I know, I know…it’s been a long time…but lots of strange and difficult stuff has been happening in my life…and it all has been very stress inducing. And then to add to the stress…the election happened. Please see Alexander Technique teacher Mark Josefsberg’s excellent blog post on the Alexander Technique and the election here. The combination of dealing with challenges in my personal life, and then being slammed by the election had me reeling.
Another autumn of my peripatetic Alexander Technique teacher training journey has ended. Another autumn for me these years seems to bring another fresh new medical emergency. This time I had big fight with a door frame. I lost. I dislocated and fractured my little right toe. It is so mind blowing how a fracture in such a tiny bone can wreak such havoc. This accident forced me to stop. No work nor training for awhile…then slowly I started up again…while still wearing a surgical shoe and taping my fourth and fifth toes together. My punishment: having to wear an ugly shoe. Now I’m back in some right shoes again. Phew. But still healing. I guess when I’m able to wear heels to dance some tango I’ll consider myself all better.
Let me tell you, wearing one surgical shoe and one regular shoe for ten weeks does mess you up. However I did find that I was really paying assiduous attention to my use as I was walking. So that was a plus. And now, on the advice of my podiatrist, I wear clogs in the house.
While in the middle of the broken toe recuperation something stunning happened to me in training. I have written before about being born with severe, genetic hip dysplasia. My trainer had a felicitous brainstorm: one day in class she tied a sash tightly right above the crease of my hips, making me an improvised sacroiliac belt. The backstory of this occurrence is that one of my co-trainees uses such a belt but for different reasons. My co-trainee has EDS…Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome…and this is one of the devices she uses to assist her. My trainer put two and two together, et voilà…my life changed.
With the makeshift belt on, Instantly my whole body changed. The stability of my hips allowed my neck to lengthen. And my arms and shoulders released. I had more stability. I had more rotation in my hips when I walked. I had better balance. I had a midline. After that class I went home and ordered a real sacroiliac belt.
I wear the belt often. It provides me with a stability that I have never had ever before. And I find that when I don’t or can’t wear it, I innately mimic the use I have with it. So it is not a necessary crutch. Who would ever think that such a seemingly simple device would have such major ramifications?
Wearing the sacroiliac belt has been a great learning-about-my-body tool for me. I guess my hips have never been well in the sockets. The belt kind of mimics the big black brace I had to wear for the first two years plus of my life. It nudges my hips back in place. I’m now aware of my body in ways that I never had been. When I first started wearing it I felt that I was in proprioception overload. I wish I could describe better just how utterly important this all is for me!
So in this penultimate phase of my seemingly never-ending teacher training I experienced a great high while dealing with many lows. It’s January of 2017 and I was supposed to have certified by now. Does every trainee have a drama laden journey? Or just some of us trainees? Well…whatever…it is what it is. Here’s a quote that I came across recently: “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” E.M. Forster. Great advice on every front, right? One must role with the punches. Dealing with ambiguity here…