Nate Broderick: Guest contributor/UNAA competitor
I will do my best at explaining this in words. For me, balance is a quest of perfection. It does require physical skill but the mental aspect is by far more important. To be successful at balancing you have to know how unbalanced you can be.
Most people I’ve observed step off whatever they are balancing on long before they are close to actually falling. All it takes is for them to become slightly off balanced before they are ready to no longer attempt to balance. So the fear of falling is so dominating it leads to people rushing the process. Balance requires a certain level of calm or stillness, which will enable one to move quickly yet controlled. It is also very important to understand every movement has a counter movement that must be taken into consideration. Let me better explain with an example.
I am on a slackline and I lose my balance to the left. To regain my balance I must use my arms (especially my right arm) to shift my center back towards the right. This action will cause my center to shift to the right but will also cause the slackline to shift back towards the left. So as I’m making that shift to my right I am already planning and preparing myself to make a quick shift back to my left at the right moment in order to prevent me losing my balance to the right. The more subtle the shifts the easier it is to maintain balance.
Balance takes a whole lot of patience and being totally present and committed. The benefits are abundant but can only be realized once the fear of falling is overcome. Stick with it, risk falling and you will definitely see improvement.
Find out more about Nate aka the The Balance Ninja at balanceninja.com,
Facebook: Nate Broderick