A few updates! With illustrations...
I’ve returned from Hawaii with a very different body than the one I had when I left, and I am noticing activities here and there that are easier than they were two months ago.
Some of them are small – feeling stronger and more able to sit up straight, flying on a plane solo – and some more significant – like being comfortable in this kneeling position. My hips are resting on the roller, but I am managing my trunk:
Before leaving for school at the end of summer, 2013, my buddy Moseley (MIT ’17) and I went to Bolinas many times to soak in the West Coast as much as we could before heading to Cambridge (not much surfing in Boston…). We weren’t the best, but we did get better, and it was a totally relaxed time, knowing we’d be headed east together in the fall (to, we were well aware, get our behinds kicked by school). Here’s a candid shot from one day’s GoPro:
With my setup on the board, it was not only safe (I am careful to protect my joints) but actually a great workout, as well. Remember how I wrote in my last two posts that my back muscles have just recently become well-connected? I was able to use that connection functionally to help hold me up as I paddled on the board.
When I got up to the studio after my first surfing day, Alejandra, feeling the tone in my back from paddling, was ecstatic: “Wow, Theo! You should go surfing alllll theeee tiiiime!"
Thanks to Michaela for the videos!
Since I began this recovery process, I have felt it would be important to understand what exactly is going on in this body that I am trying to rebuild. Thanks to the very mechanism of evolution, form and function are completely interrelated, and I have found that becoming more familiar with the body can help me better reconnect to it. I’ve read many anatomy books, and talked a lot with those in the field, but there’s nothing quite like modeling the structures themselves.
In Pilates – and, by extension, says that discipline, in everything we do – the source of any movement is the pelvis. When the arms or legs act muscularly-independently of the rest of the body, that is when one is more prone to injury, because the system as a whole is not well-balanced.
I’m happy to be finally tapping into the region where all my power should and will originate. By being open to this progression, and not leaping overzealously to strengthen my lower-body before everything above is ready, I’m confident my standing and walking will be much stronger as they develop in the long-term.
Thanks to my trainer Stephanie for taking this video, and for always being patient with me through the process.