The Fosbury Flop sounds like some disaster in the food industry doesn’t it?
It’s actually a high jump technique that revolutionized the sport in the 1960s. It’s that backward-arch over the pole that we see today.
AND it’s a fantastic story. It’s inspirational. It’s about the human spirit and an open heart. Triumph over limitations.
I LOVE this story…come see why.
The Story of the Foz
Dick Fosbury was only 16 when he first stumbled onto something new. Simply because he wanted to. He wanted to clear that bar. And he went with his body. At first, some awkward bending and arching. Unlike anything done at the time.
In the 1960s, athletes were using the straddle, western roll or the scissors techniques. Basically nothing new since the 1930s. These methods allowed “safe” landing on their feet. Safely into sand pits mixed with wood shavings. Ouch! (Only high-level athletes were using deep mattresses as a landing pad)
But it wasn’t working for Dick, who by that time stood over 6′ but could not even clear 5’5″ with his western roll. Did he quit? No! Of course not (or I wouldn’t have a story and analogy to share!)
That fateful afternoon in 1963, he beat his personal best by a full 6″. H.U.G.E. This is a sport where athletes literally inch forward in improvement. World records are made with fractions of inches. The difference between the Gold and Silver medalists at this year’s London Olympics was merely 1 31/32″.
Like with anything unconventional and completely different, Dick’s new and unrefined technique wasn’t impressing anyone. People were skeptical and even laughed, calling him “the curiosity of the team”, his gait as something “that may call to mind a two-legged camel”, and his jump “like a guy being pushed out of a 30-storey window”. Hardly flattering or encouraging.
Dick just squeaked by to make it to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico. The same Olympics he won the Gold, with a new Olympic and US record of 7’4 1/4″. And thus birthed a new reality. Since 1972, all high jumpers leaped into medal standings with the Fosbury Flop.
The Fosbury Flop, once considered weird and dubious, is now the standard.
I LOVE the story of the Fosbury Flop. For so many reasons… where do I even begin?
1. There are always OTHER possibilities
For about 30 years, high jumping was done the same way. Having to contend with a sandpit obviously didn’t help.
Within a paradigm, constrained by certain beliefs, people just stick with the status quo. They do what they’ve always done…but guess what? You get what you’ve always gotten, when you do that. And the standard may work. The straddle technique won Juri Tarmak the gold in 1972.
But there really isn’t only one way of doing something. We know this and that’s why history is replete with continuous and remarkable improvements, innovations, revolutionary ideas and mind-bending concepts. Humans are by nature curious and seek accomplishment. That’s why a “simple” thing like the Rubik’s Cube or Tetris is so addictive.
When we root ourselves in the garden of possibilities, we can soar. When we open ourselves to even just the idea of possibilities, we open our awareness to their golden threads, weaving them into creation.
Einstein understood this. What is imagination but our openness to possibilities, and knowing something different, something more, can exist?
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
2. Work smarter, not harder & Play
If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you. Don’t beat yourself up.
There is a difference between pushing yourself to the limit to achieve new milestones and hitting your head against the wall. Over and over again.
The key is to know the difference and move beyond it.
Sometimes this means finding other ways of getting it done. Sometimes it’s tweaking what’s currently being done. It all boils down to 1. BEING AWARE of what you are actually doing and 2. QUESTIONING what you are doing. In a positive way, to allow new ways to find you through inspiration, openness, and fun.
3. Tapping into the collective consciousness
At about the same time, a similar “reverse” jumping style was being used north of the border. The “Brill Bend”, videotaped in 1966, was developed by Canadian Debbie Brill. She was incidentally the first North American woman to clear 6″ (at 16).
It’s not unusual that people around the world come up with the same or similar breakthroughs around the same time. We may know the Wright brothers as the pioneers of flight but they weren’t the only ones working on a heavier-than-air aircraft. Samuel Pierpont Langley was also working on it and had models that did work.
Hilary Koprowski, Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin are all credited with polio vaccines. Other examples? Space travel. Electrical induction. Theory of evolution by natural selection. Endorphins. Not isolated examples. In fact, there is a theory called Multiple Discovery, with more examples and why it happens.
When the time is ripe for certain things, they appear at different places in the manner of violets coming to light in early spring.
But is collective consciousness more than this? What is collective consciousness?
Collective consciousness is a mode of awareness that emerges at the first transpersonal stage of consciousness, when our identities expand beyond our egos.
There is a lot written about super consciousness and morphogenic fields. Lots of scientific research and supportive evidence. You’ve probably found synchronicities and connections in your own life. Have you ever known who was at the end of the line when the phone rang? Have you not “jinxed” someone as a child when you both blurted out the same thing at the same time? (Wasn’t that exciting?!)
I have no doubt we are connected and interconnected. And we can tap into that. We can download from that “database”, gain wisdom and knowledge without any “logical” process. The key? Openness. Allowance. Willingness. A healthy dose of curiosity.
4. Believe in yourself and leap into the future, face first
What I love about the Fosbury Flop and the Brill Bend is that these pioneering athletes’ innovative styles saw them sailing over their obstacle, facing upwards, to the sky.
To me, this is symbolic of what we do when we are in the zone, when we love what we do, and when we do what we love. There is no effort – only joy and ease. And what we do want to overcome is already behind us.
In that moment when the athlete arches over the bar, she surrenders. And we all hold our breath for what seems like an eternity. Yeah, we do.
In that moment, we experience infinite possibilities. It’s a thing of beauty and awesomeness. When we too let go, when we let go of the fear (will she make it, will she beat the record, will the bar drop), we too are One with the jumper. As she leaps, we leap together.
When we are inspired, when we relax, when we are flying, we face up, to the sky, the sun, the universe. We look forward and upward. We look ahead, leading with an open heart.
In the moment of now, we see a future of possibilities.
5. Always love what you do
If you know the WHY, the HOW will always show up.
And you wouldn’t even hear the laughter because you are smiling to yourself, humming a tune, loving what you do.
Will you be the Hundredth Monkey?
source: My best bud, Google.