Re: a small tip on idling and more
Mirrors can be useful for several tricks, including making your bikini clad assistsant appear to levitate; making her appear from an apparently empty wardrobe; and making a vehicle with wheels look like a landspeeder in Star Wars.
Unicycle tricks? Possibly. I have vague memories of watching my shadow when learning to idle late in the evening with the sun low. Similar principle.
I used to do white water kayaking. With limited opportunities to paddle long distance, I ended up spending a lot of time trying to surf ‘stopper’ waves on rapids. What you do is point the boat upstream, then perch it on a standing wave so that it keeps ‘sliding down’ the upstream face of the wave. The boat stays in the same place relative to the river bed, but is moving relative to the water which is flowing past. The difficulty of this trick is in keeping the boat pointing directly into the current, then guiding it first one way then the other across the face of the wave.
I practised for hours and hours, and could only manage a few seconds. Then one day, I remembered that someone had once said I should look a long way ahead. Within minutes, I went from ‘surfing’ for a few seconds, to surfing almost indefinitely.
What happens is, if you focus on something very close, you find yourself trying to make big corrections for what appear to be big changes of position/balance. If you focus on something a long way away, then the distance takes all the ‘clutter’ out of the information your brain is receiving, and you respond on a more intuitive level. Instead of analysing and correcting, you just do it.
Carrying this wisdom over into unicycling, I found that it made a HUGE difference when I was learning to idle when I realised that I should gaze at an object in the middle distance. It’s almost a Zen thing: you focus your mind on the object, and your brain just gets on with handling the balance.
Months later, I can idle my 20, 24 and 26 more or less indefinitely, and I’m able to hold conversations when idling. Take the MIND out of the loop, and let the BRAIN do the work.
Any other office workers out there notice how things run more smoothly when the boss isn’t there with some New Ideas? Same principle.