An example of this occurred recently when I was casually watching some golf on TV (and everybody who knows me also knows not only how much I enjoy watching sport but, in particular, watching sportspeople often revealing surprising aspects of their true natures, and thus of their elements, under the stress of competition) I suddenly noticed the golfer Rory McIlroy’s walk. I can best describe it as a kind of jaunty stride. It is certainly not a stroll nor does it appear to be a form of hurrying, and yet I can find no better way of describing it than to say that he walks as though pushing the air aside in front of him, not in any way aggressively, but firmly. It is definitely a stride, but done with a kind of joyousness to it. Usually he smiles as he walks. You feel that if you were in front of him you would have to give way to allow this force of nature to pass by.
That set me thinking about the different ways the elements walk. McIlroy is so obviously an excellent example of the Fire element. He can’t stop smiling and he can’t stop making other laugh. When he and Sergio Garcia (another Fire person, although slightly more subdued Fire) were paired together in the 2014 Ryder Cup, it was like watching two young children larking around on the golf course, with a lot of touching and laughing and an atmosphere of sheer enjoyment almost at odds with the seriousness of the competition.
I then compared his walk with that of another competitor, Patrick Reed, who I diagnosed as the Wood element. Wood, after all, is another very young, outgoing element, with perhaps an even more forceful signature than Fire as its hallmark. But Reed’s walk, though firm, differed from McIlroy’s because it did not have the same kind of joyous spring to it. It was more of a firm placing of one foot in front of the other, a kind of a stomp, like someone claiming that bit of ground for himself, so that he made me more aware of the force with which each foot landed on the ground. McIlroy’s stride makes me aware of the top of his body, as his chest breasts the air in front of him, Reed’s more of his feet conquering the ground. This may seem a little fanciful, but I don’t think it is. Wood, after all, emphasizes the feet, Fire the top half of the body.
This made me think about my own Fire stride. Did I have something akin to McIlroy’s walk, and did other Fire people, too, or had my observation not revealed a characteristic peculiar to all Fire people but only to the one? I have not yet come to any satisfactory conclusion about this, but if anybody were to watch me walking along the street they might be surprised to note how often I glance in shop windows as I try and catch myself in mid-stride to analyse how I am walking. Thus do I learn a little more about the elements each day.