Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Joy of Movement - Oct 25


My father taught me a lesson in creative movement that I will never forget. When I was about 12 years old, my father's knees troubled him, preventing running from being his primary vehicle for exercise. Undaunted, he created a kind of squatting duck-walk that was every bit as aerobic and worked the quads much more than the patellar tendon. I was mortified. I was entering middle school and my father was so uncool - in public!

In recent years, my knees have troubled me also. Unable to run (or do much else) in the dreary Boston winter, I worked out a cemetery routine. Forest Hills Cemetery, directly behind our street, became the forum for hurdles over bushes, invisible chair squats against the walls and dips using adjacent headstones.

Last weekend, I was feeling pretty down. On Friday, my leg throbbed quite a bit, and I spent most of the day in bed. I woke up Saturday dreading a repeat. Finally, it occurred to me that I could be creative with movement. I turned on some jam music - live Poi Dog Pondering - then tossed about on my bed for two hours. I kicked my feet over the bed, created a rowing maching out of an elastic band and did lying down squats on the wall. The joy of movement. Without being active, I felt like Samson having his hair cut off - lost and powerless.

After this spark, Melissa contributed another one. She brought the bike trainer out and hooked up my road bike. Okay, so I wasn't spinning very fast, and my ankle hurt a bit. But I was moving and alive.

1 comment:

Dawn Ellen said...

How joyful to see you in motion, Mark...slow and deliberate though it may feel. I applaud your creativity in finding your own way to relate to the moving world as you regain your strength. You're demonstrating such an amazing spirit. Kudos to you for taking lessons from your father and continuing on the family tradition of wacky workouts. Keep it up, my friend.