Friday, January 15, 2010

Session 3: Going slow, to go fast

Good session 3 today - not so sore - less thinking and more focus.

The warm up is starting to make sense - about half of the 16-steps are committed to mental memory, inchworm, toe-flicker, prisoner walk, over-under hurdle,... still working on the kinetic memory.

Phil occasionally says, "them" in referring to the body or parts I'm not use to talking to. "open up - teach them , open up - teach them", he says. It's all about doing things correctly - good spine control, good body position. I'm still rushing things a bit, and when he says, "relax, slow it down" I get too mechanical - old habit of thinking the movement rather than moving through the movement. Did someone say "white boy ain't got no rhythm"?

"Going slow, to go fast", so he says. It's all about teaching my body the right things to do, while my head is still muddling around in the past 50 years of bad habits and compensation. We're going at this three days a week. Consistency is critical to building body memory and to give Phil a chance to see response, not negative or positive, just response. It's clear he is looking at me in a far different perspective than I can see myself; there in lies the value of a coach. I have never had a person coaching just me. Ya, I have been on some teams and as a runner had enough success to garner some individual coach's attention, but a coach actually focused on the whole me? No.

So going slow to go fast is like learning to drive a car. He's got me in the parking lot of the Formula One race track. For now, confined, I'm little danger to myself. It's in there I can safely knock a few things over as I learn to get control of the whole body. Mentally, I long for the open road. Right now it's about, "Going slow to go fast".

We spent a bit of time on the wobble board's (see session 2) cousin - the "eye ball", as he calls it. A big circular board with a half rubber bubble on it. Like the wobble board, in the short-term you are reminded of how unstable you are, in the long run, core stabilization and strength are at the heart of it. In various two-footed and single-footed slightly squatted positions my objective is to balance. At first it's akin to watching geese land on an ice covered pond. Every movement feels like a semi-controlled crash. Frankly one of the toughest things was standing there, arms spread, on one leg, and having Phil just nudge me in the slightest manner - little more than breeze-like - my hips, legs, arms, hands, etc., staying still was a ridiculous challenge. In the back of my brain I start asking myself "what the hell have I been doing (or not doing) all these years to be so... so... unbalanced? I have some work to do.

The back got a bit inflamed today. We're communicating a lot about that - trying to find that balance between constructive rebuilding and tipping the scale into damage. There again we are going a bit slow now, until we both know my body better, so later we can let the F1 out on the streets.

Every session is a learning lesson - my body relearning to move, my brain learning to stay out of the way - but proprioception remains the over arching concept. I still need to create a body that communicates with all its parts.

Then it was roller time. Still discovering my body with the roller as well. Funny how a hard piece of foam can be so enlightening.

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