Stop Thinking

on February 3, 2014 in Misc

little boy

First, a word about the Superbowl.  And remember I live in Denver.

I knew the game was going really stinky awful bad horrible for the Broncos because my neighborhood was silent.  I mean silent as a grave.

See, whenever the Broncos are playing and they score you can hear shouts of joy up and down the streets.  Tonight, however, I only heard one neighbor cry out as if in pain, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

By then I had stopped switching from a repeat of 60 Minutes to see how the game was going.  I didn’t want to think about it.

Which leads me to my next topic: I have discovered that Not Thinking can be very good for me.

As you know I’m an epee fencer.  Not a very good one, but I keep trying.  Well, a huge shock for me is how suddenly, after a few YEARS of fencing, I’m getting MUCH better. Sure, my lessons with Maciek, a gold medalist Olympian, have really helped.  But in the last couple weeks I’ve suddenly started to kick ass.  And all because I’ve learned to shut off my brain.

See, I’ve got a noisy brain.  If you could poke your head into mine, you’d be overwhelmed with chatter, monologues, odd observations, old songs and movie dialogue and God only knows what else.  Yet in fencing, as in a lot of sports, you need to turn off your mind and let your training, experience, and instincts take over.  The physical movements must come faster than conscious thought.

Zorro fencing

Now, at long last, it seems I’m developing the Don’t Think skill.  The result?  Last week, during my third fencing bout, I put myself into a zoned-out Zone.  And I beat someone who ALWAYS beats me with the unbelievable score of 10-3.  In fact, when he yelled the f- word after one of my touches (he was furious with himself, not at me), a few people gathered at the end of the strip and watched us.  Usually I would get self-conscious, but instead I zoned them out and went on to my big win.

And because I won, Jim, a fencing coach and so scary good I haven’t fenced him in at least a year because he consistently creams me, stepped onto my strip. He wanted to fence me.  Holy crap!  This time I had more trouble staying in the Zone, but I still did okay:  he won 10-7.  I mean, I GOT SEVEN POINTS AGAINST JIM! FANTASTIC! HE EVEN TOLD ME I HAD REALLY IMPROVED!

So tonight, as everyone in Denver tries to forget about the Superbowl, I’m dwelling on my Not Thinking breakthrough, and feeling quite happy.

How about you?  Have you found that quieting your mind helps you when you write, play sports, create music, anything?  I’d love to know.

Have a great week.

14 Responses to “Stop Thinking”

  1. That’s cool you scored seven points against him. It’s easier when you can turn off the thoughts. (My wife says I’m good at that.)
    I didn’t care who won the Super Bowl, but I was hoping for a good game. Last night wasn’t it.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – Funny that your wife says you can do it, and maybe you’re unaware?

  3. I bet against Denver simply because Seattle has a young quarterback. Yep,I’m one of those people that doesn’t shy away from the harsh truths and realities of age.

  4. Helena says:

    Michael – And what happened to the Broncos was a harsh truth. Hope you won a lot of money.

  5. Huge congratulations! I write better when I can shut off my brain. So I get what you’re saying. It’s all about trusting yourself.

  6. Helena says:

    Carol — You’re right, it’s about trusting myself enough to let go. I like that you too write better when you quiet the old grey matter. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

  7. ann says:

    I just read your last two blog entries. I always love your fun poems and I’m glad you’re feeling better. Congrats on your fencing! I’m so proud of you kicking butt in your fencing class. Gotta see you compete someday.

  8. Helena says:

    Ann – That would really be fun for you to attend a match — I’d love it.

  9. Gina says:

    This was a very fun post. The superbowl game was just pathetic this year.

  10. Helena says:

    Gina – Pathetic is the right word.

  11. Old Kitty says:

    I totally need to be in a zoned out zone too!!! I talk to myself too much and it keeps me awake!! LOL!

    Sorry about the superbowl! But yay for your fencing victory!!! Take care

  12. You fence? That is too freakin’ cool. I’ve always wanted to attempt it; maybe someday. I’ve heard that “no mind” is a good technique to use — sounds like you’re getting close to jedi level.

  13. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – I talk to myself all the time and like it because I’m such a friendly voice.

  14. Helena says:

    Milo – Don’t know if I’ll get to the Jedi level, but at least I’m getting past my hopeless level.