Our bodies have millions of memories we don’t know.
I trained alone in the dojo last week for karate class. I worked out for the better part of an hour ending with punches and kicks on a heavy bag. Toward the end of my workout, Sensei came and stood by the door watching me. After a moment he stepped in to correct my technique, specifically, a backfist. He was talking about closing distance while sparring and as usual he demonstrated on the student. He doesn’t hit, but rather, touches the hair on my sideburns with his left knuckle and pulls his fist back so fast that if you had blinked, you would have not known he moved at all. This is nothing new, he does it all the time. I am always in awe of his speed, power, strength etc.
After class I was closing the dojo door when he said to hold on, he’d left his weedwhacker in the yard and wanted to put it inside. A moment later he asked me to help him in the yard. It seems a small black metal piece had fallen off the weedwhacker and he couldn’t find it. He looked briefly around the ground but to no avail. I saw the thing in an instant and reached down to the ground a few feet away and picked up the grass stained piece of black metal. He said thanks and put the thing inside.
Now, I know Sensei wears glasses to read. However the same 63 year old man that missed a metal handle in the yard can also punch me in the face as fast as a light switch turns on and only touch my beard and not my face. That ability is more than a learned trait or habit.
I know of muscle memory. We all have it. But think we have cell memory too. Cell memory is like a reflex but for a deeper, larger reason. Like when a baby grips whatever is put in its hands, very old people do the same. The natural tendencies is to hug when we are embraced even when it may be uncomfortable. When we encounter a perceived danger our senses become intensely keen. Yes these are all reflexes, but reflexes are really proof of a deeper, older greater knowing.
The first time I stated a fire with a hand drill, my body felt great because it had done something that it was made to do. I felt the same way as a child when i would climb all the way up a tree or swing on a rope swing. I mean the feeling of being “in your element”.
When we make an action we were made for, our bodies scream with pleasure and excitement. It is different for us all. Some run very fast, or shoot with incredible aim. Others put numbers together with giddiness or put down policy with passion. Each is different and necessary. Many of our skills are learned but somewhere, also remembered.
Each muscle and cell remembering what it was made to do.