Thinking is a Trick

Stephen Harris

June 05, 2005

I like a silly, strange, sport called wakeboarding. Not as much as I used to, but I still like it. It is a cross between gymnastics and drinking beer on a boat. Pretty much anyone can go out and get dragged behind a boat and have fun. But it can also be a rush when you start to learn to do tricks. There are guys who can do impressive feats on a wakeboard. Ive seen people do toeside 900s, double flips with a 360 in the middle, jump over cars. Impressive, strange and dangerous stuff.

But the tricks dont have to be that impressive. I used to be able to do 360s and backside 180s. I landed a flip once. I almost landed a second one, but it landed me in the hospital instead. So the one flip will be good enough for me. Even the smaller tricks involve coordination of strength, courage, faith, trust, and stupidity.

Learning a new trick or honing another is a great feeling that changes the balance of the ingredients above. Knowing how to do a trick reduces the courage required because of increased faith and trust. Strength and stupidity are required no matter what were doing. Knowing what were doing means that our prior experiences are leaving an impression on us that we can use to anticipate and interact with the future. The pattern of coordination necessary to do a trick is abstractly remembered in your body using the same principals that allow us to learn to walk and talk. Learning is a trick. Thinking is learning. Therefore, thinking is a trick.

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