The Fool And The Coachman

„A fool, a jester, a simpleton full of wisdom, a laughing stock who in the end wins big, a character of traditional folklore stories that are passed through generations by word of mouth.” – Wikipedia

Once upon a time, a fool was walking from one town to the next. Suddenly, noises, hoofs of horses, approaching quickly from behind. Loudly, a carriage came to stop next to him.

The coachman, in great hurry, called out sharply: „Behold! How long to the next town? Answer, quick!” The fool replied: „Sir, you’re almost there. Driving slowly, it will barely take you five more minutes. But if you hurry, it might just take you half the day.”

„You fool!”, yelled the coachman, cracked his whip to urge his horses, and hurried away in fast gallop.

The fool continued his stroll, leisurely, down the long stretch of the road. Then came around the next bend, where the road had many potholes. He spotted the carriage stuck in the ditch at the side of the road, the front wheel broken, the coachman cursing, busy repairing, throwing an angry, reproachful look as the fool passed by.

The fool, grinned, winked, said: „Told you. It’s five minutes, if you drive slowly…”

I put this story together in English language, inspired by Middle Saxon folklore. I want to use it in my next Youtube video, a short routine to improve range of motion in the shoulders. A great, little short routine to deal with chronic shoulder pain or frozen shoulder, problems that do not easily respond to traditional therapy.

The key strategy of the lesson is the reversal of proximal and distal: instead of walking the hand (of the painful arm) up a wall, the client keeps the hand in place and squats down. Both motions result in an extension of the shoulder joint, but the reversed motion is usually much better tolerated, as it does not trigger pain; or at least not in the same way, thus instantly providing more range of motion, and a successful movement experience. Often times the results are quite spectacular, miraculous even, big improvements happening in a short time.

The essential movement quality in this lesson is to move slowly. And to stop before pain occurs. Before the carriage derails into the ditch and breaks its front wheel, so to speak.