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08 January 2013

Paradox at the Gym...


They say ‘You can’t do the same thing again and again and expect different results’.

I say ‘Boo’.

I say that two people can do the exact same thing day after day and expect different results. And it is perfectly logical.

Take the example of two protagonists. Let us call one of them Laxman. I don’t know his name. For all I know his name may be Ravi, Aditya, Tejas... anything. (Not Humberto or Moreno or Jaime Toro. These are South American names. Laxman is Indian). We are calling him Laxman.

Why are we calling him Laxman?

Because, the name of the other protagonist is Ram. When Ram is there, can Laxman be far behind?

How do I know that the name of other protagonist is Ram? Because, it is me. I am the other protagonist. And I am reasonably certain that my name is Ram.

I hear you asking, ‘When are you going to make your b....y point?’

Here go I.

Both Ram and Laxman go to the same Gym. Both joined the Gym on the same day, almost at the same time (like a pair of twins, I can't stop once I start). Both of them have the same trainer.

Both the protagonists follow the same schedule. Monday is for back muscles, Tuesday is for biceps, Wednesday is for Chest muscles, Everyday is for body ache...

Etc.

Both Ram and Laxman are Exercise partners. They alternate the same exercise between sets. For example, Ram does a set of 15 biceps exercise with dumbbells weighing 5 kg each and once he completes, he hands over the dumbbells to Laxman to do the same thing.

Or Laxman does 15 push-ups and then Ram does 15 push-ups.

Or...

You get the point. Both alternatively do the same exercise for exactly the same number of times.

For an hour this goes on. Like a pair  of butterflies flitting from one flower to another, or (if you didn't like that one) like a pair of synchronized gymmers Ram and Laxman flit from one dumbbell to another.

Or tango dancers...

You take your simile.

Finally the fruits of the labour. Both stand on the weighing scale to check their weight.

This is where things become interesting.

Ram looks at his weight (it is a digital scale), and thinks ‘It is almost a month. It is torture to get up in the morning in this winter cold and come to this gym and take all these pains. My objective was to reduce my weight. But it looks as if my weight is remaining the same. Why is my weight not reducing? How will I know that I am not wasting my time? Oh my god, am I wasting my time?’

Ram freaks out.

And what about Laxman? He looks at his weight and thinks, ‘It is almost a month. It is a punishment to get up in the morning in this winter cold and come to this gym and take all these pains. My objective was to increase my weight. But it looks as if my weight is remaining the same. Why is my weight not increasing? How will I know that I am not wasting my time? Oh my god, am I wasting my time?’

Laxman freaks out.

You see. Same action. Expectation of different results. If my trainer is to be believed, both of us will achieve our objectives.

As Laxman put it so succinctly, ‘Vice Versa works in life’.

The point is  this. Both are going to the gym expecting the results that they want. But what if ‘They’ (I mean, the people who made that statement in the first line of this article) are right and one of them (either Ram or Laxman) is wrong? What if Laxman is right? What if going to the gym will increase the weight. Then Ram would have lost his sleep, taken all these body pains (for instance, today morning he couldn't feel the lower part of his hand, it was almost as if there was ‘maya’ or weightlessness between his elbow and (his) palm.) and would have got results exactly counter to his objectives.

It is scary.

But, wait a minute. What if Ram is right? What if his objectives are achieved? What if going to gym will ‘really’ reduce weight (Ram is relishing the thought). Then Laxman will look silly. As such he looks thin as a reed. One month down, he is going to look like and emaciated reed. Boy, won't he look ridiculous.

That one thought should keep Ram going to the gym.

Right now, I being Ram, is licking my lips at the thought. 

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