I've recently just moved to London which means a greater incidence of one of my pet peeves:
people abruptly stopping walking in front of me.
I have fantasized many times about punching somebody who does this in the back of the head or "chicken legging" them (that's a gentle kick to the back of the knee that makes the leg buckle).
I have not done it yet but no doubt you will end up seeing my police mugshot in the papers for it one day.
Beyond my rant, there is a point.
Some people are more frequently oblivious to their environment than others.
We all need to stop suddenly from time to time but it just takes a quick check over the shoulder to realise you're going to cause inconvenience for yourself and others without a little deviation in your path.
Sometimes it doesn't even require that look.
We have ears that can hear behind us.
Depending on the surface we're walking on and how much it vibrates, sometimes we can feel people behind.
Sometimes, we can even smell people behind us. Hmmm.
These are essential life skills and sporting skills.
Using our senses to detect our relationship to our environment plays a massive role in many sports and once upon a time was crucial to our ancestors survival on the planet.
That opponent closing in on you.
Your team-mate running beyond you.
That ferocious animal about to pounce.
That Audi coming around that blind corner as you go to cross the road.
So, a thought on how to become less oblivious and more aware.
Your head holds lots of your sensory apparatus: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, inner ear, etc.
The more freely it can move, the more easily you can be aware and the more athletic you can be.
Without going into any complicated methods on how to get the head more free, we can implement an ultra simple way to begin taking in more info:
Move your head and eyes around more as you walk around.
Today, develop an awareness of when you are holding your head still and your gaze still as you wander in the world or practise your sport.
Notice how different it is to keep an awareness of more of the space around you than you usually do.
Notice if you are more responsive to your environment.
Notice if your movement feels that little bit lighter and more nimble.
The best athletes know exactly what is going on around them.
Begin doing more of that today.
Arton "I'll lovingly punch you in the back of the head if you stop still in front of me as an athletic reminder" Baleci
P.S. this applies for the runners I was speaking to yesterday too. You can learn more about improving your running by coming to my upcoming workshop by clicking here.