mind over matter

Kemarin, 9 Januari 2013 saya kaget membaca berita di media online: Jokowi Setuju Proyek 6 Ruas Jalan Tol dilanjutkan, setelah pertemuan tertutup selama sekitar 3 jam bersama Menteri Pekerjaan Umum Djoko Kirmanto. Padahal 4 November 2012, baru dua bulan lalu Jokowi mengatakan, “Saya tidak pro jalan tol, saya pro ke angkutan massal.” Mengapa terjadi perubahan sikap Jokowi ini? Berikut kutipan dari KOMPAS.com:

Akhirnya Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo menyetujui proyek enam ruas jalan tol dalam kota. Hal ini sangat bertentangan dengan pernyataannya saat masih menjadi Calon Gubernur DKI yang saat ia berkampanye menolak pembangunan jalan tol dalam kota. Karena menurutnya dengan pembangunan tol dalam kota, tidak akan mengurai kemacetan justru menambah keinginan warga untuk membeli kendaraan pribadi.

“Bukan setuju dan tidak setuju, tapi ini kebutuhan yang saya lihat kebutuhan ada kalkulasi, yang kedua bis masuk dan transportasi massal bisa masuk,” kata Jokowi, di Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum, Jakarta, Rabu (9/1/2012).

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Project Mercury: Putting men in space

Project Mercury was the first manned space program for the United States. The goal of Project Mercury was to put a human in orbit. They wanted to put a man in space and test his ability to function. Project Mercury began on October 7, 1958. It included six manned flights between 1961 and 1963. It laid the foundation for the Gemini program. It also influenced the Apollo programs, which succeeded in landing men on the moon.

A group of seven U.S. astronauts trained to go into space. These men were called the Mercury Seven. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) began to develop a spacecraft. NASA also searched for the best rocket system to propel the spacecraft. Development of the space capsule proceeded through a series of unmanned test flights. This involved different launch vehicles, or rockets, to test the capsule’sstructure and launch escape system. Efforts met with mixed results. NASA tested solid-fueled booster rockets called Little Joes. They later tested Redstone and Atlas rockets which were modified ballistic missiles. Some tests ended with the rocket veering off course or exploding.

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For test flights, NASA used real unmanned capsules. One capsule failed moments after liftoff. The rocket rose and then simply dropped back down on the launch pad. But a few weeks later, NASA passed a(n) major milestone. It successfully launched a primate into suborbital space. A few months later, on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to fly to the edge of space. The flight lasted only 15 minutes. Shepard reached an altitude high enough for him to be considered the first American in space. He was weightless for about five minutes. Shepard successfully executed his assigned tasks. He was able to manually guide the capsule. He proved that a human could handle a vehicle during weightlessness and high-gravity situations.

Shepard and the other six astronauts of the Mercury Seven were chosen from a pool of military test pilots. Each astronaut had met a number of physical restrictions regarding height, weight, and age. The original pool numbered 508. The pool was quickly reducedto 69, of which only 32 volunteered to undergo rigorous physical examinations and tests. Only 14 men passed. On April 9, 1959, the final seven were announced. Of the original Mercury Seven, all but one actually flew a Mercury mission.

A group of 13 women underwent the same physical tests as the men. Dr. Randolph Lovelace II, the aerospace physician who selected the Mercury Seven, wanted to know if female test pilots could withstand the same rigorous tests. Lovelace did not have permission to conduct the tests on women. However, Lovelace invited 26 women to take the initial round of exams anyway. Half of them passed. These women were called the Mercury Thirteen. In some cases, the women underwent tests that were more rigorous than what the men faced. Whereas the men were placed in a sensory deprivation tank for only three hours, one woman was in it for more than ten. When Lovelace tried to schedule screening time at a(n) naval facility, he was told that he could not use government facilities for a private endeavor. A congressional hearing was held in June 1962 about official astronaut qualifications. It was made clear at the hearings that only military test pilots could enter the astronaut program. It would be another ten years before women were even allowed to enter that program. The policy ended any discussion of American women entering space.

While Lovelace was testing the Mercury Thirteen, Project Mercury had sent four men into space. Virgil “Gus” Grissom followed Shepard into space. Grissom was nearly killed when the door of his capsule unexpectedly blew off after landing in the ocean. When he left the capsule, his spacesuit filled with water. This made it difficult to reach the sling lowered by the rescue helicopter. The capsule filled with water and sank. This was the only such loss following an American-manned spaceflight.

Grissom became the first person to fly in space twice. He also flew in the Gemini program. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn was the first astronaut to view a sunrise and sunset from space. He was followed by Scott Carpenter. Carpenter’s crowded flight plan created some minor problems. He was working so fast that he accidentally flipped switches that activated the spacecraft’s manual thrusters. This wasted valuable fuel. Distracted by the view out his window, he missed the scheduled reentry burn by three seconds. He overshot his intended recovery point by more than 250 miles.

Wally Schirra flew into orbit on October 3, 1962. Schirra spent more than nine hours in space. He was given a less crowded flight plan, allowing for more scheduled “drift time” (periods of unmaneuvered flight). He operated an experimental handheld camera and took part in the first live television broadcast of an American in space. His mission proved that spending more time in flight was a realistic goal. Gordon Cooper flew the last mission, blasting off on May 15, 1963. He remained in space for nearly 35 hours. He slept for about eight hours. He restrained his arms while he slept to prevent them from floating freely and hitting nearby switches. Electrical problems caused Cooper to end his mission early. Concerned that the problems might affect the automatic reentry system, he reentered under manual control – the only one of the four orbital Mercury flights to do so. He was also the last American astronaut to orbit alone. With all of NASA’s objectives met, Project Mercury ended. All resources went towards the Gemini and Apollo programs.

Parkour: A challenging new sport

 

The sport of parkour is intense. It involves jumping, climbing, and balancing. Parkour pushes the human body to its limits. It is also a lifestyle. It involves the mind, body, and spirit. According to parkour practitioners, parkour is “an expression of and an exploration of the power and versatility of the human spirit.” Parkour is steeped in Western military training and Eastern philosophy.

What exactly is parkour? Parkour is also known as “free-running.” It is “art of displacement.” David Belle, a French youth, and his friends developed parkour in the 1980s. Belle and his friends grew up in the French suburban town of Lisses. David’s father, Raymond, had introduced David to the military training methods of Georges Hebert. While in the French military, Raymond Belle had trained using Hebert’s methods. The obstacle course has since become a part of the standard training for military personnel around the world.

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Hebert was a physical education teacher and theorist. He helped develop and refine parcours (”par course” in English). A par course is an obstacle course used for physical training. While Hebert was in Africa, he saw that the people there were in excellentphysical shape. Hebert believed this was due to their environment. Hebert developed the “natural method” based on this theory. The natural method was a form of training that used the natural environment as an obstacle course. It involved many different types of movements like walking, running, jumping, and crawling. Jumping, climbing, throwing, and swimming were also important. All training sessions took place outdoors. The natural method draws on many influences – from French military physical training to Eastern philosophy. It resembles other physical practices in appearance, such as gymnastics and dance. Yet it is quite different from any of these practices.

David shared his father’s training with his own friends. They called themselves theyamakasi, which is Lingala for ‘strong body.’ They tested themselves in their urban environment. The yamakasi developed new techniques for jumping and landing efficiently. They did not begin to experiment with “big jumps” until they reached their mid-teens. Instead, they perfected a fundamental set of movements: vaults, jumps, rolls, and climbs. The “big jumps” have captured media attention. “Big jumps” are particularly dangerous jumps. A jump may be from one rooftop to another. It may involve vaulting from one level to a much lower one. These jumps have also created a split in the movement. Some see the big jumps as too risky. A core practitioner is called a traceur (”bullet”). A traceur does not seek to perform risky and spectacular moves. A traceur prefers to employ techniques to traverse a space in an effortless way. The motion of a good traceur is often described as being “fluid like water.”

Parkour’s many practitioners would not call it an extreme sport. They do, however, agree that is risky. To run, jump, and leap from rooftops, walls, and staircases and land on concrete is dangerous. There is a lot of potential for injury. Sprained ankles and knee injuries are common. But excessive risk-taking goes against the philosophy of parkour. Other extreme sports are concerned with physical skill. But, parkour also involves the improvement of one’s mental and spiritual well-being. This philosophy can be largely attributed to its French roots. This makes parkour difficult to define. Some may call it an extreme sport, while others call it an art.

The split in the parkour movement had to do with philosophy. Some practitioners believed strongly in the underlying philosophy behind the movement. However, the movement began to attract more and more people. This is due in part to the media. The media and large companies became interested in using parkour to attract young consumers. They showcased David Belle and other early practitioners in some television commercials. Parkour became even more popular after the release of Luc Besson’s 2001 film,Yamakasi: The Modern Samurai. The film was about Belle and his friends. It garnered a lot of copycats. Many newcomers were injured. Young kids thought they were just supposed to make “big jumps” and leaps off of high buildings. They didn’t know the philosophy behind parkour. They were impatient. Their failure to learn how to land and roll properly resulted in many broken bones.

Two more documentary films were made about parkour. Jump London (2003) and Jump Britain (2005) helped the general public to better understand parkour as an art form and discipline. These films allowed Sebastian Foucan and other early developers to explain the philosophy of parkour. They also demonstrated the proper form. But the split in the movement remained. As one observer described the split: “There are definitely two pathways emerging: those that remain true to the original philosophies of parkour, the way, and achieving the flow that is talked about in movement, and those that use the built environment as a human skatepark for entertainment and showmanship.” In fact, the term traceur is used to distinguish those who practiced the original form from those favoring the newer form. The original practitioners argue that parkour does not include acrobatic moves like flips. They say it is not a practical discipline to be studied as if one were studying martial arts. The debate continues as the sport spreads around the world. Some people coming to the sport understand parkour as a discipline. Other people seek parkour for the thrills it can provide.

Kasihmu Sepanjang Masa

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 Wahai anakku yang kusayangi..

Pada suatu saat….

Dikala kamu menyadari bahwa aku telah menjadi sangat tua..

Cobalah berlaku sabar..

Dan cobalah mengerti aku..

jika banyak makanan yang tercecer dikala aku makan…..

jika aku mendapat kesulitan dalam mengenakan pakaianku sendiri..

Bersabarlah..

Kenanglah saat-saat dimana aku meluangkan waktuku untuk mengajarimu..

Tentang segala hal yang kau perlu tahu,ketika kau masih kecil…

Jika aku mengulang mengatakan hal yang sama berpuluh kali

Jangan menghentikanku!

Dengarlah aku!

Ketika kau kecil..

Kau selalu memintaku membacakanmu cerita yang sama berulang-ulang,..

Dari malam yang satu ke malam yang lain

Hingga kau tertidur..

Aku lakukan itu hanya untukmu..

Jika aku enggan mandi,jangan memarahiku

Dan jangan katakan kepadaku bahwa itu memalukan

ingatlah berapa banyak pengertian yang kuberikan padamu,..

Menyuruhmu mandi dikala kecilmu..

Dengan melihat ketidaktahuanku terhadap teknologi baru,..

Jangan menertawakan aku,..

Tapi berikan aku waktu untuk memahami..

Aku telah mengajarimu banyak hal…

Cara makan yang baik,..

Cara berpakaian yang baik,..

Berperilaku yang baik,..

Bagaimana menghadapi masalah kehidupan…

Jika terkadang aku menjadi pelupa dan aku tidak dapat mengerti dan mengikuti pembicaraan,..

Beri aku waktu untuk mengingat..

Dan jika aku gagal melakukannya..

Jangan sombong dan memarahiku,..

Karena yang penting bagiku adalah..

aku dapat bersamamu dan berbicara denganmu…

Jika aku tak mau makan, jangan paksa aku!

Aku tahu bilamana aku lapar dan kapan aku tak lapar..

Ketika kakiku tak lagi mampu menyangga tubuhku,..

Untuk bergerak seperti sebelumnya…

Bantulah aku dengan cara yang sama ketika aku merengkuhmu dalam tanganku,..

Mengajarimu melakukan langkah-langkah pertamamu….

Dan suatu saat nanti,..

Ketika aku katakan padamu bahwa aku tak lagi ingin hidup…

Ketika aku ingin mati…

Jangan marah…

Karena pada saatnya nanti kau juga akan mengerti..

Cobalah untuk mengerti bahwa pada usia tertentu..

Kita tidak benar-benar”hidup” lagi, kita hanya “tidak mati”..

Suatu hari kelak kau akan mengerti bahwa di samping semua kesalahan yang aku buat,..

Aku selalu ingin apa yang terbaik bagimu..

Dan bahwa aku hanya ingin menyiapkan dasar bagi perkembangan dan hidupmu kelak..

Nak, Cobalah ada didekatku,..

Mencoba mengerti aku bahwa hidupku adalah bagimu,..

Bagi kesuksesanmu,..

Seperti apa yang ku lakukan pada saat kau lahir…

Bantulah aku untuk berjalan,..

Bantulah aku pada akhir hidupku dengan cinta dan kesabaran..

Satu hal yang membuatku harus berterima kasih padamu adalah..

Senyum dan kecintaanmu padaku

Aku mencintaimu anakku…

Teman, dulu dengan penuh semangat ketika orangtua merengkuh kita dalam tangannya,

mengajari kita melakukan langkah-langkah pertama kita,

tapi nanti apakah kita bisa melakukan hal yg sama ketika kakinya tak lagi mampu menyangga tubuh kita

bahkan tubuhnya sendiri untuk bergerak seperti sebelumnya?

luar biasa apa yg telah mereka (Orang Tua) lakukan terhadap kita, tapi hanya inilah yg diminta mereka pada anaknya,

sebuah permintaan sederhana kepada kita para anak:

anakku,

“Tetaplah bersamaku saat ku tak mampu melangkah

Sampai bintang ku tak berkilau

Inginku kau selalu ada disisiku

Temani hariku hingga ujung waktuku…”

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