Thursday, September 11, 2014

Body Awareness, pt. 2

A while ago, I was at a bowling alley and observed people playing.  I'm not that great at it myself, never having taking lessons, but I've definitely enjoyed many games of it so far.

One woman was having some issues not getting her ball in the gutter, so a friend of hers tried to help.  She was drawing the ball back with her right hand and letting the weight of the ball swing it around behind her, so when she threw the ball, she was throwing in an arc and basically guaranteeing a gutter-ball.

I watched him show her how to pull the hand straight back without any arcing, just back and forth past the leg in a straight line.  He even moved her hand for her, so she could feel the sensation of not-arcing.  And then she went to bowl...and arced and threw it into the gutter.

It was an interesting display of a lack of body awareness.  I didn't think badly of her because of it, but it made me wonder what was missing.  She was told, she was shown, and she was moved in the general way that would have helped her form tremendously, but something didn't click.

We all have a limit to where our body awareness can't pick up on something quickly, and absolutely it's affected by who's teaching us.  Still, where are you in terms of being shown what to do and being able to do it?  If someone moves your body a certain way, will you be able to repeat that movement without them?  What is your body remembering?  Are you aware of what you're doing differently than before?

I find body awareness is one of those things that can make all the difference.  It's one thing to put your hands in a position you want, your legs in a stance you want, but can you keep them there two minutes later?  Can you remember how it felt to move a certain way and when you're not moving that way?

Some people come by this skill really easily, but if it's not something that comes natural to you, it just means you'll need to take more time and work at it.  Still, as skills go, this is one that can pay off in spades.  You'll need to be honest with yourself, and it might take someone else to help keep you honest, but it has direct, obvious effects and never stops being valuable.  Learning it in one place will help you in others, as well!  For example, you could always try bowling...

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