Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inertia – Part 1

What a great concept, such a wonderful idea, as fundamental to physics that this fact is considered, I wonder how man survived without this knowledge before Newton one day, said ..a body will continue to be in a state of rest or uniform motion until acted upon by some external force.

Why?! even the fact that the earth itself is actually in a state of uniform motion,…and not static as it appears to be!  Where would the human race be without this basic knowledge?!

I had the joy of watching this concept in action today, in the most awe inspiring way. When I was made aware of this fact in physics school. I opened my jaw and had exclaimed “Ooooo!” and “Aaahhh!”.  It had made total sense. That’s why!  I hadn’t dared to jump out of a running bus or train ( if one travels by public transport in Hyderabad, or for that matter, any metropolis in India, we know, these opportunities presents itself by the dozens each day!) because I knew I could fall and get hurt.

I just couldn’t prove why it happens so, scientifically, until that day, in physics class when I got bitten by enlightenment, with Newton’s laws of motion. Particularly, the tendency of a body to resist a change in motion.

Anyways, all those laws were for inanimate things, weren’t they?! Sure, their laws of motion are affected by things such as  weight, friction, gravity. But, when we consider animate things like for eg..Humans. Especially human beings working out in the gym. How could one apply the laws of motion on these creatures?  I don’t think the same rules could apply here.

Although, I should add that one part of the law may still be applicable to us. The part, where we have the tendency to remain in a state of constant rest, because, I myself have had the opportunity to experience it countless times, when I settle down on my couch or bed..My body prefers to stays in that state, until its disturbed violently by external forces like my family…

Ask Hubby dear!! He’ll have a longer list to divulge. All those times he thinks, I am guilty off such luxuries, most of which I wouldn’t agree with of course! But then, he has a right to his opinion, isn’t it?! Its always what I tell him when I want to disagree with him :-) …

So, coming back to inertia, we know, it has a lot of factors associated with it, like body mass, resistance, force etc. But, what I saw on that particular day went beyond that. I saw this lady in the gym who was running on the treadmill, for more than an hour. What made it so amazing was that she seemed to be in a state of rest…as she ran on it for the whole hour and some more. What an inspiring sight it was.

If one noticed her upper body, it seemed to be in a state of rest..unless one noticed the lower part of the scene where, her legs were moving lightly on the treadmill, at a constant speed, that would almost have been true!

She was of a heavier set. Surely heavy, I would say.  SO, defying the law of motion, how could she manage to keep herself in that state of uniform motion/rest, for more than an hour?  Don’t more things come into play, when its the humans that are involved, especially when they are working out? I mean, other than her physical body mass, the momentum in her stride that helped her take the next…etc, shouldn’t will power and stamina also come into the picture here?

She had immense amount of all this, It was obvious. I was on a elliptical at a fair distance from her, glancing at her now and then.  I had gone an hour on the elliptical too. I had an inspiring sight to get me through that hour. Something like that should have fired up my will power to do more, right?! But, in an hour, I had wanted to stop. I was tired. The inspiration wasn’t powerful enough to invigorate me with this energy I failed to generate,  after a while. 

Isn’t that the reason why I go to the gym to workout? To get inspired by fellow exercisers and workout more, apart from the fact that its a state of the art gym… and the bonus of experiencing the steam room.

Feeling deplorable, I realized that I needed to prove to myself that I could be in a state of rest, while being in a state of uniform motion, as well!

This thought never occurred to me before, but, wouldn’t it be so cool, if we could take a nap, while we ran on the treadmill.   Our bodies could be in a state of rest, just like the lady on the treadmill,  while being in a state of uniform motion. As oxymoronic as it sounds, it would surely be cool if that could be achieved, like we were in a spa getting a manicure or a pedicure while we relaxed.

Actually, from what I hear now-a-days about the weight loss pods etc, the thought doesn’t seem as atrocious.  But, it would be like a chef who uses canned stuff to cook a meal.  That’s not a challenge! The fun is all in cooking the meal from scratch right!  So, wanting to achieve this constant state of motion, I embark on a plan that will be laid out and executed, in the next part!!!

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