Friday, December 14, 2007

Flow

In Out There today we have a story exploring the feeling of "flow." That sense of timelessness and total integration you get when you are fully engaged in an enjoyable and challenging task. I talked about it in terms of skiing, biking and running, but just as many people enter flow playing music or even writing software code.

Personally, I slip into the state occasionally while writing, more often when drawing the periodic comics I do for the Gazette, and most often when I'm mountain biking.

On certain trails on certain days, flying downhill, I don't notice the bike. I don't notice thinking about steering or avoiding obstacles or balance. I feel invincible, like I can do no wrong.

I don't get the same feeling running. Here and there, when I'm well trained and doing well, I'll get what I might call a "runner's high" where I can sort of step outside myself, see how well I'm doing, and enjoy it, but it's not the same seamless feeling of being one with the bike.

Anyone else? What makes you enter flow?

7 comments:

Mr. Dvorak said...

Blasting my quads.

UltraRob said...

I call it going to my happy place. Sometimes I just end up there without doing anything. It's always easier to get to that place when I'm really fit. On the bike, I've found it helps to breathe in a rhythm with my pedal stroke. I can somewhat do it hiking the Incline by breathing with my steps but it's easy to get thrown off where a tie is missing.

Mr. Dunlap said...

You guys are awfully extreme.

I get in the zone in two places. Autozone and the Golden Corral on steak and shrimp night.

pine_marten_hunter said...

I get there when my breathing slows. When the crosshairs line up. When my index finger gently pulls on the trigger. When I get that kick back as the crossbow flies out of the stock. It's hard to describe the joint feeling of both calmness and that rush of adrenaline flowing in you at the same time.

Steve Bremner said...

You have a real talent with your comics of Bishop's Castle. I linked to it on my blog. Classic!!

Nate H said...

Steve is right. The Bishop's Castle comic is astounding. Nice work.

Dena Rosenberry said...

We were talking about the comic and wondering whether Mr. Bishop would appreciate it when my phone rang - and it was him.

I was prepared for the worst, but he loved it, too. He's quite a character.