A moment of movement
Since we are little, we are told to sit still, listen, and answer when asked to. Hands are stilled, unless its play time, and bodies held like statues. If wild, unfocused and fidgety, labels are thrown around, children described as having attention issues-perhaps medication is even discussed. These initial learning’s are transferred into adulthood, where we must be focused and driven, work hard to have “play”. Monday to Friday, 9-5pm, we still our hands and bodies in order to reach that Saturday to Sunday reward of weekend warrior playtime.
When I first got together with my partner, his constant fidgeting and movement frustrated me beyond belief. Forget watching two movies in a row, don’t even think about going to a beach together to sit and relax in the sand. As a child, he was described by teachers as having attention issues; he was one of the distracting ones, making it harder for the other children to learn.
As an adventure guide, I would occasionally take students out that just didn’t function in a classroom. They were loud and noisy, disruptive to others, not “respectful” of teachers and students- at the same age, my partner would even categorise himself as being the same as these children.
Now both groups, when taken away from the classroom, and placed in the outdoors, absolutely excelled. There were no walls to hold in their energy, no words to keep them seated. They were encouraged to move, and yell, and push themselves; to get frustrated, to feel good, to be tired. They walked away knowing more about themselves, and more about their backyard. This utter need to move is how our bodies are meant to be. We are meant to run; swim; climb; ride; dance; and be wild.
It is so utterly natural, but it is us as a society that has suppressed this urge to move. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is an inarguable fact that we have to work in order to get money to support ourselves and our families. So how do you balance the necessity to work, with this need to move? Putting it simply, we do the best that we can!
Here are some tips that helped me get back into a routine of movement:
- Listen to your body, see what it asks you to do. Movement doesn’t always have to have a result of being red-faced, sweat-covered and out of breath. It could be yoga; a walk; some tai-chi. ANYTHING.
- Slot it into your routine wherever you can. Try before or after work; maybe during your lunch break; or pull the car over a block before the kid’s school and walk them in.
- No excuses. Put it into your routine, and do it! Have a backup exercise just in case (eg: it’s raining, so instead of going for a walk, do some yoga indoors).
- Team up with someone. Maintaining motivation can be hard, so having one or more people can help keep you motivated, and give you an opportunity to socialise at the same time.
- Women are incredibly good at sacrificing themselves for everyone around them, even if this results in their health being implicated. Ask yourself, what is one thing you would really like to do? Whatever your answer is, do it. Don’t sacrifice yourself, you are worth it!
I can no longer watch two movies in a row; I’m clawing at the doors of a vehicle after driving for 60 minutes (ironic seeing as I’m living and travelling in a van); I would much rather walk, swim and play at a beach than sit in the sand and stare at the sky.
I have learnt to embrace the restlessness, to want to move my body, and stretch my mind. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good book (I can read all day if it’s got me hooked), I love going to cafes, and I love finding a spot on a hike to just sit at. The difference is that now, when my body asks to move, instead of quelling those desires, I embrace them. I ride or hike before or after work; I stretch my body when it asks me too; I go out climbing with my partner; or paddling with my dad. Re-teaching my body to move has been a process, but I am a much happier person now.
So just do it, give yourself it, that moment of movement. Being a weekend warrior isgreat, but let’s create an army of weekday legends!