Looking, Seeing, How Your Eyeballs Move And Keeping Your Eye On The Ball


Hi folks,

Exploring relationships between your eyes, eyeballs, visual field, psyche and the rest of your body, can play a key role in how you interact with the terrain whilst running and other people during conversation.

Marty Feldman made me laugh plenty of times as Igor. From: http://goo.gl/uCRme

Marty Feldman made me laugh plenty of times as Igor. From: http://goo.gl/uCRme

When I run or swim, and focus on my ‘inner life’ as I attempt to optimize my biomechanics, I have a tendency to close my eyes. This is not a good idea on trails, as one pinecone can lead to a broken ankle, whilst in the pool I actually swim straight into the wall from time to time. My Continuum instructor and dance teacher, Rebecca, commented on my tendency to close my eyes when ‘getting in the zone,’ prior to dancing. It is as though visual input makes it hard for me to focus on my body movements, so I shut my eyes. Today my Continuum lesson was largely about learning to look in a new way, not focusing or staring at an object or person, but taking in my whole visual field in a relaxed manner. It was an eye-opening experience. Here is a little movie that explains how your eyes move.

This lesson reminded me of a pathology course in 1978, when I was studying for my veterinary pathology boards. One of the many training courses that I attended was on eye pathology. It lasted for a couple of days, during which we saw hundreds of eye problems as slides on the projector screen. I saw so many eyes looking out from the screen that I would wonder if I was looking at the screen or it was looking at me. It is clear, however, that there are different ways to look, which can involve seeing or not seeing, and with some instruction it is possible to take in the whole visual field in a relaxed manner without locking onto any one object excessively. As your body follows your eyes as you run it is critical that you explore this relationship, if you wish to optimize your performance.

Think about it!

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Ever wondered why some bouncers can seem so scary? They do a trick called here “going shark eyed”. When looking you in the eye they focus on a point three feet behind your head. It can make them look like they have no soul there behind their eyes. They make themselves look all steely cold.
    Some Royal Marines I have known were quite brilliant at it. In a brawl they have their opponent at a disadvantage just with a look.
    I have used this general field looking whilst listening to the dawn chorus. I then seem to be able to pick up the fainter distant bird song beneath the loud nearer birds.
    I have a stigmatism and if I remove my specs. this helps the process

  2. astigmatism

  3. Hi Trevor and Marian,

    I found the shark eyes idea an interesting one, and I bet that it is effective. Just look a little crazy and people back away.

    Marian loves to edit!

    OK, time to eat my breakfast.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.