I was speaking about pain in my last post. I figured out the source. It was the dogs. It was probably many more insidious invisible actions I was doing as well but I had a big insight with the dogs. I don’t blame the dogs. They are gorgeous and fabulous and wonderful. Sure look at them. They taught me something about me.
So I don’t own dogs therefore walking is not a daily occurrence. I have the honour and freedom of being fairygodaunt to this pair of 5 month old puppies I gifted my niece and nephew. A brave decision at the time, but it really has worked out as everyone is in love with them. So a couple of days a week, or when needed, I take them out.
They are growing very fast and while not as dotey as when tiny, they definitely deliver on cuteness, fun, loving and have a great tolerance for small people, who can be either over exuberantly loving or rough. The middle ground is being developed. We still get stopped in the park with the oohs and ahs of how gorgeous they are, but less so as they get bigger.
Two Saturdays ago I had two pups and two kids that grew into five kids. Mighty fun and very active day. Great to have them all out chasing a ball and interacting with each other, away from screens and solo entertainments. Anyway, managing all these enthusiastic and active variables under my responsibility meant I had little attention for my good whole self. Lots of fun, though.
The following day there was stiffness and then there was pain when sitting, but I thought that was to do with sitting. Not wrong. I explored sitting and standing, made some changes and helped myself out of pain. I described a bigger picture in the earlier post.
Anyway, last Saturday, I took the dogs while the children attended a party. While walking with the dogs I re- discovered the pain that I had worked through and released during the week. Ouch!, but Aha!
So when the pups first arrived they were discovering the world around them sniffing everything. It was start, stop, sniff, start, be stopped, admire, rub, cuddle, start, sniff, stop, duck, run, stop, head to one side (what’s a duck), whine in fear, meet a swan, tiny brave bark, run, stop, sniff, meet someone, stop, go . . .
You’d hardly raise a heartbeat.
As they grow older and more familiar with the spaces we travel they are eager to run. Sometimes together in one direction, which is helpful, often in different directions, or stopping quickly. Sniffing everywhere and birds are very interesting. Moving fast, using their whole body and seeing how fast they can go, is interesting to them as they continue to grow and discover. Or maybe I am putting my thinking on their simple brains. They have sleeping, snuggled up to each other or flaked out upside down, down pat. So when they stretch into race speed it feels like they are testing themselves, but maybe they are just testing me.
My discovery of me and how I move is as exciting. When the dogs go into a run they pull my arm which is tied to a body that is walking. They will work to go faster and I either go with them, choosing to run, or I will not, which is resistance training for the pups. Either way when the dogs pull through the arm, I was leaning back at the shoulders while my pelvis led the movement. The dogs dragged me along.
I was noticing this while working through the pain that showed itself bright and brilliantly on Saturday. However due to its familiarity I had worked through some of the mental associations and so it wasn’t so acute or sharp. Once I noticed the middle of me being pulled along and therefore leading my own whole body movement, I could do something. What had I been doing? I was HOLDING my BACK. What’s the name of my website? DON’T HOLD your BACK. "Doh!"
You see the dogs always lead with their heads. Following their noses to discover new paths and other dogs and all of these exciting things that aren’t in the backyard. I forgot to lead with MY head. A principal principle of Alexander’s technique. So I thought UP and let my head fill the space above me. I felt longer and bigger and moved more swiftly that all three of us gained pace. And it was easy. NO PAIN!!!! Not even a twinge or a hint. I stopped HOLDING my BACK which was HOLDING ME BACK.
We were all flowing into movement, easily, freely, joyfully. I even enjoyed running, going for longer without being puffed as I would normally. It felt fabulous and free, running through nature laughing at my rediscovery.
It was all lovely until one pup turned sharply and my leads divided. An abrupt stop happened. Brakes on. Some pain right up through the back from heels to locked knees and ouch!
But hey I had figured out, again, what was always there. Alexander’s discoveries work. So back to the flow and next time the dogs crossed leads my soft knees absorbed the change and off we go again, up and forward.
I can’t wait to take them again.
Tell me about you and your dogs, or your discoveries . . .
Don’t Hold Back
If you are in pain and need help figuring out why or what you can stop doing, come for lessons or join a class http://www.dontholdback.ie/classes.html
I am Fiona and I am exploring themes of meeting resistances and allowing ways through. The constant weeding, recognising the stuff that's in the way to live easier.