Further progress, increased activity

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on May 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

Recovery from a major injury such as I have had requires persistence, awareness, and a willingness to actively apply intelligence in the use of the self to activity.  Every resource of my Alexander principles, as well as seeking expert help from other disciplines, has been necessary and instrumental in continuing recovery toward full function and overall strength.

Alexander thinking has been essential in coping with the myriad challenges of serious injury.  It is the underpinning and the context for me to pursue necessary rehabilitation activities so that I can resume life as I prefer it to be.

My excellent PT, Heather, suggested that I get a stationery bike, not only for increased knee flexion and leg strength, but also to feel active and challenged on a cardio-vascular level.  I admit to being previously suspicious of any stationery exercise equipment, as it generally tends to use the same muscle groups repetitively and without thought. However, given that I can only walk a limited distance without fear or pain, and that I am missing the emotional balance I normally find through activity, an exercise bike is an ideal choice for now.

Marty found an exercise bike for $7 at Goodwill and delivered it to my office. With Alexander thinking of head up and forward, back long and wide, legs out of back, I pedal madly to nowhere like Miss Gultch, otherwise known as the Wicked Witch.  This loosens and moves my injured knee through flexion, strengthens my injured leg, inspires a respiratory response, and perhaps, most importantly, gives me the exhilarating experience that I so miss from my daily run.  Taking Alexander principles into movement and daily activity has been a joy for me for many years.  If a stationery bike provides a dynamic opportunity, then I will take it, with gratitude and joy. So far, I can manage about 5 minutes before my knee hurts, but am building incrementally to 6 minutes and onward.

My wise and creative Gyrotonic instructor, Lindsey, also provided opportunity for me to explore my limits in motion and activity today.  With care and attention, I was able to to explore further spinal movement and leg co-ordination.  I was able to do much more than a week ago, which gives me great hope for ongoing progress in strength and function recovery.

I can walk without a limp if I think with my entire self with dedication.  I see myself striding confidently and easily (head up, knees forward of back)  and then it happens, as long as I am not scared.  Fear of falling remains a factor in my co-ordination, especially since my injured leg doesn’t always respond with balanced muscular tone. The knee may suddenly buckle and I wobble uncontrollably. I can respond to the fear only by slowing down, quieting and and re-thinking an elastic response.  Rushing  and end-gaining just won’t work.

This is the best I can do, and so far seems effective!  I an grateful for professional support from experts such as Heather and Lindsey, and deeply thankful for over 20 years of Alexander expertise.

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