When Practice Makes You Worse

I was on the dance floor, having repeated the steps half a hundred times. The beautiful woman opposite me was still smiling, but it wasn’t just my imagination: the corners of her mouth had started to turn up into a sneer. The teacher to my side, said “No, like this!” and demonstrated one more time. […]

Sweaty and Frustrated – Shortcuts to happiness

As I write this I am covered in sweat having spent the last hour pushing a 600 pound motorcycle up San Francisco “hills.” Had I stopped–paused for just a moment–and considered why the bike wasn’t starting up I would have realized that I had forgotten to turn the fuel valve back on. No gas, no […]

You’re Doing It Wrong! Practice versus Performance

I watch a gymnast work on her handsprings. Or a blues dancer try to learn the “pulse.”  Over and over again my initial response upon watching someone practice something new is an internal shout: “You are doing it wrong!” There may be some hair pulling involved. Then I calm down, decide if the person would […]

On New Fitness, TED, and Practice

I spent the weekend at Anat Baniel’s “New Fitness” workshop. My new conceptualization of enthusiasm, vitality, and fitness: A baby learning to crawl.  I, for one, have never seen anyone in a gym look so eager nor move so well. I just watched Aditi Shankardass discuss neurological diagnostic techniques for learning disorders on TED talks. […]