Use It or Lose It

It standing for any sort of artistic or athletic behavior. Picking up a guitar after a long lay-off, takes a while to get one's groove on again. Same with painting, for instance, or writing poetry. When you work on a skill every day, train long enough to enable effortless motion, then stopping the work throws up a barrier to re-enabling the effortlessness. Or something like that: you know what I mean.

Dick Cavett writes:
The late Steve Allen noted that the more comedy you write, the more you can write. It happened to me. Thrown instantly into the front lines, as I was, of daily writing for Jack Paar on “The Tonight Show” — a task nothing at Yale prepares you for — it seemed that each day of the week got a bit easier. Monday hardest, Friday a breeze. Friday’s jokes seemed to write themselves. Rust set in on the weekend and again, Monday wasn’t easy.

This might be a nice time to throw in my favorite fact about myself: I was a gold-medal pommel horse state gymnastics champion in Nebraska. There, it’s out. (Since you ask, I clinched the title with my triple-rear dismount.) And, shamefully perhaps, this means more to me than “three-time Emmy winner.” And it’s always left out of my introductions, possibly because it is not believed. It was not only the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life — nothing else comes close — but it paralleled gag-writing in the sense that what you lost over the weekend was astonishing. A remarkable insight into the difference between being in shape and really being in shape. Dancers know this, too.

[Click to read more of No Gagging the Gags - Dick Cavett - Opinion - New York Times Blog]

NBA players (starters especially), symphonic musicians, dancers, chess maestros, the list is endless. Even bloggers. Much easier to crank out seven blog posts in a day then one, all other things being equal.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 1, 2008 1:55 AM.

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