Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Confession of an alignerd: I don't fly anymore: a Modern Miracle

Early in my alignment journey, after much studying, memorization, restorative exercising [thank you Nancy], and walking, (and walking!) I made my way to the RE 'holy city' of Ventura, CA, to see and be seen.  There, we would have private sessions with Restorative Exercise heavyweights and take group classes for nearly a week, at the end of which we'd take a test and practice teaching people who volunteered to learn something for which they'd pay nothing, and we'd be observed teaching alignment basics.  We were to be inspected.  Nay: certified.

Now, I've been certified before and found it nerve wracking.  Pilates on all the apparatus.  I worried I wasn't knowledgeable enough and would be found wanting.  Probably waited an extra year before "testing out."  And though the folks conducting the test were perfectly lovely people, I felt as if I were going into battle, and I was, but with my own demons, not anyone assessing my ability.
Of course, I could see that only after I'd passed (whew) but forgot the lesson and felt the same stuff (dang demons) in the private sessions prior to the Restorative Exercise Exam.  Gird your loins.

Bright lights. Big City.  To get this tall, alignment is KEY.

A few weeks prior, I'd taken a trip to my hometown, (NYC) and had the pleasure of staying in a friend's apartment on the lower East side (which is now incredibly hip).

There's a place on Orchard to get individually brewed cups of coffee w/designer beans in seconds.  The tube sucks just the right amount of which ever bean you desire, your cup's brewed, and they all have crema on top!  Man, the lower East Side ain't what it used to be.
(But the pickle guys are still there.  FYI)
The buildings haven't changed much at first blush (until one gets a load of a spacious marble shower stall) from the tenements of the old days and there are many flights of steps to climb.  No sweat.  I'm a fitness professional with a well-toned core and all that goes with that.

Leaving there one evening for a dinner date at another friend's place uptown, I slipped on the worn-down marble steps and flew down about a half a flight of steps and landed pretty hard.  Twisted an ankle and wrenched a knee, so that when I'd decided I was going to continue on to dinner uptown, I had to "monster walk" forward so I didn't have to bend knees or work ankles too much [which I perma-dorsi-flexed]. From the stares, I think I made a convincing monster.

I stayed on 57th Street for two days (ice, elevation, tender loving care of my oldest and dearest friends) and a week or two later, there I was in at my anxiety-producing event in Ventura.  I explained that my knee & ankle weren't doing that well, so I might not be able to make the right moves just then, when heavyweight A informed me that it was because I was basically falling all-the-time, not in control of my descending, that it went the way it had for me.  What???   I did not possess the grace (in the moment) to actually receive his message.  I thought, " You (blankety-blank), you have no idea why I fell down those stairs....#*!!+=(."

Fast forward (I know, not a moment too soon) to me leaving a movie theater earlier today.  I was about to descend a staircase and I think it was because of the interesting carpet replacement color choice I mis-read that the stairs were beginning when I thought I was placing my foot on the landing and it would be my NEXT step which would be the step down.

SURPRISE!  I was releasing my weight onto a foot which did not have anything underneath it to land upon, and I did fall a bit, but as I no longer leverage gravity as I once did, I didn't fall forward.  I was not accelerating.  Easy to recover, I just reached for the bannister.  I was in slow motion anyway, not hurtling anywhere. Shazzam :o)

So even though I did pass my exam at the end of that week, it has taken me another couple of years to realized and validate my fundamental operational transformation:  I'm back to using my own power.  As a matter of habit (because you know I was turning my smartphone back on when I mis-read that step) I hold my weight over my heels now, apparently whether I'm thinking about it or not.

So thank you, Katy and alignment community:  thanks to you, my tissues grow happier daily and I don't fly down staircases anymore, either.  Sweet.

If you'd like to stop flying, call me.  Or  Bodywisdom Studio or read about everything you ever needed to know about alignment here.