“One’s shape is a destination. One’s shape is a divine experience of motion. One’s shape is a tool of expression.”
Secret Invasion #1, Marvel Comics (2008)
I’ve found myself using the word “shape” lately when explaining exercises. I cannot say if this is a natural evolution of my coaching or simply a word I’ve put to use.
I believe that in order to do something well, one must know as much as possible about it. In training, this involves the science, art and practical applications of the inter-related skills. This requires a variable amount time based on the relative simplicity or sophistication of the task, previous related education and the learning curve of the coach.
This does not mean watching YouTube and considering yourself an expert on a subject. Although highly convenient YouTube is only a start. Just like reading a single book, you’ll be limited to its contents no matter how many times you’ve viewed it.
I’ve known visual-kinesthetic learners that seemed to pick up some skill based movements near effortlessly, yet struggled for years with things that seem comparatively simpler. Some shapes come easily, while others elude them. I can personally attest to this fact.
I’ve also known others that despite having the visual shape of technical mastery, would claim they are waiting for the “perfect repetition”, or in the spirit of this blog, “the divine experience of motion.” By some accounts I have (or at least previously held) a solid looking Turkish Get Up. I believe there is always a small tweak here or there that can be micro-adjusted, and that I’m very far from what I can attain.
An untold number of swings performed over a training lifetime. Maybe the next one will be “that perfect swing.”
I can imagine the response if someone were to find my personal training logs. I’ve jokingly thought that I should title them “Diaries of a Madman” as my entries are not purely exercises,sets and times. I often jot notes during training based on what I’m feeling, what is going well, what needs work and what could be a problem. I’ve noted that my handwriting had days were legibility was an issue. I’m reasonably certain those were days where I pushed my capability limits and writing became a difficult feat. I believe this practice has helped form my shape.
Your own shape is formed through training and it will naturally differ from mine. In both diamonds and training, it takes three particular things to shape us.
Environment, Time and Intensity
Through cutting and polishing a beautiful shape emerges, and no two diamonds are identical.