Sunday, July 20, 2008

When Pursuits Feed Each Other

UPDATE: I wanted to mention, that Ewoh finished the Half-Marathon for Crohn's Disease!!! Talk about a reason for exercise!

Mark Terry started a new blog, Fatt-2-Fitt (please visit!), which got me thinking about working out, which got me thinking about my life since the foot, which got me thinking about how my life has changed since the foot.

Especially in small ways.

When I practice my own pieces (as opposed to my students' pieces), it makes me more creative in my teaching. Also, it makes my writing more rhythmic, more "on." When I'm writing, it's so quiet, I am totally rejuvenated to hear sound. (When you're listening really hard for eight hours a day, for even longer, sometimes you just want to shut your ears down for a break.) With music, I'm constantly perfecting and memorizing, and not every moment is a "creative" moment.

So writing becomes the world where I can create. And where I can get the stories out of my head so I can focus on other things.

But today, I realized how much the physical feeds me.

At this point, I can do most yoga (my foot does swell up, but it doesn't hurt until the next day, so who cares at this point), and some of my Taekwondo forms as long as I do some stuff incorrectly (not pivot with my foot). Walking and running and most everything else is out, except weight lifting.

So Mark Terry's blog inspired me to get back to yoga.

At first, of course, it was mostly grunting and groaning and everything was irritatingly stiff and uncomfortable. It's been awhile.

And then:

There's that place you find, sometimes, that place where your whole world becomes feeling one position and holding one stretch, where with your whole heart, all you want to do is just feel your body stretch.

Maybe it's that my work is so mental. When you push against your mental limits, they're unclear. They're muddy. You're not sure how far you can go, what's a fear, what's a message, what's a desire to go in a different direction, what's an insecurity.

With the physical, it's all so much clearer. You feel your limits instantly, obviously. You don't have to second guess them. You note them, and then you can focus on stretching beyond them.

Running, to me, was always a face-to-face confrontation with my fear of not being able to do it. Yoga is, too, but in a smaller way.

Facing that fear in a small way and experiencing the exhilaration of working through it makes it so much easier to face that fear in other areas of one's life.

And then there's how good it feels to just move sometimes, to stretch and bend and arc.

Here's a little video on ashtanga yoga. Don't let the fact that it was the "it" yoga awhile back scare you away. It got me stronger and more flexible than any other yoga. Let's hope it can do it again!

Do your various discipline feed each other? How? And does exercise feed your more mental pursuits? And despite how good something feels, do you ever catch yourself avoiding that which makes you feel so much better?

14 bonus scribbles:

Edie 7/21/2008 12:03:00 AM  

I used to do yoga. I still do the sun salutations as stretching exercises. It keeps me kind of limber.

I walk my dog almost every day. That's the time my mind quiets and ideas come to me. (Unless my dog is acting up.) I used to do strength training all the time, and that's what I need to start doing again. When I have time.

Aimless Writer 7/21/2008 07:35:00 AM  

I can't do yoga. It hurts my wrist. I have a cyst inside the joint and every once in a while it swells and causes pain. (like now!) I have to wear a brace till the pain goes away. Right now I can't find the brace...damn!
I have a treadmill and Ecliptic (sp?) that I keep telling myself to use...days slip by and, well, you know. Just haven't gotten there more then a few times.
I really have to get better at this.
Thanks for the inspiration Spy!

Robin 7/21/2008 09:47:00 AM  

I tried yoga once, but the teacher said bizarre things like, "This pose is good for the thymus, diabetes, and vaginal infections." I would crack up, and everyone in the class hated me.

Rhonda Stapleton 7/21/2008 11:44:00 AM  

GOD, I need to get back into yoga. I did it for a while, and it did wonders for my flexibility...

Susan Helene Gottfried 7/21/2008 12:42:00 PM  

I love to work out, especially cardio, because it lets my mind wander and then plot ideas or twists or characters burst forth and I'm just happier. Plus, I get to spend time feeling strong and jamming to my music and dreaming of being good enough to bike 100 miles in a single day. *sigh* One of these years.

Melanie Avila 7/21/2008 01:49:00 PM  

I become an unpleasant person when I don't exercise. My routine has changed drastically since leaving the states, but I can still tell when I've skipped too long. I've never done yoga, per se, but I've picked up moves along the way and turned it into my own thing.

I recently started doing it again and it's amazing how much better everything feels afterwards. Makes me want to kick myself for not doing it more often. My head is clearer, my back stops hurting, and I feel lighter on my feet. Why wouldn't I do this all the time?

Eric Mayer,  7/21/2008 09:46:00 PM  

I used to run but my back won't allow it any more. I always felt more mentally alert and I think I was able to write more when I was running. Also, getting it into my head that to run a race you had to first be able to cover the distance drove home the fact that if you want to sell a book you first have to finish writing a whole book. Unfortunately I hate exercise generally and find it boring, except for running. I know I should dbe doing something.

spyscribbler 7/21/2008 11:25:00 PM  

Edie, I love the sun salutations. I do those and the triangle when I don't have time to do anything else.

I need to start my strength training again. I need to get DH to do it, too! He used to have huge arm muscles, and they're disappearing! :-(

spyscribbler 7/21/2008 11:26:00 PM  

Oh, Aimless, that's awful. I've had wrist problems before, so I empathize. I miss days and days, too. I don't know why, because it always makes me feel better!

spyscribbler 7/21/2008 11:26:00 PM  

Oh, Robin, that's priceless! That's hilarious! I'd be cracking up with you, too!

spyscribbler 7/21/2008 11:27:00 PM  

Me, too, Rhonda! I always feel happier when I'm feeling flexible, too.

spyscribbler 7/21/2008 11:28:00 PM  

Susan, that's the best thing, I forgot! That feeling of "feeling strong" can really carry me through a whole lot. It gives me more confidence in other areas.

spyscribbler 7/21/2008 11:29:00 PM  

Melanie, I know, I'm the same way! I wish I could dance like you do, though. It sounds like so much fun.

I get all sorts of aches and pains when I'm not working out.

spyscribbler 7/21/2008 11:30:00 PM  

Eric, that's the most difficult part: finding something you enjoy doing. I LOVE taekwondo, but the foot doesn't want to let me yet.

Now with that taken away, other exercise just feels like an unpleasant chore. Sometimes it's better, but not always.

I hope you find a new love!