Wednesday musings, 1/25/17: path of least resistance

Wednesday musings, 1/25/17
Recently, my husband and I began painting the inside of our house. We aren’t particularly handy (he more so than I), but everyone assured me this was a project we could handle.
The first 35 minutes were rough. I couldn’t figure out the best way to maneuver the roller or how much pressure to put on the wall. Using the brush seemed a little bit easier, but even that required thought regarding how far to dip the brush into the can and how much paint was too much.

As I continued, things gradually got a little it easier. I found a rhythm with the roller, and I found ways to use the brush in a (somewhat) efficient manner.

Any new time we try something new in the physical realm, we go through this learning process. It’s difficult at first, clumsy, while our bodies and brains find the most efficient path available to us. This is where having a baseline level of fitness comes in handy; when we have lots of controlled movement options, the body has more avenues to try until it finds one that works well. Someone with a more diverse skill set in do it yourself projects than I do, for instance, would have found a more efficient way to wield the painting gear, plastic, drop cloths, and can. I came up with a way that worked based on my very limited experience, but that doesn’t mean it was a great method. Sports and movement skills work the same way; the greater your frame of reference for motor diversity, the more quickly you will find an efficient path.

Practicing in a thoughtful way, with reflection on what happened, building sport specific strength and flexibility, and studying more advanced movers also can improve efficiency in whatever skill you are trying to learn. And, while I am hoping to not have to practice the act of painting much more, I appreciate the fact that it did, indeed, get easier.