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May 5, 2011

My Obsession with Economy of Movement

The ebb and flow of the advanced economic state of movement of the professional endurance athlete looks something like this in my mind. They move smoothly without ever breaking off a piece of their armor. Throw stimulus at them and they respond with a counter movement and soak up the energy and just keep moving. It is the thing I am most fascinated by with serious professional athletes. This economy of movement.

It’s in the way they walk. For some, the way they talk is even economical. Just enough effort to be properly understood, conserving everything for training which costs all their energy. They ebb and flow through weeks like they were days and absorb mileage and hours like Pronutro loves milk.

I am not driven by winning as much as I am driven by the profound beauty that I feel within when I am getting within the same ball park as these guys must feel when everything is “clicking”. That effortless feeling of going uphill, the sense that your feet are just touching the ground while running fast and that you could hold this pace for a very long time. The “feel” in the water that comes when your elbows are high and the hips are rolling perfectly, taking 11 strokes to get across the 25m consistently.

I am driven to be as economical as possible and I know that is when the results come. I understand the work that has to be done to get close is more than most are willing to put in. I take these values forward and apply them to friendship, to love, to business. Do the work.

If you are a professional athlete and you are reading this, then I am extending a thank you for the inspiration.

If, like me, you are a non-pro and someone with a full time job, then let’s watch some examples of economy to inspire us to take to our training over the weekend.

I am racing African-X tomorrow and I am taking in all the inspiration I can get for when (not if) things get tough out there.

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