…totally new, right?? Close to vertical!
Doing those squats shocked me, too, as you see in my facial expression:
This is awesome! Me! Control! In an almost-standing position!
Good days at the gym are ‘good’ because my body responds well to the progression: as I move through the sequence from supine (on my back) > prone (on my front) > seated > kneeling > standing, the goal is to preserve the neuro-muscular connection I achieve at the ‘easier’, less dynamic stage, through to the next.
Standing is, of course, the most dynamic position – have you ever thought about how it demands engagement in muscles from your pinky toes, all the way up to the ones that move your eyes?! – and almost always, my body ‘turns off’ or ceases to respond to my brain when I stand. I cannot describe how frustrating that disconnect is. Everything goes great, and then…no response.
The last few workouts have been a bit of a revelation, because I’ve begun to bridge that gap. My therapist Stephanie and I figured out how to plant my feet while still keeping my knees bent slightly, which is critical. Seems simple, but it’s a delicate setup, one for which I have only recently become ready.
So, it was more than just a ‘good’ day. Even though this process of recovery is the most depressingly gradual, seemingly asymptotic progression, every once in a while I get the most awesome feeling…like the one when I biked home to Sonoma from San Francisco one afternoon a few years ago, or when I completed my first 10,000 yard workout, or when I learned I was admitted to MIT, or when I was able to once again lift a single almond to my lips after needing others to feed me. We’ve all felt it at some point, that undeniable, addictive rush of:
Wow, I actually just did that.
Lastly, speaking of ‘just doing that’, I really enjoyed addressing those attending the Absolute Center Pilates Day open house last week. I’ll be posting a segment of the talk soon…