Flow is an interdisciplinary concept that extends to art and creative activities, games and sports, religion and interpersonal relationships. It has been previously been told by poets and writers, however flow was formally theorized only in recent times, in 1975, thanks to the work of psychologist Mihàly Csikszentmihaly. According to his words, the flow is defined as a state of consciousness in which the person is completely immersed in what he is doing; it is a mental and physical condition characterised by the total involvement of the individual and based on three variables: focus, motivation and gratification of the act.
Flow is the inspiration that guides the process of artistic creation, it is the essence of zen in the practice of meditation, and it is the invisible hand that supports athletes in optimal performance. Sports jargon speaks of "zone" or, often, of competitive trance. The athlete is in the flow when he reaches, not even he knows how, the maximum expressive result, the optimal performance.
I was in pole position and had at least two seconds ahead of everyone when I realized that I wasn't aware of how I was driving myself. I followed the instinct and continued to go, without any sense of limit. All of a sudden I realised that I was catapulted into another dimension and was afraid. My first reaction at that point was to slow down and return to the pits
I am not afraid of making mistakes
Yet the little communist who never smiled - paraphrasing the title of the novel by the writer Lola Lafon's biographical novel - tilt the electronic systems that counted the scores.
The scoreboards of the time, in fact, do not include double-digit numbers, because no jury would ever have taken responsibility for judging an exhibition with vote 10. How much humility and modesty in the words of Nadia who, in fact, spoke little and rarely smiled and, commenting on her victory, declared that she was simply happy. Only a few years later she will find words to rework the experience she lived in Montreal. Nadia, at the time, didn't know she was destined to become a myth; she just wanted to do gymnastics and, when she trained with her teacher, when she performed in front of huge crowds, her thinking was entirely focused on the skill of the movement.
Nadia Comaneci, like Ayrton Senna, entered the area. All concentrated on motions, vaults, landings, flew the time and became a unique vacuum with space. In his head there were no watches or scores, there was only the importance of performing a perfect routine.
10 is not maximum
“It was a kind of euphoria. I could have run all day long without getting tired, I felt that I could have dribbled past every opponent, passing through him. I felt immortal. It was a very strange feeling, which I had never experienced before. As if I were so sure of what I was doing that I felt invincible.”
This is how the Brazilian described his way of being in the area, the competitive trance in which time, space and action have a totally personal sense.
Faced with such mastery, even numbers lose their absolute value. Ten is not the maximum; for someone, for example, the maximum is 13. Thirteen steps were enough for Edwin Moses to burn the distance between one obstacle and the other in the 400 meters to obstacles, discipline that saw him champion tireless for 9 years 9 months and 9 days when, after 178 victories out of 187 races, for the first time won nothing. It was 4 June 1987, a retort day.
If your bad day coincides with the wrong day to be, you're out of the game. You have to be in perfect shape on the right day, the[Olympics] that happens every 4 years, after hours and hours of training, the moment that knows no alternative or contemplates the possibility of replication. Perform the best performance at the right time: this is the definition of a sample in flow state.
Paranormal phenomena. And paralympics.
The body, especially for the athlete, is cross and delight, is the medium and the limit, the glory and sacrifice, the prize and punishment. Professional athletes all have an expiry date. When Nadia Comaneci starts to become more of a woman physically and fill out she realizes that it's time to retire. In the public there is a sort of anger, contempt, and shame about that transformation, and this despite her continuing to win - Lola Lafon writes. There is a critical accent in the author's words, stressing how this kind of media violence was nothing more than the pre-litteram manifestation of the widespread instrumentalisation of the female body, functional in confirming that women, whatever their results, are always victims of aesthetic judgment. But women, especially sportsmen and women, don't care a great deal.
And, therefore, what do all these stories teach us? Bottom line is one thing: the only limit is ourselves and the psychological resistance that does not allow us to transfigure to the area where everything is possible.