Proximity helps ability
Absence, they say, makes the heart grow fonder, it could also make you forget and the corollary of which appears to negate that practice does make perfect.
I learnt to ride a bicycle at 9 during which time I had a few accidents and even learnt to ride with my hands off the handle-bars.
Continuous activity in a sphere of expertise does create a fixing in memory but it does not necessarily present total recall.
Familiarity is borne of doing the same thing over time and it is lost if that activity ceases or no particular goal directs what you do.
Recall requires presence
Decades afterwards after a wobble and a few accidents on my bicycle, I gained the confidence again to ride but never really the daring to take my hands of the handle-bars.
I find the same problem with a number of instances of telephone interviews I have had recently, when I was actively doing the things I am certified and commended for the theory, detail, expertise and experience flowed from the tip of my tongue without hesitation, I could guarantee moving to the next stage and was left with the option of taking the opportunity or not.
The breaks from that activity on which I have honed my teeth are showing up in my stutter and parrying off of the questions, I cannot fully remember and honestly say I am unable to answer whilst the technical detail seems to evade the fluency I am accustomed to.
Maybe experience will win out
In the end, what one relies on is the wealth of experience that at least suggests one knows what one is talking about because one has really done it before, given the opportunity to ride that bicycle again, there is no doubt that after a wobble or so a relatively smooth ride beckons.
The question remains whether enough has been done to make the difference without which it would be back to the original sketches and foundations of what one had built a whole career on – when one asks will that chance to shine come again?