The (im)possible dream of synchronisation

I had one of those mornings. You know, when you spill the instant coffee all over the floor, walk into every corner and sit down just in time to get up again to separate the kids, fighting over the toaster. One of those mornings when nothing flows. When the edges are rough, and the day doesn’t hold much of a promise of getting any better. Sometimes I wish things were more synchronized.

Like the fantastic performances of the synchronized skaters I saw last week-end.

Sweden held the World Championships in synchronized skating at Globen in Stockholm.

I had to go. I had to see it live. These amazing athletes who master the skill I so would like to acquire. They move all together as one body. Swirling, over the ice, lifting the skates simultaneously, resembling a group of fish, schooling to get away from predators.

It was impressive. Synchro is dancing, acrobatics, skating and smiling in synchronization with up to 15 other skaters. It’s cheerleading on ice.
I can’t imagine how much work goes into this kind of choreography. To me, it seems it is not just the technical side that is important. I find the mental side even more fascinating. In order to become really good at this sport, you would have to know everyone in the team really well.

It’s not just knowing what you, yourself are doing. It is just as much being aware of everybody else in the group. You need to know where they are, the distance between you and the those surrounding you, so as not to trip over their skates and fall flat on your belly.

There were one or two at the World Championships who did fall flat. When it happened, the others just kept on going. Almost like they were feeling the exact spot and perimeter of the fall, swiftly averting and avoiding the fallen skater. It was like they were birds, adjusting their flight just the slightest bit around an obstacle, not slowing down, not changing choreography. Simply adjusting ever so slightly. And the fallen one was so quick to get up and get back in the group, that one hardly noticed that it happened.

#skatesweden #WCSS2018

That is kind of a lesson. We try to teach our children that, but it becomes very visible when you see it on the ice like this. Getting up after you have fallen, can make the fall almost invisible. It didn’t affect the score for the team much, and the choreography was seen all the way through. No damage done.

In fact, the ones who fell and got up impressed me even more than all the impeccable performances – they were such true athletes and team players.

My dream of a more synchronized life, seems far away after having seen these amazing contestants. I understand there lies an extreme amount of work behind their every move, lift, spiral, pivot block and wheel made on the ice. All these elements performed in the free-skating program testified to an enormous will to move as a unit, something I don’t think anybody else around my breakfast table is very interested in at the moment.

But, getting a step closer to the dream, could be thinking more about the group around you. Who is interested in what you are doing? Who is a leader, who is a follower, who needs information and who keeps information to him/herself? All these questions are one way of getting to know your “team” – whether at home or at the work place. Including them in the process of what you are doing, can help synchronize even the most difficult move forward.

Like the pivots, lifts and wheels made look so easy by the skaters last week-end, perhaps your inclusive tactics can sweep away some obstacles and make your day flow better than ever before.

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