Stretching Myself…

My morning began with a quick read of Linda Grime’s blog post on Gumby.  In it, she asks just how flexible we are, both physically and mentally.  Which, of course, got me to thinking about my own flexibility issues.

In many ways, I am very flexible.  The week before delivering Middlest, I remember being able to still stretch around that ginourmous belly and put my palms on the floor.  I did it in front of my speech class and they were all suitably impressed.  But that show of flexibility is a bit of a parlor trick.

I have crazy stretchy, flexible hamstrings.  My back?  Not so much.  So while I can easily touch not only my toes but the floor from a standing position, it’s because my flexibility is all in the back of my legs.  From a sitting position, my flexibility is not nearly as impressive.  Ask me to touch my fingers together behind my back and I look like an octogenarian on a bad day.

Some of this is probably genetics and some of it stems from injuring my back over the years.  Oldest (who turned 11 yesterday – eek!) was what might be euphemistically described as a difficult delivery.  We all know that labor and delivery stories are no fun to hear so I’ll summarize  with “it took a while.”  Like 47 hours while.  And when he finally arrived, he was face-up.  If you know much about the birthin’ of babies, Ms Scarlett, you know that I’ve just listed reasons why a delivering mother might be a bit cranky afterwards.  In my case, let’s just say that the 3.5 hours of pushing his head across my lower back caused a fair bit of vertebral angst.  Eleven years later and my lower back is still a steaming pile of pain most days.  In fact, if it has a vertebra in it, it probably hurts.

And if you can remember back to your anatomy days, you recall that there is a magical dance done in your body between the bony tissues and the soft tissues.  In my case, I like to tell my deep tissue masseuse that I’m a knotty girl.  It keeps her in business and me going back to try to work the knots out over the the kinks in my spine.

So what does this all mean?  Besides the fact that I live in constant awareness of my spine, it mostly means that my back, my very core if you will, is not very flexible or responsive to stretching due to injury.

And in truth, that is true for my little ole mental self as well.  Time and experience has not been terribly gentle to my emotional and mental flexibility.

So even though I try to stretch my mental and emotional self just like I do my large muscles, it is really only the easily stretched parts that allow movement.  The damaged bits of me?  Still stuck today, just like they’ve been for as long as I can remember.  But just like I keep trying all kinds of alternative therapies to find relief for my aching vertebral column, I keep trying to find ways of stretching out the stuck bits of my emotions.

4 thoughts on “Stretching Myself…

  1. Glad I could trigger such a great post from you! 🙂

    I hear you on the back labor. I had that with my first, too — ouchie.

    Re flexibility: Just knowing you have to keep stretching is half the battle, I think. The people who never even try are the ones who become brittle, both physically and mentally.

  2. But just like I keep trying all kinds of alternative therapies to find relief for my aching vertebral column, I keep trying to find ways of stretching out the stuck bits of my emotions.
    I really like this way of expressing the sentiment! I’ve noticed since becoming a mom that I’m becoming a little more rigid in some things, so I’m actively trying to stretch myself . . . even if, like stretching my heel, it hurts a little.

  3. “I’m am not flexible, I’m agile”. That’s how I’ve tried to relate my own physical abilities. Which, now that you’ve brought up the correlation, is how I might sometimes describe my mental/emotional state.

    I had never made that connection before.

    Interesting. Thanks for this post. A good un, as always.

  4. Thanks for the pointer to Visiting Reality and Gumby.

    I salute your own gumbiness, but you have my sympathy for the bad old back twinges. I guess, like everything, one can either resign oneself, or like you, find a way round it.

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