The title will draw a few sports enthusiast googling basketball trivia, but no, this ‘zone’ has nothing to do with sports. If you do end up here by accident read it anyway. It might be useful to your game.
My use of the word ‘zone’ reﬂects upon a state of consciousness highly focused upon a singular task. In my case it is the task of putting one foot in front of the other continually 9 to 10 hours a day. This task has certain obstacles that change as your environment does. Here in Illinois the roads are as straight as a surveyor could manage. The other element, ’ﬂatness’, had no human control applied. Nature did a perfect job of rolling central Illinois ﬂat as can be. Dare I complain after the choppy waves of Iowa prairie, or the long ups and downs of Nebraska? Of course. In central Illinois there is nothing to change up my pace. Nothing requiring more effort and nothing less. Gone are the days of having my cart pull me down a steep incline at a trot. Gone too are those moments of heightened exertion to reach the crest of the next looming hill in front of me. Now the day is a process of pushing forward as far as the eye can see with corn and soybeans draping both sides of my road. My spatial markers are intersections with county roads that make up the quadrants of farm land and the occasional grand Illinois farmhouse with its barns and grain bins to break up the green seas of corn and beans. The day can get terribly long if you let the sameness wear on you. I ﬁnd I can get in my zone for two + hours at a time. I cant manage much more without a break and another attempt to refocus. Music helps. Daydreaming is useful. But best of all is to simply forget where you are and what you’re doing. This I call The Illinois Zone.