I was reading a few articles about Alessandro Calvesi, a pioneer in track and field in regard to hurdling mechanics. He was also known in athletic circles as the Sorcerer for his abilities to evoke change in performance. What a compliment for a coach to be named something so powerful. Yet today I see more illusionists and street magic with the performance enhancement industry in order to make a quick buck. In Track and Field their is the tape and clock, so in time the smoke and mirrors will fail and then render the con artists exposed. In our world we are not built for show but built for go. But now the performance industry has magic words like addbuttcadabra (via glute bridges), magic formulas (corrective exercise formulas that lead to the need for more maximal strength), magic wands (cheap cold lasers), Magic Carpets (large overpriced airexpads), and old slight of hand (acute reciprocal inhibition movements that last as long as a fruit fly). My favorite is the coach that claims he is an apprentice of a master, only to blow up athletes using the Magic Modules later or fail to get them better.
We see it every summer. A strength coach converts a normal stance squat to one that is very wide and uses a box that is too high. Soon 100 lbs are added to the bar in August and we are magically stronger. After practicing 40 yard dash starts kids are dropping 1-2 tenths but seem to get burnt like last year when football begins again. Or the the kid adding great amounts of muscle mass only to loose it during two a days because they removed conditioning from the program because they are using fast food training times and only crush iron and leave in an hour. Illusionists are everywhere. My suggestion is to read this story below and question everything. Question me. Question books. Question everyone.
This post’s purpose is not to place religion into training but the story is a good one and I am not trying to convert anyone to any faith. This is a great passage and Elijah adds a little dry sarcasm to the story. Make sure you use your best Samuel L. Jackson voice when reading the bible passage for full effect.
Elijah on Mount Carmel
So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, Is that you, you troubler of Israel?
I have not made trouble for Israel, Elijah replied. But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.
So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.But the people said nothing.
Then Elijah said to them, I am the only one of the LORD’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire-he is God.Then all the people said, What you say is good.
Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire. So they took the bull given them and prepared it.Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. O Baal, answer us! they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. Shout louder! he said. Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened. So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
Then Elijah said to all the people, Come here to me. They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, Your name shall be Israel. With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.
Do it again, he said, and they did it again. Do it a third time, he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.
Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, The LORD -he is God! The LORD -he is God!
Then Elijah commanded them, Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away! They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.