Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Tipping point

My memory tag for 28 April 2013 is a run in the park and reaching a tipping point in my Global Postural Reeducation experiment.

I guess it comes down to geometry.

I have been doing exercises to stop my head projecting, stretching the muscles of my neck so my spine is a little more vertical over my body. This picture on the Dr Sam Tocco site shows it well.

My head needs to move from the poor posture on the right to the vertical posture on the left.

If my neck and the muscles surrounding it are the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle, with the base being the vertical line I am aiming for, the change required in its length as it approaches vertical becomes less the closer to vertical it is. In other words, less stretch is needed as vertical is approached, until the hypotenuse and the base coincide.

I noticed this when running on 28 April 2013 - it is my memory tag for that day. I find I loosen up after a few kilometres and on this day it meant my neck could assume the vertical position without straining against resisting muscles. It felt like a weight off my shoulders!

Not only did I no longer have to force my head back to achieve vertical, I had the flexibility to overshoot. In fact, if I wanted I could arch my spine with my belly or chest projecting instead of my head. I felt free, able to choose the posture to bring my body into balance.

As I slipped into this equilibrium position my point of visual focus suddenly extended into the distance. With my head no longer jumping around, I had a stable platform to look from.

Fixing on the path in the distance, externalised my viewpoint.

Suddenly I remembered how it felt to run 20 years ago, with my trunk virtually immobile as my legs did the running. The roll of my shoulders also disappeared; my arms just pumped back and forth. I was a running machine.

It felt so liberating.

I thought I will remember this moment for ever by making it my memory tag for today.

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