Rich Stephens wrote:
Oddly enough, I've found that surfing produces a very similar sort of calmness. I've been surfing for 20 years (Aikido helped my surfing a lot by the way) and I have often met people on my travels and in business and so on that I could tell right away were surfers. Usually these people would be at least 40 years old, and it was just obvious from the way they carried themselves that they were long time surfers. They just project a certain aura of calm strength. All that time in the ocean has taught them to "blend" with the power of mother nature in order to surf well, or often even to simply survive.
I've found it interesting that since taking aikido, I can connect to my father (a hockey fan), on a different level than before. He talks about how it's important to be close to the ice, or to one's opponent martially. He also talked about how someone with soft hands was good, able to feel the puck, and someone who was relaxed was able to feel what was going on around him on the ice. He spoke of being goalie as a kid, being almost blind without his glasses, and continuing to play after the lights went out, playing entirely by feel. He also talked about becoming one with ice, and feeling one with nature when he threw the perfect slapshot. It seems like even with hockey, it can go to the same place.