“This is how it used to feel when I enjoyed running.”
This surprising statement came from a professional triathlete, someone who runs for a living. I have heard similar sentiments from athletes, dancers and musicians, again and again, as their minds are gently released from self judgement and the tyranny of technique, and they start to reconnect with their bodies. Some have not experienced the simple pleasure of the
act of moving since childhood. Their satisfaction has only been found in the outcome, the achievement, the measurement.
These people have been tied up by technique, associating it with restraint, effort and mind over matter. For them, technique is the necessary overcoming of shortcomings and faults.
It is a travesty that the true purpose of technique has not been revealed to them. Technique is simply a means to set their capabilities free. If they are powerful, it directs that power with greater accuracy. if they have speed, it strips away what is unnecessary to let it shine. If they have artistry, it provides the physical foundations to let them manifest their vision. This can only come when technique development is experienced as a sensory exploration rather than an intellectual discipline.
When we think like this, we can take joy in the ease of execution, the relaxation of the mind to allow the body to express intention without restriction, the rich sense of fluency and force flow.
It is no different for anyone. We don’t have to be performers to deserve to experience greater ease and efficiency in our movement. Technique is nothing more than finding the way in which our individual bodies most easily achieve that ultimate expression of our personal potential.
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