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The 'Zone'!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I think this forum is the appropriate place to post this ...

The other night, I was jamming with some guys I’ve played with a few times. We’re all a bit older, and we have nothing to prove. We just enjoy the music and the camaraderie. I can’t even remember the song, but I was playing a solo – my tone was perfect – and I just lost it! My brain seemed to check out, and the notes seemed to be spontaneously exploding from my chest! I remember ending the solo with some kind of cascading descending line that was like water tumbling down a rocky stream bed. I had no conscious idea of what I was doing! Geez, I love it when that happens!

Clearly, I was ‘In The Zone’! I think this happens when we are totally focused on what we WANT to do rather than HOW to do it. This happens to me more when playing music than in any other endeavor. But it happens occasionally in sports too (skiing, golf, baseball, tennis), and it’s absolutely magical!

I’d love to hear about anyone else’s visits to ‘The Zone’!
post #2 of 21
Usually happens on a quite trail when I am completly relaxed. I go "off somewhere" where everything is automatic, no stress and no thought ....... a good feeling accompanies it.

The minute you stop or think .... Gone! Poof! Blown away in the wind. You can try to get back, but while you are trying you never will. It's a sneaky little gift that comes and goes of it's own will. :

[ December 11, 2002, 10:34 AM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #3 of 21

"My hands were moving faster than the moving of of my mind"

Ain't it great when that happens and you just sort of listen to yourself and wonder where its all coming from.

Athletically, I first experienced it before the term "zone" was in use and I refered to it as slow motion because the world seemed to slow down and give me lots of time to react, plan, and execute my next move.

post #4 of 21
I hear what your saying. In music it happens for me every so often whether jaming with friends or alone. You become possesed by a natural state of mind and your ears go into auto-pilot. Or while skiing, no matter where you are on the mtn. you get locked into a rhytmn and every turn catapults you into a greater sensation. I guess at that point everything happens sub-consciously and being in the zone becomes relative...? perpetual...?? : [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #5 of 21
see previous topic "flow" in same thread.. I totally know what you mean.. when you are so into something that you don't even need to think about what you are doing, or you look at your watch and 15 minutes have gone by in the blink of an eye..
post #6 of 21
Interesting thing I've found is that if I tape my playing, being in the zone does not always equal good music.
post #7 of 21
I agree with you miles. We all hear differently. Again I think its all relative. Heck, you can be in a zone that you wish you weren't. Which brings us back to the thread about what "IT" is.
post #8 of 21
I think I've only truly been in the zone once...while skiing...
post #9 of 21
One of my very first lessons, when I finally let myself glide. All of a sudden, this Artie Shaw piece comes into my head "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You". Corney has heck, but it was that feeling of being completely relaxed at a sport I used to consider terrifying.

Just sort of floating down the hill like smooth jazz from a saxophone.
post #10 of 21
Know the zone from fencing - opponents sword will 'wait' for you (not really but it feels like it) - you have all the time in the world to do the movements - no rush.

I get it skiing fairly regularly - normally when I focus on something so that I DON'T control the skiing with my conscious mind. In concentrating on the focus the rest becomes fuzzy & the body does its job as required. There is endless time to correct small problems that arise & you don't need to 'think' about doing that - it just happens & only in replay can you work out what you did.

The 'focus' bit probably comes from fencing background - THink HARD about what you want to do BEFORE you start. The movement is stored in brain & just 'appears' when the time is right. Suddenly body takes over & everything goes SLOW.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Here's another way I've heard it described:

"... That Schlitz ‘Grab-For-The-Gusto’ soaring feeling, as if you've just sailed off the edge of the fixed world with that last note and you haven't the vaguest idea where the next one is coming from or how you'll make it ... but even though you'll have to do it a split second from now - you aren't worried about it!"

God, I just LOVE that feeling!
post #12 of 21
Schlitz will do that to you.

*I love my malt liquor*
post #13 of 21
I think some of us need to go skiing SOON. Flow. Zone. This is the material of desperate souls! The flowzone. The joneszone.

Disski, what's the dis for? I don't see no dis.
post #14 of 21
intentionally stepping into the void in a solo and praying to find a bridge(figurative) to lead you back.

falling into the activity, instead of trying to control it.

breathing out and finding the world has gone quiet, then letting your mind follow.

letting your heart engulf your mind and your activity to your spirits delight

letting your head go silent and feeling the world rush in to tell you about itself.

giving yourself to the wind with no desire of gain or purpose.

the feeling of snow getting to intimately know you, inside and out.

doorways to the zone?

I really need to go skiing.....

post #15 of 21
You got seperated from your companion but you see him/her quite a ways down the slope and you desperatly try to get to him/her before they jump on the lift and that is all you think about.

You'll be skiing perfectly, in the zone, and you wont even realize it. [img]smile.gif[/img]

post #16 of 21
Originally posted by nolo:
Disski, what's the dis for? I don't see no dis.
Nolo - you just haven't seen me ski yet [img]smile.gif[/img]

Could always get Ydnar to ask one of my instructors when he hits deer valley - or ask Meesh for a description.

As to the fencing - well imagine a French Master of Arms standing there poking me in the calf to try to teach me how to tense the muscle so I can learn to lunge. [img]redface.gif[/img]

Hmmm - or ask whoever dobbed me in to Ott on the cookie front....
post #17 of 21
Originally posted by Ott Gangl:
You got seperated from your companion but you see him/her quite a ways down the slope and you desperatly try to get to him/her before they jump on the lift and that is all you think about.

You'll be skiing perfectly, in the zone, and you wont even realize it. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Yep Ott - that would match with what I do - focus on something removed from the body movements. I can do it most easily now by trying to keep up with an instructor - or by having a 'target' -"ski to tree don't stop". If i am to alter my skiing in that run then that is already discussed & programmed into brain - but makes it less liekly to achieve the zone. We do a lot of runs with simple goals now - "ski faster" etc - because if we have already worked on the specifics then I will probably carry them on once I'm let loose & the simple goal allows me to focus on simpler goal (eg catching instructor if we are skiing faster) which makes me more likely to hit zone - I ski better like that I'm told (less panic probably)
post #18 of 21

First I wanted to say Hi, I found this site last week and am amazed how much information I have gained already.

Reading this thread, I kept thinking about the times I have really been in the Zone. The first to come to mind is the last 50 feet or so on final when landing a plane. I have been flying for 3 years, and when the wife and brother are on board and it's gusty like mad, you have to just know what to do, you can't think.
I also race jetski's and coming around a bouy with 3 other guys about 4 feet apart, doin 65 on choppy waves passing in between them. Very Zenlike, I just remember floating thru all the action, slow motion and keeping the throttle nailed. Managed 3rd place that day, on my 5 year old ski...
Hoping for some Zone action in January, finally getting back to the slopes after missing out last year. Been working on learning the secrets of holding a carve, I used the new shaped skis 2 yrs ago, but didn't have any instruction. I knew they had mucho potential, but now I hope to be able to really USE them.
Thanks for the info, see ya'll around.
post #19 of 21
Welcome to the forum, SkiFool, dig back and you'll find answers to almost any question about skiing that you could possibly have.

post #20 of 21
Sadly, I've experienced that feeling at work numerous times, while involved in some intense coding sessions (computer programming) lasting days, or even weeks.

I've hit it while skiing too, mostly last season after reading every ski book I could find, and trying some of the techniques I read about here and in the books.

post #21 of 21
I know the feeling your talking about.A black bartender named Ivory told me a long time ago"if you think you stink if you play your OK". I've found this to be the case more often than not.Although I would add That it helps alot to know how to play.
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