of a good dialectic name for this constant battle of being inspired/motivated/energized/invincible and then being negative/pessimistic/defeated/bitter. I will definitely keep you posted as the brainstorm occurs.
You want to know another thought that goes through my head when I read about people who are totally devoted to their fitness and health? "How do they afford that?" It's true that high levels of athletic fitness are more likely to be found in people with mid-to-high levels of income, but I don't get the feeling that, for instance, the kick-ass woman in the post I linked to is rolling around in money. She's young and a career-woman, and living in a not-cheap city (Chicago). How does one really even afford lululemon clothing when they make, say, under $50k and have to pay about $900 a month in rent? This baffles me. Insight?
Thank you for listening to my stream of consciousness. By the way, lululemon pants are totally included in one of my "if...then"s right now. "If I lose five pounds, then I will buy a pair of lululemon pants so I can feel stylish for my yoga practice." My five-year old C2 yoga pants from Target are looking a bit more than rough.