Consciousness

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In our modern orthodox sculling/rowing works you can observe the consciousness/concentration on the process of the movement especially at the entry where the timing of the square up, entry and finally the pull are so critical. What I am suggesting that only the final position of the blade in the water should be important and timed. It is part of a two movement rather than the three movements of the Orthodox. It is the movement of Fairbairn and the old Thames watermen. The two movement creates the nexus point of the cycle where the blade position in the water comes together with the extension of the arms, the full slide position of the seat and the lower legs at the perpendicular.

It is the simplification of training the consciousness. It is a heighten focus for the entry. Every sinew of the body can feel this movement and the mind remains steadfast in its focus. I have vivid memories of doing the three twenty strokes high at the end of practice. I can remember the quality achieved with each stroke. I was taking the consciousness to another level. This was much in the spirit of Zatopek doing his sixty 1/4 mile sprints. He was taking his consciousness to another supreme level.

This is an example of what Rudolph Steiner refers to as Higher Worlds. In our simple sculling pursuits we achieve our higher worlds of operating. Following Steiner’s lead we must be rooted to the shell and the water conditions. Steiner was rooted to the earth and his surroundings. He was in the now. He tread lightly and walked with a youthful gait. Similarly we should look young as we scull the shell.

I try to coach older scullers to have this limber and youthful appearance. Our movements are part of our overall consciousness. It keeps the shell moving fluidly with the gun-whales remaining solid and level. With this approach the athlete is looking at the complete picture of his sculling much like Steiner was looking at the whole man, mental, physical, and spiritual. How much do we see ourselves as spiritual beings in performing the stroke cycle?

So that which we learn in the shell must be carried into there aspects of our life. We must be complete. We should try to live in the now and be totally aware of our posture and body movements at all times.

James C. Joy
Over his long career as athlete, coach, teacher and mentor, Jimmy has touched directly and indirectly thousands in the rowing community. From novices to national, world and Olympic champions, and for coaches at many levels, all have benefited from his holistic and technical approach to a cyclical non-fragmented stroke where there is a strong bond between body, shell and the water creating a state of flow within an integrated whole.
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