All in play

I recently had the privilege of attending a continuing education class at Athletes Performance in Arizona, which is one of the top athletic training facilities in the country, run by Mark Verstegen. It's a beautiful facility, with a nice grass field, an amazing workout room, and lots of elite athletes walking around and training. It was a very fun atmosphere and I was all geeked out. There are many things that I would like to write about from this experience (including the excellent DNSclasses that I was attending while there), but for now I just wanted to make a few brief observations about the way the athletes spent their time.

Infants develop movement by progressively learning a series of fundamental movement patterns, which form the building blocks for more complex movements. For example, while lying on the ground and sitting in various positions, an infant learns to stabilize her head so she can see the world. Her head stabilization skills are a building block for the postural control required in standing and walking. While reaching to grab interesting objects, she learns the arm/trunk coordination patterns that are also used to crawl and walk, and eventually throw and climb.

I hung some gymnastic rings over a rafter in my garage. I wish they were in the living room because I really like them. Whenever I walk by I like to swing a little back and forth, left and right, in circles, with one or two arms. I think part of the reason I like swinging on the rings so much is that my ancestors probably engaged in lots of similar activity when they lived in trees.

I've decided to add a new feature to the blog - a (hopefully) weekly showcase of a video of a some excellent movement, along with some brief commentary about why I found it inspiring, or interesting, or exemplary of some of the principles I talk about on this blog. To start off, here is a beautiful video of man spear fishing while holding his breath for several minutes deep under the ocean.