3 weeks ago I took a spill on my walk. There I was, chugging along like a boss and I suddenly experienced, in slo-mo, my body falling. In those split seconds of falling, my mind said “phone, face, glasses”. I landed in an amped up chaturanga (upward facing dog) …a yoga pose I pushed through on several occasions with the brilliant yogi Susan…. landing on the meat of my hands, the bulk of my thighs, and a little bounce from the middle and nothing was hurt. Minor scrapes. Phone, face and glasses intact. My muscles and confidence took a beating, however. I walked a couple of times after this, and then stopped.
PTSD is real. Even for tiny things. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being combat, I was at a .025. Tiny for sure, but every stick on the sidewalk became a potential pitfall. And when I would arrive at the corner that did me in I was full on tense that I would fall again. This belief was pervasive even though I had walked that corner dozens upon dozens of times before the fall with balance and strength.
But I was undone. For 3 weeks I did not walk. In those 3 weeks I felt my body get mushy again instead of the steady and gentle climb toward strength. I had one yoga session after the fall, feeling every muscle that saved me and every muscle being pushed. I began tai chi again. That all felt safe.
So, do you know my body? I was born with a european peasants shape and strength. A viking (ancestry.com) who could oar across to Greenland or a hoosier farm. I bailed hay, loaded stones, danced, and was strong in my growing up years. After babies, and a job that used my brain, heart, and ears…..I began to work out at the local work out place. At first, I thought I would die at 30 seconds on the eliptical but the trainers were measuring a baseline and needed me to go 2 minutes. Oof. I set my own goals of each week adding 30 seconds. Tiny, for sure. But at some point I leapt passed the 30 second add, and was up to adding 5 minutes, 10 minutes. Finally I was at a brisk 45 minute practice for a couple of years. Then a job change, aging, another degree, comfy couches and food as emotional friend took hold. I had become the plump lady who had a nice personality.
I changed jobs to craft a comprehensive and inclusive life, because my body has stayed faithful through the movement droughts and kept calling me everyday. “Amy, let’s go walk!” It cheerfully said It is sooooo happy when I do.
After 3 weeks now, I am back on the walk.
If I measure my body by cultural standards, I should just stay home. But today….
I’m thinking about the chaturanga my body knew to do when I was falling.
I think about how well I sleep.
I think about the zen like breathing in my daily meditation
I think about the giddy goofiness my whole fleshy system feels when I am up and at-it again.
I think about my standing desk and my practice of often meeting my coaching and spiritual direction clients on Zoom while I stand, fully attentive to them.
I think about how a daily 5 minutes of tai chi practice brings me balance, pace and moves the energy.
…all of this brings me back to the walk.
Heart Soul Mind Body, baby.
Love yourself as you can.