A few weeks ago, I happily flew to NYC (with far less knee inflammation than previous trips) for a visit with friends and some lessons with John Nicholls. Previous to this trip, I had been struggling with the painful effects in knee and foot from even limited hill runs. Despite all the dedication of two and a half years in recovery from patella fracture, the long term impact of injury on desired activities continued.
After my lessons with John, I was much more elastically connected to the ground. I also had the marvelous experience of being breathed from my feet to the top of my head and beyond. There is no way to adequately describe this experience of breathing with the entire self, but trust me, it is utterly wonderful. Mind you, I have been taking lessons from John for over 20 years, teaching for 24 years, and dedicating myself to continued learning since I began teaching. This is not an overnight sensation, in other words!
Once I returned home with my newly refined elastic connection to the ground, my morning hill runs shifted into an entirely new gear. A springy response from foot strike to the top of my head became far more accessible. My perception of “enoughness” became more accurate, in that I knew quite quickly when to tone down vigor to avoid any injury. And my post hill-run condition was less aggravated and inflamed.
It’s the same old deal here, from an Alexander perspective: improve the entire use of self; then, vigorous activity strengthens the improved use of self.
I am only running a few hills, but I am learning a lot!