I’ve always been someone who has been impatient to learn things quickly. I’m type A and I expect that of myself. This was different. I had never been asked to use my body like this. There were muscles that I needed to use that I didn’t even know existed. How had I lived my life as a reasonably in shape (until recent years) person without knowing about these spaces in my body.
I was frequently frustrated. Every session I lost count of how many times Miriam would say “shoulders down”. I realized that I had been walking around most of my life with my shoulders up to my ears. When I was going through old family photos, I came across one taken when I was about 30 where all of us – mom, dad, grandmother, brother, sister-in-law and me -were standing with our shoulders up to our ears and slightly forward. Our heads were jutting forward (a dowager’s hump in my future?). I couldn’t really tell, but I think my 10-year-old nephew was on his way to acquiring the family hunch.
Don’t get me wrong. We didn’t look deformed or anything. I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t started this process of being more aware of my body. I now had a good excuse for being frustrated. I had to undo habits I had acquired over a lifetime. But first I had to readjust my expectations. That’s when I began to think about my progress in terms of “millimeters”. If I could just feel that I had found and fired up or stretched a muscle a teeny bit more, just a millimeter more, then my session was a success.
There’s a life lesson here as well in terms of making changes – change happens slowly, and small wins need to be recognized and celebrated. I’m began to recognize that practicing the GYROTONIC method of exercise is more than just working out.
It started to be life changing.
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