Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Mr. Positive and Mr. Negative at the BIX


Submitted by Barb Park, PT, Back 2 Action Physical Therapy

Have you seen some of the costumes people wear in our beloved BIX 7 road race? Been there, done that, but an experience twelve years ago still resonates in my memories…

As I turned onto Kirkwood Boulevard, I came upon two young men wearing t-shirt capes, one white cape with “Mr. +” inked on the back and one black cape with “Mr. -” inked on the back. These two caped crusaders were bantering back and forth as they ran, involving all those in the race or on the sidelines.As we passed volunteers handing out water cups, Mr. Positive took a dainty sip of water and with great expression went on and on about how cold and refreshing the water was… cau

sing me to think maybe I should stop and pick up some water. Then, just as I picked up a small cup of water, Mr. Negative took a huge gulp of his water instantly spewing it out all over his friends, claiming that his water was hot and disgusting. Somehow, the water in my cup never made it into my mouth!

Next, we passed a small road side band playing music for all the runners to enjoy. Mr. Positive was clapping and dancing and thanking the music makers for contributing their talents. It took Mr. Negative only a few steps to start complaining about the rhythm of the music and how the tunes hurt his ears.

Finally, the last of the memorable comments made before I lost earshot was Mr. Positive teasing Mr. Negative about picking up the pace. Mr. Positive talked about how fresh and springy his legs felt and how beautiful the weather was with the sun shining and a clear blue sky. He suggested that life was so good in this moment that it would be a perfect time to push a little harder. The funny thing is, I felt the same way too.

Then Mr. Negative chimed in, questioning Mr. Positive on his proposal to pick up the pace. Mr. Negative started complaining about how hot and humid it was and he didn’t think he could push it any faster. In fact, he claimed that his legs felt heavy and thought that maybe the pace should slow just a bit. As his words were still floating in the airwaves, we turned up Middle Road hill into McClellan Heights. That’s when I lost them. I couldn’t keep up the pace. Mr. Negative had made my legs feel heavy and it seemed the sun had become hotter.

I’m not really sure if Mr. Positive and Mr. Negative were doing research or just having fun, but I was left with the realization that words, positive or negative, can have a real effect on the human psyche and, in turn, on the body’s performance.

Scientifically, this phenomenon can be explained. In our complicated and dynamic systems, feelings, emotions, perceptions and the like, can affect hormones and chemicals to be released into our systems making our bodies work harder or with greater ease.

Who will help you train for the next BIX, Mr. Positive or Mr. Negative? Who will keep you going, when the going gets tough, Mr. Positive or Mr. Negative?

Who will get you back to action, when the action has stopped, Mr. Positive or Mr. Negative?

Back 2 Action Physical Therapy is located at 3565 Utica Ridge Road, Suite B in Bettendorf. You can reach them at 563-332-6596, or by email Barb@bettendorfpt.com.