One thing I absolutely love about sport, movement, and fitness is the way it exposes our underlying nature and deeply rooted tendencies.
When and how we choose to move when faced with a new athletic challenge quickly reveals the decision-making strategies we use across all facets of life.
Some people, for example, analyze every single map detail, description, and GPS track before heading out on a long hike. These types of people also tend to use calendars for their social lives, plan vacations hour-by-hour, and gravitate towards academic, scientific, and STEM careers. Logic and control guide most of their decisions.
Other people will head out on that very same hike with little more than a pair of shoes and a feeling. These people tend to have a relatively unstructured social calendar, take spontaneous trips with little notice or planning, and occupy jobs that grant them the freedom, flexibility, and creativity. Intuition largely guides their decision-making processes.
At our best, we are able to blend intuition and logic to produce movement that is beautiful, balanced, and expressive. And of course, every movement we make is created by some combination of intuition and logic. Yet I do believe each person naturally gravitates towards one or the other.
I personally am a cerebral type - inclined to move with logic more often than not. Logical movers are controlled, precise, and deliberate. We plot our course, pay careful attention to the action as it plays out, and assess outcomes afterwards.
Many of my friends, however, are more intuitive by nature. Their approach to movement is unthinking, flowing,and formless. They move spontaneously, and often cannot recall what they did or how they did it. For them, it just happens.
The very best athletes out there know how to harmonize their logical mind with their intuitive actions. Cultivating this ability take patience, practice, and plenty of self-reflection.
This week, consider your default state when you approach a new athletic challenge. Do you study the challenge with an analytic mind, or do you just “go for it”?
When does your personal tendency serve you well? When does it get you into trouble? How can you blend intuition and logic together to better serve your athletic and wellness goals?