Our recent activity in Alexander Technique teacher training has been walking. Walking…very challenging and sobering for me…as I walk with bad use. I’ve been walking the wrong way all my life. And I’m a big walker…by nature…and in living in NYC…we New Yorkers tend to walk lots. My habitual habits: pulling down of course, a tendency to lean forward to get where I’m going…etcetera. My balance is off. When Tom my trainer walks me around the room and I manage to walk with better use (according to him…I don’t feel this yet) I am de-stabilized as I am walking in a way I am not used to. So my balance feels really off.
I was born with congenital, complete hip dysplasia: the balls of my thigh bones were completely out of the sockets. I had to wear a big black brace for two years or so to correct this. So I walked late. I didn’t crawl. Well, according to my cousins, I sort of crawled…pulled myself along with the brace, and apparently I was hilarious: tiny me, with a shock of bright red hair, messing about with the big, black brace.
I have no remembrance of this. I have only one, faded photo of me in the brace. When I do walking activities (so poorly) in training, and I try to think up, not pull down, as my knees are bending and my feet are rolling on the floor, and I am concentrating on making contact with the floor, and I am finding a balance, and I am trying not to grip, I think about all this stuff that happened to me that I don’t remember. I know that practicing walking with good use in the Alexander way will benefit me greatly in every aspect of my life, including teaching of course. But right now, ooh this is all so painful on a psychological level. Hopefully the next time walking activities come around, I will have made some progress.