I can’t touch my toes.
No, it’s not the end of the world. Yes, I have more pressing problems. There’s laundry to do. Bills to pay. Holiday cards to send. Phone calls to return. Deadlines to beat. My “to-do” list has gotten so long recently that I’ve separated it into multiple shorter lists to make it less intimidating visually.
Yet, late last night, I stood next to bed and collapsed my upper body over my lower half, hanging my head lethargically upside down for a few seconds, hoping to calm my mind before sleep. However, this simple exercise didn’t have the soothing effect I’d hoped for.
Instead, a burning session radiated from the back of my legs. My butt ached like woah. My hands hovered a few inches above the ground. Really, Julie, that’s the best you can do? I took a deep breath and leaned into the stretch with full concentration.
Still, my fingertips dangled in thin air. I stood up quickly, shook out my legs and jumped into bed, hoping the stretching Gods weren’t watching.
Although I’ve never been particularly limber, my flexibility has reached an all-time low. Over the years, I’ve dabbled in Pilates and various forms of Yoga – from Vinyasa to Yin to Nidra (Dream Yoga – very interesting practice for people with narcolepsy). However, I’ve never established a long-term commitment to stretching the way I have to running and eating healthy.
To be honest, I hate stretching. I’d rather run for an hour than stretch for half an hour. Yet, my tendinitis in my knees has been so inflamed recently that running an hour is painful. Stretching on a regular basis would drastically improve my condition and allow me to run longer distances. So what’s holding me back?
Sometimes it’s hard to get it “all” done. I often pick out ten goals for a day and find myself inevitably falling short. There are big priorities that can’t be avoided. Then, there are smaller things that pop up. I put off things – like Pilates and Yoga – for no good reason other than the fact that the only person hurt by this is me. And slowly but surely, my body and mind disconnect.
|Photography by Julie Flygare
So, it’s time to slow down, stop hurrying and worrying. It’s time for Mission REM Reach! The goal of my mission will be to reach my toes and reconnect my body and mind. To fulfill my mission, I vow to explore various meditative, stretching, and exercise routines and practices and share my experiences here.
I am open to suggestions, but cost will be an important consideration. I would love to travel to Italy, India and Indonesia to find “myself” but I’m hoping that Washington DC will provide a romantic enough backdrop for my soul-searching health-enhancing stretch-quest.