Originally Posted by disski
2. Sorry - I have the worst problem with self-image & confidence you can imagine..... it never stopped me having natural talent in Physical Chemistry..... you had better think that one through again I think....
5. have ZIP ZERO NIL NADA natural skiing ability.... dammit I still struggle to ski on 1 ski any distance at all - zero balance skills.... focus & intensity does NOT natural skills make..... although it has meant I have learnt to ski pretty well when I should not really
NATURAL talent is that - NATURAL talent... whether someone goes on to use the natural talent or not is another matter entirely....
Some of us will waste our natural gifts for various reasons (lack of opportunity, application, whatever)....Some will use them a bit, some will maximise them.....
Sorry, disski, but I have to challenge your world view:
1. You may have a lack of self confidence generally and a poor self image, but you have made an exception for the area of physical chemistry, where you recognize that you excel. That is one place that you don't let your self image limit your excellence. (You'd say you have natural talent for it. I'd say you showed early aptitude, have excellent horsepower, and that you have spent a lot of time getting better at it, and you got lots of rewards (positive feedback) as you were able to progress rapidly in a field that caught your focused interest. As a result, you don't have a poor self image in physical chemistry. You assume you'll pick it up quickly.)
2. You say you have poor balance. I say balance is the absolute most learnable skill in the world, and the one, in my experience, that improves the most dramatically with regular work. I'm a club racer, and I do balance training an average of two days every week, working with aids like a foam roller, bosu, bongo board, swiss ball and with weights. Often, when I'm in line for coffee or soup for lunch, I balance on one foot. Whenever I'm standing on the BART train commute, I don't hold on, so I can practice balance skills. That is, admittedly and characteristically, a little over the top--but my balance is astonishingly better than it was a year ago, two years ago, or three years ago. Until last year, I couldn't really do squats with weights on a bongo board. Now they're easy. This year I'm working on moving from kneeling on a swiss ball to standing on it. What I've learned is that trying harder balance challenges makes the other ones much easier. Five years ago, I had very poor balance skills. (Said a six year old, watching me fail time after time in a group surfing lesson, where everyone got up but me, "Don't worry about it. You'll get it eventually...") But now, I have excellent balance skills. (Even two years ago, I could juggle on a bongo board. Now I can toss a heavy medicine ball from hand to hand, while balancing on a bongo board, and it barely reaches the threshold of training. This is not because of any natural ability--I knocked myself unconscious a few years ago crossing a room to turn off an alarm clock.) Not long ago, I also had trouble skiing on one ski. That's no longer the case, but only because of practice, not a retroactive genetic upgrade.
3. Natural talent exists, and it helps. And the converse--natural deficiencies in certain areas--also exists. But IMHO lack of "natural talent" is the most over-rated excuse for almost all of us to not live up to our individual potential. People with natural talent learn faster. And their upper range of what they can do is less limited than most of the rest of us. But if you can ski up to _your_ potential you will be an awesome skier.
When I was 19, I was fortunate enough to go for a couple of weeks to the U.S. Olympic training center (then in Squaw Valley, but no more) for fencing. (Not, for the record, because I was any good--the best three young fencers in each division got to go, and I was the second best--that is technically, the absolute worst--of the only two 19-and-under fencers from Nevada. I got beat 5-0 by the 14 year old girls from Central Division of California.) At that time, there were three brothers (last name Marx) who were U.S. foil champions. Their mother was a coach, and she just laughed at the idea they were "natural" athletes, having seen them grow up as what she saw as exceptionally clumsy kids.
My brothers and I (not the Marx brothers--we've moved on to the second story and have changed families here) are a lab experiments for the human potential movement, having been raised by a somewhat troubled mother who insisted, ferociously and constantly, that we could do anything we wanted to. (Although, it turns out, not become sprinters. There are some immutable genetic limitations.) She was largely right, but only because we believed her until we were old enough to know better, and by then our experience conformed to the expectation.
This year I will probably beat all the guys in my current racing class, and move up to the next harder class, not because I have more talent (they do), and not because I ski more days (they do), but because in May I started getting in shape for ski season, because I'm more fanatical about it, and because I'm convinced I can.
I know this is a world view issue, and you have yours, based on your interpretation of your experience--but be careful: If you about argue for your limitations, they're yours.