I think about skiing a lot when I read Nile's posts. He pushes the idea of getting that link so that you can just play what you feel without all the conscious effort about notes, chords and keys (I am paraphrasing and certainly subject to correction, but that seems to be the gist of a lot of his posts). Skiing got that way for me pretty quickly; I quit thinking about which ski to put weight on, when to slip the tails around, bend the knees, etc. I got pretty good at it rather quickly; I could hang with just about anybody, taking any slope at almost any pace. Obviously the processing about what to do when went on somewhere or I wouldn't be here in one piece. But I got the concious mind out of it. I also kayaked; taking lessons and going often but never getting all that good at it and I think it was largely because I could never get that link. If I got distracted for even a second I was over and without perfect concentration I would miss my roll. But I could ski while carrying on a casual conversation, checking out scenery or whatever.
"First you master your instrument, then you master the music, then you forget about all that ... and just play"
Charlie "Bird" Parker