Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Drop a stroke

As a swim coach, it's my goal to help swimmers get more by doing less - to teach them the power of efficiency. When practicing the breaststroke, we do an exercise called, drop a stroke, that challenges the swimmers to do one less stroke each time they do a length of the pool.

As a painter, I'm greatly influenced by Chinese Brush Painting, which also emphasizes doing more with fewer strokes. The Chinese brush painter has mastered the art of expressing and representing an object in as few brush strokes as necessary.
For some reason, this efficiency is appealing to me - in swimming; in painting; in life. In a culture where we hurry from task to task, I'm moved by those with the courage to do less. I'm also reminded of one of my favorite Chinese proverbs:
We have very little time, we must move very slowly.

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