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Redefining “Normal”: A Full Function Definition: Test 1
The word “functional” carries a ton of baggage with it. From the rehab/physio side of things, “functional” means simply that a person can function (ie. You can clasp your own bra, wipe your own bum, get out of the chair, feed yourself…) In fact, we see lots of quick/throwaway references to functional all the time in the form of the insidious and mediocre phrase, “within normal limits”. Normal then, isn’t about making sure people can actually do what people should actually be able to do. It’s about, ish. Like normal-ish. Like, sure, you can swim with your incomplete shoulder mechanics because they are within normal limits. It’s functional enough. It doesn’t hurt, right? You can swim right?
And “normal” means what then? Not painful? Able to run like crap but still able to run?
Look, full capacity (real normal baseline) and not like everyone else limping and slouched around here is the goal. There is no value judgment about incomplete capacity. No one knows your history of injury, lifestyle, disease, poor coaching, insane training volume, brutal business travel schedule. It doesn’t matter. You can either do what humans are supposed to be able to do, or you can’t. Yet. Or you might not ever, so at least you know how to protect yourself from compensation and disaster.
But be clear, there is a normal. And it’s based on real physiologically based full range of motion movements. Normal. Functional. If you are squatting all the way down and someone handed you something heavy, would your back be rounded like a broken rainbow? Hope not, because that’s not normal.
We know you are still a world champion, fastest of your friends on the trails, the most elite, and yet it appears you have room to get better. Why? Because the new normal also means full potential.
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