This I Believe

Andrew - Goshen, Indiana
Entered on November 1, 2006

Motion

People use words pertaining to motion to express the workings of their minds and to describe spiritual experiences. They leap to conclusions or the Spirit moves in them. Motion sustains life. Contractions and expansions of my heart keep blood flowing through my complex networks of veins and arteries.

Much of my life has been spent pursuing the perfection various kinds of motions. Whether running, playing soccer, skateboarding, sailing, doing flips, or playing guitar, moving well has often been my objective.

In track, the object was speed, going in an oval until my muscles were spent. I would time the inhalations and exhalations of my lungs with the rhythm of my track spikes on the rubber. Form was paramount to the perfect race. Picking up my heels to increase stride length and keeping my elbows in to not waste momentum going from side to side were topics drilled into my head for years. All inertia had to be kept in a simple forward line. Watching and studying videos of my own running form increased my awareness of the movements of my body. A personal best in a race or a first place finish inspires a sense of peace and accomplishment, strangely mixed with total exhaustion.

In soccer, control was the primary objective. Keeping the ball close with small taps, weaving in and out of the defense, the final, carefully directed touch of the most powerful shot that I could muster: these were the things I strived for every time I was on the field. As a team, we had to move in concert with each other. We had seen all of the diagrams, the lines, circles “X”s an arrows delineating the movements of the ball and the players. A well-executed wall pass or “give and go” could make or break an offensive attack or a tough defensive play.

The fingertips on my left hand have signs of repeated action. The permanent indentations and calluses bear witness. They slide and tap on the metal strings of my guitar until my hands can remember each note and repeat them without mistakes.

People also find value in stillness. They meditate, sleep, or just relax, but even in these activities they are moving. They are participants in the larger revolutions of the earth and even the galaxy. The stillest of all yogis is communing fully with the rotation of the Earth, and flies around the sun at the rate of 18.5 miles every second.

I think about the world in terms of motion, and I strive to perfect some of the ones of which I am capable. This has been a defining aspect of my life so far, and is something that will follow me throughout the foreseeable course of my life.