Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2018 >Daily Dispatch #320

November 16, 2018: Owning My Movements

A rather revelatory day on the body awareness front. Revelations are sometimes welcome and sometimes not. Today’s revelations were somewhat in the middle of this continuum. I suppose that one’s perceptions of them are dependent upon their current mental state. I’ve been on an upward spiral of late, so today’s revelation was more at the welcome end of the continuum.

The catalyst for this realization was Ben, my fitness trainer. Midway through the class he told me that I was thinking too much about my various training exercises. I knew this was coming because I’d had thought about it in advance. He then asked what he might do to make the situation better.

Ice Murphy Road

Hearing this, it was déjà vu all over again. This is what Jen Bartholomew asked me two years ago when it appeared that I was not making progress as a Tai Chi student. My Feldenkrais instructor was less kind about my perceived problem – she simply said that I was thinking too much about the work but offered no solutions. The same thing happened when I was taking yoga classes. Then the teacher just chose to ignore me. In all the previous instances, I just gave up.

Well, yes, I am the problem. I will readily admit this because, obviously, the body workers I have worked with have all said the same thing. It’s a wonder that I persist at this endeavor. We hear what we want to hear. I think I heard Ben correctly when he said that I need to just do rather than think about the exercise. This all came about when I was doing squats with the bar, with a 36 pound weight. I just could not do this correctly today. My thinking, which went unsaid, was that I just spent two days sitting at a table. Most days, I’m moving around.

He did a great exercise, stopped me thinking by tossing a bean bag and a small ball at me, several times. This did break the thinking pattern. I thought that this was on his part, brilliant.

He then said that we won’t increase the weights until I own this movement and in fact we’ll be going back to my lifting the goblet weight – this precedes using the bar. This was akin to my being told in the third grade that I could not use the real art paper until I figured out the correct way of drawing tree branches. For the life of me, I just couldn’t get it, and in the meantime, I was going through a lot of expensive art paper.

I subsequently recalled something that’s related (I think) to what Ben was saying. The first is that my being this way is confusing the horses. I’m bombarding them with stimuli. It’s for this reason that Raudi has partially shut down. And Tyra is heading in the same direction. And it could be why Tinni bolted on me last weekend – he just wanted to get away.

The teacher appears when the student is ready. I have been reading Our Horses Ourselves and putting the meditations on my cellphone. The author, Paula Josa-Jones writes about this very thing and says that in order to be a good rider, you need to let the body dictate what needs to be done rather than the mind.

The question is, how? Ben is thinking that I need to just keep one action in mind when doing the exercises. My thinking is that I need to write down what the exercises are before doing them, say, on a separate piece of paper. Ben agreed with this.

Well, I am heading down the road I headed down before – and I am not overly optimistic about my being able to change. At least Ben is committed to seeing this thing through. Sad to say, I’m testing his patience. Maybe the student appears when the teacher is ready.

Next: 321. 11/17/18: Summer Plans

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles