Dr. Jon Hyman

Jon Hyman, MD

TrueFit: The Truth About Fitness

Dr. Hyman is an independent Orthopedic Surgeon. Our Mission is to provide expert sports medicine education. This is not a site for medical treatment. This site is not affiliated with, sponsored by, endorsed by, nor approved by CrossFit, P90X, Insanity or any other third party.

For decades, in America, the fitness movement has had an identity as a matter of physical prowess, dominance, and ability.  Olympians and other professional athletes notwithstanding, the measure of fitness among the general populace has been defined by an individual's ability to perform physical feats with effort and accuracy.  Ordinary people, women and men, running in road races, either 5 or 10k's, completing a number of situps or pushups, bike riding measured distances, swimming pool laps, lifting weights, grunting and sweating in gyms like LA Fitness, YMCA's, CrossFit boxes, etc have become the face of fitness.

In a fast food culture, where obesity has reached epidemic proportions, those who are physically fit gain rock star attention.  Hollywood magnifies and glorifies this phenomenon.  Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, of a generation ago, have given way to Ben Affleck's Batman and Jennifer Lawrence's Hunger Games. These movies are blockbusters. The stars are bankable, feted, and fawned over. These fit strive, these fit thrive, these fit will survive. So goes common understanding.

America's health care workers understand. Their work has become big business. They offer services to help us gain and maintain physical fitness.  Coupled with exercise,  diet, physical therapies, and a host of both invasive and non-invasive strategies are prescribed as winning formulae for gaining and maintaining fitness.

America's definition of fitness rests on the underpinnings of a Western worldview. It derives from Judeo-Christian cultural values and Graeco-Latin language speakers.  It gave us gladiators primed for spectacular contests of might and strength.  In the West the masculine attributes of aggression and competition, celebration of the individual and the self as center of the universe help to define our understandings of fitness.  "I think, therefore, I am." The application of linear logic and scientific principles to the study of the human body have resulted in maximum proficiencies, expert advances, and compelling competencies for those who embrace them.  They have also given us Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius, whose falls and failures from the pinnacles of fitness are cautionary tales to the limits of a definition of fitness that focuses only on the physical.

From the East, located among Asian cultures where Confusionism, Buddhism, and Taoism are practiced, there has emerged a different viewpoint.  Namely that fitness has a spiritual dimension.  The human body is more than material and machine.  Life is perceived in the round where unity and cooperation have value.  We are be-ings, living in relationship to ourselves and others.  "I am, because we are."  Ordinariness and mastery over the self are embraced as an inward effort, facilitated by meditation, silence and stillness.  In the East the practice of yoga flourishes. The Dalai Lama, once forced to flee Tibet and live in perpetual exile, has become the 80 year old face of this kind of fitness. His writings, which include THE WISDOM OF COMPASSION; ANCIENT WISDOM, MODERN WORLD; WARM HEART, OPEN MIND; THE WISDOM OF FORGIVENESS; THE ART OF HAPPINESS, give color and substance to the East's definition of fitness.

In the East.those who aspire to be-ing fit learn to train their minds and spirits, one rep at a time.  Gentleness, responsiveness, humility, flexibility, and submission  are heralded as the path to a healthy, long and peacefully fit life.

We seek to meet these two great worldviews somewhere in the middle, between the yang and yin of West and East.  We  are at the intersection where firmness, movement, and hardness give way to flexibility, stillness and softness.  We know that if we are always hard we become impatient, impetuous, and aggressive.  We know that if we are always soft we become ineffective.  We seek  an experience of be-ing that allows us to align ourselves with nature's current, neither rushing ahead nor lagging behind.  We learn stillness within movement, inward tranquility in the midst of action. We are on the Way, along the TAO of fitness,  We meet in the one-world view of planet earth our home, which encompasses both West and East, North and South, the whole of life, inclusive of ourselves, human be-ings, and all others living too.

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Our thanks to FlexBuilding: A New Way to Move. A New Way to Live. for providing the anatomical images for this website.

dr jon hyman

Jon Hyman, M.D.

Dr. Hyman is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Expert who concentrates on helping his patients understand their problem and get the results they want. Understanding the problem from the patient's perspective, how it impacts their life, their family, their sports/jobs and goals is his primary concern.

Aside from surgical and technical expertise, he has a reputation of providing thorough second opinion evaluations. He seeks to answer all your questions and teach you about things you may not have known to ask, so you leave feeling informed, re-assured and satisfied. Knee, Hip and Shoulder surgery and non-surgical options generally, are his specialty.