A long recovery, and the patience required to resume desired activities, tempts end-gaining at many levels. What was previously “normal” in terms of simple daily pursuits becomes accessible at a frustratingly slow pace. Exertion at more challenging levels begins to seem a distant dream.
I so desperately want to resume my very active life that I often push ahead of my strength in an end-gaining pursuit of the many joys of vigorous exercise. This urgency has resulted in a cost of returning pain and immobility. It is a fine line to both respect current conditions of self and also strengthen for progress.
This morning, I had the joyous experience of walking to work with no knee pain whatsoever! None! I could even think of other subjects than my knee! According to my habit of self, I wanted to plunge into more vigorous movement by attending a Gyrokinesis class, despite the evidence of the past few weeks of pain and difficulty. Hey, I felt better now, why not go further?
Inhibition (quieting, refusing to narrow or shorten, requesting widening and lengthening) won, for a change. I may be crazy but I am not always stupid. I restrained my impulse to experience further vigor in a Gyrokinesis class, decided to enjoy the simplicity of pain-free walking, just taught my regular schedule of lessons, and relinquished challenge as a need for today.
The result for today (tomorrow or next week may be different) is that walking continued to be relatively easy. I bussed, rather than walked, the two miles to the Gyrotonic studio, and enjoyed a thoughtful, attentive time of gentle exercise supported by the weights and pulleys that the Gyrotonic system so intelligently provides. A few weeks ago, I tried to do it all (walking over 3 miles, a Gyrokinesis class and a Gyrotonic session) with excessive optimism.
I am learning that waiting is not going backward, but rather is respecting how I am now. Resuming previously enjoyed vigorous activities will only happen as I learn to wait. In the Alexander Technique, we allow a pause for the old habits to quiet and new neural connections to be made. Progress occurs with the pause, not the push.