My body lies to me. Your body lies to you, too.
Here’s an example.
My coach gave me some feedback on my back summersaults during trampoline practice. I did my best to incorporate it in my next attempt. After I completed it, she said:
That was better.
It did not feel better.
It felt heavy, stiff, and slow. It did not feel “good” in my body. My body told me it was not better at all.
I asked the coach what was better about it, and she gave me very specific aspects of the skill that I improved
On one hand, I had no reason to doubt she was telling me the truth. After all, why would she lie?
My body, on the other hand, did not believe. To my body, it felt worse than the other attempts.
This same scenario plays out often in the gym, in flying trapeze practice, and in my yoga practice. It also happens in other areas of my life.
This scenario is common and normal.
The Comfort of Habits
Human beings are marvels of nature. When we know what we need to do, we find a way to do it. The body is a miraculous object that will contort and twist itself to how it needs to move through space. It will adapt to the environment we put it in.
Over time, these habitual ways of moving and using our bodies will cause breakdown and injury.
The problem is that habitual ways we use our bodies becomes familiar. They become comfortable — until injury makes it uncomfortable or painful.
The challenge with breaking habits is that when we attempt to do something in a new way, the body sends signals of discomfort.
To be clear, it’s not to much that my body lies; the body sends the signals. It’s the mind that interprets them.
The mind is invested in the way that feels comfortable, even if that comfort is misleading.
To change the habits, we must change the story in the mind.