This perspective that I am going to do my best to describe it seemingly common sense movement. Great example: Walking across the street. What does it take to do that? FIRST, it's a turning of the head in both directions to check for cars. Then, there is a step, followed by another step, etc, but even before that there is a neck movement to place one's head slightly off balance in the direction we want to walk.
One of my real life examples from today: I waxed my snowboard for the first time, so maybe that was another reason why my movement-perception wasn't so automated. From one perspective it takes a lot of work, almost an overwhelming amount of work (thus the $8 alternative of paying someone else to do it). This overwhelming perspective happens before any time is spent. When one is willing to dedicate the time, the series of steps naturally unfolds when the tools and the know-how are available. Heat the iron, drip the wax, spread the wax with the iron, scrape off the excess, clean up the excess, turn off the iron. Even this quick description I didn't immediately think about having to toss the excess wax in the trash. Heck, we could have swept the floor if we wanted to be thorough.
The point of sharing this perspective is to unfold the decision process and bring a little awareness to the physical. I notice that I make quite a few decisions based on the perception of all the effort required to complete a set of physical movements for a given task. This "effort" is a loaded term. Effort is relative. How I relate to work determines effort perception. The relationship indicates a separation, and I think with today, for some reason, I was more tuned into what is required to complete physical tasks in a simplistic perspective that was intriguing. Just doing what has to be done.
The inverse perspective (instead of this perspective), is that the movement is automated. Decision to cross the street does not normally consider ALL of the physical movements/effort because there is a relationship toward these movements. Tilting the head forward is easy. Placing one foot in front of the other by bending the knee in conjunction with a minimal effort abdominal contraction is easy. The only real consideration that happens is how many of steps it will take.If the road is 7 miles wide (i know, crazy) then we may choose not to cross the road depending on the reward vs effort of walking that far.
Yes, this is a broad perspective, but I was intrigued with insight. It's not a new perspective, but I've never written about it before. It's a perspective I am drawn to and the primary reason I like to study parkour, free running, and everything related to balance. I really like trying to understand and gain mastery over the physical movement through space time...I think I like it because there is so much room to learn, grow expand my body vocabulary. The newness of learning how to balance on a unicycle is some kind of physical intimacy.
|free use flickr image|
Again, the inverse perspective would be that I already know how to...make a sandwich, or say with yoga, when I already know a posture or a movement, it is automated. I make a decision, and my mind just put my body there automatically, and I have room to think about something else. Ah, here lies the crux of it all. Long distance running, another example, on a treadmill even. The know-how of each physical body movement is squared away in the mind, and it leaves the space for us to zone out and think other thoughts and daydream. With parkour, there is more of a continual challenge and adaptation to the environment that keeps me more present with the physical reality. The main flag point of mind participation within parkour is when ego and pride step in, especially when others are saying "ohhhh, so cool, great job!" And that's how people get hurt: trying to uphold a reputation of being good or great instead of practically considering the physical limitations.
Ok, join me for some self-forgiveness tomorrow. There's a lot to this perceptual shift, and I want to see how deep I can go in releasing my physical movement programs. Also, I will report on what I notice in relation to daydreaming (separation from the physical) that occurs while I'm boarding down the mountain.