Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's the Little Things

It's  true that expression is way overused. But it can be so true. On the one hand, I have a very BIG excitement as with every day I have less pain in my hip, and more facility of movement. Sometimes it wells up inside me with such a powerful force, I feel as if I could explode with the joy of it all. The poignant side is to realize each day with more clarity how really tied down I was, how impinged the movement of my legs was. 

Rooftop terrace Sayulita, Mexico.
This photo was taken in February of this year, on our Mexican holiday. We were lucky to have this terrace over our beach apartment, where we practiced yoga every morning. When doing Warrior 2 before arthritis started showing up in my hips, my feet were wide enough to bring my thigh parallel to the ground. It is strange and uncomfortable, to feel your muscles get tighter, no matter how soft you visualize them, or how often you stretch them. It feels so big and wonderful to be on the other side. To feel my hip joints releasing and opening. 

It's the small details that are somehow the most profound, the most telling. Here's a list of little things that give me so much joy these days:

1. I can sit cross-legged again.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a floor sitter. I eschew chairs, and sit cross legged on the carpet. But as my right (the first to go) hip got more and more and more painful, I had to sit with my left leg tucked under, and right extended. It was a big deal to arrive again at sitting cross legged after the first surgery, but it quickly retreated as the left hip descended into pain. Now I can sit up straight, legs crossed!! I'm still a little stiff in the left hip, but it's getting better all the time. In fact, this morning I crossed my right leg over into half lotus. It's like finding a piece of myself that was lost. 

2. I can walk in the woods.
With losing the range of motion in my legs, and pain in every step, walking in the woods with my dog(s) became a chore. I began to stick to the flat, as it's tough to step over logs with tight inner thigh muscles restricting the movement of the legs. The fear of pain makes it tough to jump down off rocks or slide down a hill. I feel so much more at ease now, walking deer trails and hilly terrain, hugging huge trees. I am still cautious of falling, and weak in my legs. Even so walking is such a rediscovered joy! 

3. I can ride my bike.
First my right, then my left hip, would pinch at the front when I rode my bicycle. Raising my seat helped a little, but gave me less pedalling power. My right knee used to turn outward, and the heel inward to bang against the frame of the bike. Now I can ride pain free, though just like for hiking, my legs are weak. But they keep getting stronger. 

4. I can skip!
I'm not sure if it was the pain, or the lack of cartilage in my hip(s) or both, but I've been grounded for years. With hip pain, you can't run for a bus, and you can't 'Skip to My Lou.' I was trying to show my step-daughter the can can a few months ago, and couldn't bounce. But the other day, I was in a group of dancers and without thinking, I started skipping...and laughed out loud! So joyous to be able to do that simple movement.

5. I can shake my booty!!
I was in the kitchen cooking the other day, and started dancing. Maybe it was the pelvis circles I'd done with my yoga class the day before, or maybe my hips were just ready to move, but I started to boogy like I haven't for some time. The hip pain prevented me from shifting my hips side to side. I did my best to take the opportunity to be more expressive with my arms, torso and head, but it sure is awesome to be able to shake it again.

6. I can (almost) Cartwheel!!!
I haven't tried yet. But soon. Once my hip doesn't hurt. Once my muscles are longer and stronger, I'm going to work up to a Cartwheel. That will be the true sign that I am back on my...hands?

Today's Quote: “Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.” ― Rumi

1 comment:

  1. Yay!!! I look forward to seeing the cartwheel at Hornby in August :)