"And in those simple beautiful movements I remembered what was really important in training; that consistency trumps intensity; all the time. That intensity is born from consistency. That one cannot force it, one has to lay in wait for it, patiently, instinctively, calmly and be ready to grab it when Grace lays it down in front of you."
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I've always been a serious guy. More than one person in my life has said they can't imagine me as a kid because I'm so serious and have been for so long. I guess it's true but it's just the way I am. If I'm going to do something I want to do it right, and if I want to accomplish something I always look at what the best are doing and try to imitate them.
In fact, one of the breakthroughs as I had as a gymnast was when I realized that there was no difference, performance wise, from trying to "learn" a trick and "copying" how the other person did it. I'm not sure that was ( is) the best path to Mastery, but at that point I cared more about repeatable performance than any Zen concept of Mastery.
I picked skills up much faster trying to just 'copy' what they were doing, kinesthetically, than "trying" to coordinate all the different sequences just so.
I had to know, definitively, what those positions were, and what the sequence was, so I could analyze it in my head, but when it was time to try the move I just had to "go".
I needed to "feel" it more than anything.
Once it got locked in the body, rather than the mind, I had a much better chance of being able to repeat it on demand.
So I've alwasy taken a pretty serious approach to any physical, on mental for that matter, endeavor and Bikrams is no exception. If I'm going to do something I want to be as progressive as possible to be the best I can.It's just 37 years of programming and I don't think it's going to change now. Of course it changed when I was so injured I couldnt move but not really. Because I took as serious approach to my rehab and restoration as I did athletic competition.
I just thought of this this am as I 'warmed up' for class by doing z drills and stretching.Everyone else is just lying there waiting and I know if I dont do my ankle and hip circles my overhead work and my balancing single leg work won't be strong. So I gotta do it.
Two times per week seems to be good now as I had another very strong class with the exception of my first standing bow.I have to take some time and actually practive this asana outside the class and work on it.It's just so easy for me to miss my very very small balancing point I have on my left leg and fallout. Which pisses me off to no extent cause I KNOW I can do one minute continuously.
I also have to struggle with either looking in the mirror, as they prescribe, or being internal which I prefer.If I use the mirror it seems I have virtually NO margin for error when I start to lose balance. If I'm internal I have much better reaction time. More reflexive and less reactive to the "image" of myself losing balance. So much to work on :))
I also was taken by the simplicity of the class and the structure and how much that resonates with me and how it has throuhgout my training life.All throughout my training I have striven to make my training as simple as possible and plumb the depths of it as much as possible.It wasn't really a choice, it was what I was driven to do, and still am.There is that calm still place when It happens that brings me back again and again to it's peace and it's strength. The calm in the eye of the storm of life. That "zone" in the middle of the chaos.I loved to be there. Lived to be there.Still do.
But things need to be as simple as possible but no simpler( I think Einstein said that) so there is always that tight rope to walk with training and Bikrams is no exeption. In fact it freakin PUTS you on the tightrope.Great fun.
When I ran I just ran. When I did bodybuilding I picked the most intense moves and killed them( or I should say myself) rather than a smattering of low intensity movements here and there. Same with powerlifting. What's left in the tank after you get everything you can out of heavy squat or deadlift work?Simple, but not easy.Deep is always hard(er) but its the only way. At least that I know or can swear by.
It's the same with Z. I LOVE the freakin simplicity of doing circles with every joint in all the most basic ways they can make a circle and using that as the assessment tool. As much as I enjoyed all the crazy state of the art information that CK FMS gave to me the absolute simplicity and accessiblity of Z to everybody , immediately as a way to get better so appeals to the Zen monk in me.
And last but certainly not least; Enter the Kettlebell, the ultimate minimalists training tool.And the RKC School of Strength -simple as can be, but no simpler.Brilliant.
Simple.Doable.All one has to do is do.
And go figure, that's the hard part.
Tracy said the class today was as hot as always but for some reason it didnt seem as hot as normal.that's good and having made it through a full week of my normal training and work schedule makes me realize even more how vital routine, regularity and calm stability are essential ingredients if one is to make training progress. I don't know how anybody does it anyway. I'm not sure they do.
I also Really focused on breathing continuously through all my toughest poses and I know this made a big difference.When you hit a move that requires a lot of strength the natural( and correct) response is to hold the breath to increase tension, which increases strength( remember tension= tone= strength) I have to give up some of the strength so I don't gass out in that series and the remainder of the class. Course it couldnt just been a good day:)) I'll take that too.