Saturday, October 30, 2010

Beat with an ugly stick

...that is how it feels the day after. Yesterday not so much, but today I can feel everywhere that gravity had its way with me. Wrenched hip. Bashed elbow. Banged-up knee. Would that as a youngster I had learned to fall well...

I never have learned to fall well.

I've seen it done. In my twenties I lived with J, who, one evening when we were walking in Back Bay, slipped on the ice and did a kind of circular cartwheel/somersault (very impressive as he was over six foot tall and had long blond hair to match), came back up standing, and continued the conversation quite calmly.

I tried, when in my thirties and a student at Evergreen, to learn Aikido. Partially for the self-defense/martial art aspect, but primarily for the learning how to fall. I was an abysmal failure. One of the very first exercises to begin learning to fall was to do a forward roll (somersault) which I was completely unable to do, though not for lack of attempting it.

I could do them as a child, and my mind remembered how, but my body at that point had lost the way. The instructor had no clever way to help me find the motion again, and I ended up wrenching my neck so badly that I spent a week and a half walking around looking off to one side, before D rubbed my neck and shoulders out and readjusted my neck to look forward again. I never did figure out the forward roll, and ended up dropping the class, since all further progress was dependent on the initial step which my body refused to take. Sigh.

I never have learned to fall well.

1 comment: