28 Sept 2011

Repetition if the mother of all skills

My son learned this today at school. “You see?” I said triumphantly. “That’s it. That IS IT.” Boring I know but it sort of summarises my standpoint. Poor daughter no 2.
We have done a booklet of the dreaded Kumon every single morning now for three weeks. But she’s getting quicker at it, and the sums are easier. And repetition is the key. It’s the key to playing Bach beautifully on the piano. It’s the key to learning your times tables. It’s the key to playing tennis better, or drawing better, or singing better. I know its not very fashionable, but it works. Repetition, and a system for repetition. Take exercise, which is hateful even to think about, but needs to be done. In order for it to have any effect whatsoever, you have to do it again and again, but in order to make that repetition function properly, and in order to make it in any way bearable, you have to install a system. Decide which days of the week you are going to exercise at the beginning of the week, and then the job is half done. This is why I’m posting this with a picture of my Royal Parks Half number and groovy green runner’s shirt. I can only run because I have devised a system for exercise which I repeat again and again. It’s the only way I could even contemplate running a half marathon, for goodness’ sake. I never go out for a run on a whim. It’s all been preplanned. Free will? There’s no such thing.

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