The Winter Olympics are well underway in Sochi and the Earth’s air is warmed by our “ooohs” and “aaahs.” Each performance is more remarkable than the one before. The athletes are so beautifully put together. Their flexible joints permit their bones to cantilever one over the other to maximum mechanical advantage—load delivered to the ground—each part contributing to the whole and the whole to the part, a reflection of classic beauty. The conditions of their use—their endowment by genetics, nature, and environment—are ideal. Even among their fellow gifted, they shine. What about those of us less obviously blessed, those with noticeable scoliosis, kyphosis so severe we look most readily at the ground in front of us, those of us with impingements or implants in our spine, bilateral hip replacements, creaky joints. Our conditions of use—compromised by genetics, age, or injury—are by no means ideal. Our beauty may not be that of the Olympic athlete, nor our courage, perhaps, that of the Special Olympian. What shall we hope for? We can strive to use ourselves to greater advantage in the arena of our own lives, in our walk, our talk, our lifting, our bending, our standing, and our sitting. We can allow our head and limbs to enjoy an enviable relationship with the torso, kissed by the torso but not owned by it. We can enjoy the thought of our lengthening and widening, our head blessed by the sky our feet by the earth. We can in our way outshine the Olympian, going from strength to strength, skill to skill, and above all, refusing to go gently into that good night. We can enjoy a taste of freedom every day. And right on our side in that struggle, is the best ally we could possibly wish for—a counter to the process of our aging—the Alexander Technique. You’ll want to say after every lesson: Every day I prove a little. The Alexander Technique. It’s the Olympics of the Self. You might even want to give yourself a medal. Go ahead, you’ve earned it. And, in Freeing the Neck While Walking the Grocery Aisle: You. I’m suggesting gold.
“We can allow our head and limbs to enjoy an enviable relationship with the torso, kissed by the torso but not owned by it”. A beautiful post, Alan.
Many thanks Mark, superb colleague.