The perils of optimism, the wisdom of waiting

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on November 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *