Saturday, March 14, 2009

No pain, no gain

This morning I did some tutoring for a gentleman who said something that really opened my eyes. He said, "Sometimes when I think about these straddles and these spreads, it's like a brain freeze, like when you eat ice cream too fast, and it just keeps hurting and hurting . . . until I figure out the question, and then the pain stops."
Wow. See, I knew that options involve extreme mental gymnastics, but I've always thought that stretching the brain in so many different directions felt, you know, good. Not just good, in fact, but really good. I guess I didn't realize that many people experience the very same mental processes as a form of, like, pain. It's similar to the divergent views on physical exercise shared by me and my assistant. This week my assistant took the brave step of accompanying her much younger friend to the gym and the even braver step of letting some "personal fitness expert" assess her "body age" and recommend her weight-loss goal. The fact that the guy added 14 years to her actual age to figure her "body age" and added 10 pounds to her own weight-loss goal would be fodder for a different blog. Point is, no matter what I suggest to her about which machines she might like, or which group classes she might enjoy, she just shakes her head stubbornly and says, "No way--that hurts. Forget it." I've tried to explain that the pain lasts for two or three workouts maximum, but right at that point, I lose the argument. That's the point to her--it hurts! Not just once, not just twice, but three times in a row--hello!
Then again, she does have the computer-generated image of her body at her ideal weight to motivate her, to tempt her toward a seemingly impossible goal, so maybe a little pain is worth it?Sound familiar? My assistant was never an athlete in school; exercise is not her thing. For many candidates, the Series 7 is, similarly, not their thing. They're sales people. They like action, meetings, goals and results. They hate wishy-washy answers and boring, bookworm stuff about convertible debentures trading below parity and debit put spreads narrowing, widening, or whatever the hell a debit put spread is supposed to do. But, you either experience this mental marathon known as the Series 7 as pleasure--the way I do--or you figure out how you're going to deal with the pain. Unlike for my assistant, you don't have the option of not trying. You're already in the game.
Welcome to the Series 7.

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