Off-Season Recovery

From the December 2005 Newsletter

Danish philosopher and theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, one of the founders of modern existentialism, said there must be a major reversal or shock to lead to any kind of progress, whether the progress of humanity or the progress of the individual. His theory was that something decisive always occurs by a jerk or a sudden turn. These progress-inducing reversals, shocks, or turns ­ called “evolutionary drivers” by some anthropologists ­ occur in animals when evolution forces major changes in a species.

On both a large and a small scale it becomes evident that low points precede high points. Because highs and lows are progressively cyclic, the reverse is also true: A peak comes before a valley, a high precedes a low.

The Elliott Wave Principle illustrates the one-step-back and two-steps-forward philosophy, a way of thought endorsed by many other great thinkers. What Kierkegaard refers to as high points, Elliott calls advancing waves; what Kierkegaard describes as a low, Elliott points out is actually a constructive correction. Both doctrines agree that the downward turn is necessary to give impetus to the upward swing, or “Schwinnnnnng,” as Wayne and Garth might proclaim.

All of which is to say that the down period, or off-season allows the body and mind to recover from many months of training and racing, thus allowing for improved fitness the following year if, IF, one retains the fitness earned in the season just past.