Since this Unicycling usenet group is a watering hole for many
intelligent people, and also since there are many older physically
active people here, I thought this slightly off-topic and fascinating
issue may be of interest…
It seems that once you learn a physical (motor?) skill which may have
taken weeks or months to learn, you can do it again after many years
with little retraining. Bicycling and Unicycling are example skills.
Apparently, the necessary muscles have been “re-configured” and
strengthened at the correct locations during the learning phase. Quite
likely, the nervous system also plays a role in remembering the skill.
Suppose a person learns a lot of different skills when young. As an
example, a outdoorsy/sporty person can learn skiing, rollerblading,
skiing, surfing, bicycling, unicycling, swimming, and so on. Sometimes
a single muscle can be pulled by a skill, while another skill pushes
the muscle. How is it possible for the muscles to be configured to
“remember” all these skills? Or is it that if you learn new skills,
older skills are forgotten? Or is it that if you have learnt a skill,
such as Unicycling, very well, and if you learn other skills, you will
not be as good at the skill as you were before?