I went alone on a Monday morning. A quiet reverence surrounded me. The lights were dim, voices whispered. No phones or cameras were allowed. Pencils and notepads were. It was my day off. I was at the BODY WORLDS & the Brain exhibit at OMSI. I had unlimited time to study the grandeur of God and the mind of man in a most incredible combination of creation, science, technology and use of the written word. These are my thoughts.
The first note I wrote was one I already knew: “Creative thoughts blossom when our mind is in a relaxed state and our body engages in physical activity.” Does it take your brain to engage your body or is it the other way around? It takes your brain to motivate your body and once your body is moving, you feel better. As I thought about how I would share my experience with you, my brain took over and I found myself singing Paul Simon’s refrain, only my version included the body and brain reunion and its ensuing motion . . .
As a nurse, I love and am fascinated by anatomy and all that I can learn about it. I once took an anatomy book on vacation with me! I have always been interested in it, especially the heart and exercise physiology. That’s exactly how I ended up in my life’s work as a cardiac rehabilitation nurse. It is also the subject of another of my penciled quotes from the exhibit: “. . . as our bodies need regular exercise, our brains require challenges . . . .” Ah, yes. There’s that body and brain connection again. I even bought a book called Keep Your Brain Alive by Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D. & Manning Rubin. It includes “neurobic” exercises to keep your brain busy and challenged!
It is totally beyond the scope of my brain to understand the scope of my brain! But you know what? I’ll just keep using it, moving it, challenging it and doing things with it. I spent a short but intense four hours in the silent solitude of this wonderful exhibit. What little I thought I knew was infinitesimal compared to what there is to know. My little gray cells were overwhelmed trying to comprehend how my little gray cells work in the first place! That meant that they were being challenged and that was a good thing! I came away with a feeling of awe. Keep yourself fit—your body and your brain.
Yours in fitness,
Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM
Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM