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Treat it like a dance

19 September 2016 2 Comments


If we were playing a tune on the piano, we wouldn’t be hurrying to get it finished. We would turn on the creative part of us that allows us to “feel the music”. We would be playing each line of the music as well as we could. Our body would be totally relaxed and the performance would flow from our spirit, through our hands, into the piano keys and the music would flow effortlessly.

If we were dancing to a favourite piece of music, in a private place where the fear of being judged was removed, the music would flow through our body, causing the most relaxed, smooth movement. We wouldn’t be racing to get to the end of the piece, we would be totally living in the moment, enjoying the process.

In the two scenarios listed above it’s hard to not be smiling when experiencing these sensations. Being totally immersed in a performance means living totally in the moment. In this state time simply passes, it’s like all of a sudden, it’s over, we’re at the end. In fact it’s almost a let down for it to be finished. But there is a feeling of satisfaction from a job well done.

Compare these scenarios with racing a long endurance race. Whether it is a long distance swim, a long bike ride, a marathon or an Ironman triathlon combining all three, if we can stay relaxed and live each minute creatively, time will fly by. The kilometres will fly by, and before you know it, the job is done.

One of the secrets of getting through long, hard days, whether it’s work or sport, it’s loving what you do. Getting your mind into a state of loving, releases muscular tension. It allows you to do what you do creatively. It allows energy to flow freely.

Counting kilometres, watching the time, keeping an eye on competitors, all stifle the smooth flow of energy.

The final result is important to all of us, but focusing on the final outcome can be adding “hand brakes” to our performance, through increased muscular tension. If we watch a folk singer performing, there is no effort, there’s a pure flow of energy from the singer to the audience.

Whether it’s a pianist, a dancer,a folk singer or a runner, if it’s being done well, there appears to be very little effort. There’s a flow of energy. This can be achieved if that’s what we’re searching for. It won’t come from watching your competitors, or counting kilometres.


  • sue said:

    I love this Alan – I recently did a 13 hour race and smiled through all of it – it really can be wonderful and life affirming when you’re in the flow. A great reminder to stay present.

  • Door Replacement said:

    Door Replacement

    Treat it like a dance | ALLAN PITMAN TRIATHLON COACHING

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