Walking

In my first post I mentioned I like to be up and about, walking. Technically, I wrote I like the idea of it, but I like the action of it too. Of all things I’m grateful for, my ability to move my body is one of the top things. I have seen people in my family struggle to stand up and walk with balance.

I’ve mentioned that I also love to dance. Dancing is a part of life to me. It was, officially, for over 15 years when I danced in recitals and taught different styles. At 21, I moved 400 miles away from home and the studio I’d danced with since I was 4. When I left, the owner (and my manager) told me, “You’ll be back.” He had an offending tone when he said that. In my years there I had seen people come and go and return again to that studio, either after they graduated college or while they figured out what they were going to do with their lives. I had no desire to return teaching there. I always wanted better, whether it was more discipline, structure or constructive criticism. I felt like a big fish in a little pond and I was ready to go beyond that feeling.

It doesn’t change the fact that his lack of well wishes for me hurt my feelings. Every year at the recital when people chose to leave, he would announce it to the audience on the last performance. When I left, he said nothing about me. I still don’t understand why he did that. It made for awkward conversations with students and their parents after the recital, when I still had to teach a few classes at the studio.

It was a similar sensation on my last day at my last job. I received LinkedIn messages and texts from coworkers, wondering where I was or went. The most graceful way I know how to handle those situations is to fade into a hallway and disappear as silently as possible. I guess I’m easily embarrassed. Perhaps it’s just that I have humility. Of course, here I am putting a lot of things out there into the internet world that I haven’t before. It’s not even so much that I want or need people to read this. It’s the act of my putting it out there, making myself, my feelings, my thoughts vulnerable to judgement and criticism.

But I’m digressing.

I like to walk and move, and for the last couple months I’ve found I have to. Not too fast and aggressively. It seems over the last several years of having a desk job, I may have atrophied some. On my 32nd birthday (2 months ago), I found my lower back in excruciating pain. Over the following several days it seemed to get worse, and Bill finally got me in to see his chiropractor. I’ve been going to him ever since and it’s seemed to help, but this week I’ve had a flare-up of the pain. I’m pretty sure long hours sitting in a car to and from Monterey last week, and sitting with few breaks at the computer to work on wedding invitations and this website this week are the culprit.

Coincidentally the pain prevents me from sitting or laying down very comfortably. Even standing and walking gets painful, but it’s more comfortable than sitting or laying down. The worst pains come from the act of sitting down, in the midst of standing up after laying or sitting down, and bending over the sink to wash my face and brush my teeth. Squatting without purposefully engaging my core is also no fun.

If I could describe the pain, I would say it feels like my pelvis is in an ever-tightening vise. The doctor said the pain comes from a tight psoas which has caused some anterior pelvic tilt, and it causes the other muscles around my hips and pelvis to tighten and spasm. This makes my posture rather crooked at the hips when I stand or walk until my muscles finally relax.

Yesterday Bill and I walked about a mile and my muscles finally began relaxing toward the end of the walk. My body then reverted to the spasms after the walk, which made removing my tennis shoes and socks pretty painful.

The coincidental part of this all is that my body is basically saying, Well, you said you like to walk, so now you have to. Move it! Despite my limited capability to move, I still have to.

Another coincidental part of this is that I started hiking at a nearby recreational reserve a few weeks ago. I just bought hiking boots last week. I think the switchbacks will be a little too vigorous for my body at this time, so I’ll have to take a break until the spasms subside. But I can take walks around the neighborhood and continue to break in my hiking boots maybe. There’s a park near my residence too.

(Just changed positions from sitting at the dining room table to standing at the kitchen counter.)

Standing certainly feels better. What is it about standing? Is this the universe speaking to me to stand up for myself? (Laughing as I wrote that.)

I don’t know why things happen when they do. Nothing ever makes sense. But my only choice now is to keep moving. (Can’t help but think of this song whenever I hear that word.)

 

May good things come to you always.

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