Archive for June 13th, 2013

Charles Atlas AdI don’t know why this caught my eye this morning.  If you are of a certain age you will immediately recognize this ad that ran regularly in magazines for decades, touting the benefits of following the fitness regimen of Charles Atlas.  It was one of the longest running ad campaigns of all time and made the term 97-pound weakling  a regular part of our language.

I am instantly taken back in time by this ad, one that I read dozens– maybe hundreds of times– over the years, each time feeling Mac’s pain and anger at being pushed around and reveling in his revenge over the Bully of the Beach as a result of his simply following the way of “Dynamic Tension,” Atlas’ method of using opposing forces to create strength.

Never ordered the course, never acquired the sculpted body of Atlas or mastered Dynamic Tension, although that term has always stuck with me.  There is something in it that rings true and speaks to the polarity that I often describe when talking about my work, that energy created by contrasting forces.  For instance, the area of contrast between light and dark  is often the strongest part in a picture .

Perhaps there is something to this idea of tension and the creation of energy. Charles Atlas was trying to tell me that all those many years ago but I didn’t realize it could apply to things other than biceps, pecs or abs.  Funny how seeing something like this innocuous ad brings back memories and associations…

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