Shut Up and Do the Work

Today, in Frederick, MD it was 64 degrees on February 20th!

I ran to the bank early this morning when it was only 47 degrees and the insanity had already started. Folks in tank tops were jogging around snow piles that were 2 feet high and lots of shorts were seen walking in and out of stores at the Frederick Shopping Center. I didn’t notice any flip flops, but regardless everyone was enjoying the opportunity to get outside for a walk or a run.

When I got home my husband told me that as soon as he finished our taxes he was going to talk a walk.

“Lucky,” I said, Homer Simpson style, accidentally blurting out something that I should’ve just said to myself.

“Oh, sorry,” he sheepishly replied, as I realized my error.

I felt bad. He has nothing to be sorry about! It’s not his fault that I walk like Igor. He certainly deserves to take a brisk walk on an unseasonably warm February day like the rest of the greater DC area.

I’m proud to say that within moments of my stupid remark I thought, “Just shut up and do the work, crazy lady”.

Instead of acting pissy and feeling sorry for myself, I immediately remembered that not only is there a highroad where my attitude needs to ride, there’s also a low-down and dirty road where the hard work needs to get done.

Once I made that connection an interesting thing happened. When I laid down on the floor to do some Feldenkrais movements, I was able to increase my range of motion.

For the past six months when I’ve tried to do this:

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.58.33 PM

I could only do this:

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.56.07 PM

My leg would stay stiff and I’d have to put my hand underneath my knee to help it bend or kick the bottom of my left foot with my right foot and shame my leg into flexion.

In her latest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Liz Gilbert notes that one of the keys to living a creative life is to do the work, even on the non-inspiring days when you’re staring at a blank page or making terrible art. She suggests keeping your head down and staying devoted to your craft so that when inspiration strikes, you’re ready and able to receive it.

I think health might work in a similar fashion. When you’re in the absence of function, do the work anyway. If you can’t walk, then work on phases of the gait cycle. If gravity gets in your way then lay down. Just get on with it so that when health strikes, you’re ready and able to receive it.

So instead of bitching or zoning out I stayed inside my house, did my exercises and for the first time in months I was able to move like this:

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 7.51.26 PM

I was almost able to bring both knees together, evenly. Although I still have a ways to go, I figure its only a matter of time before I can not only do the above with ease, but do these moves against gravity while standing which would be a game changer.

Suddenly missing a 64 degree day doesn’t seem so bad.

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