Posture Monday is back?
It’s Monday, a day which used to be reserved for posture correction exercises. Lately, of course, I’ve been blabbering on about using the Winnie the Flu crisis as an opportunity to reflect, to choose a course of action, to make an improvement and how to succeed in that action.
Well, today I both return to my roots in posture blogging, and tie a little bow on it with some thoughts on success.
I told the tale of seeing my second boy slouched over brushing his teeth. Oh, sure, I had told him a hundred times to “stand up straight,” but he never did. He was doing as I did, not as I said, and seeing him slouching over to emulate me finally prompted me to fix my own posture.
I’ve told the tale (and provided documentary, nay, pictorial evidence) of my oldest, some time later, sitting ramrod straight at the piano, no longer need my admonitions to “sit up straight.”
I might have even mentioned my colleague (a colleague with a posture exercise chart pinned above his desk, who is married to a physiotherapist) who unconsciously straightens up as we pass each other in the halls.
Seriously, I might have mentioned him, but then again I might not. Can’t remember. I’m getting old, you know.
Anyway, all of these things are successes. I have consciously improved my posture to the point that I’m a good example rather than a bad one, and make no mistake, I’m pleased to tell these tales.
But the big one, the “aha” moment, occurred to me on Sunday April 26, 2020 around 8:50 pm, after a game of Jumanji with my boys.
What is Jumanji? A film franchise started by Robin Williams and rebooted by The Rock. But that’s not important. What is important is that it was turned into a fun little board game, which my second got for his birthday this year.
Because I have hip issues, back issues and osteoarthritis, I simply cannot sit on the floor to play games with my boys. Instead, I sit on the couch and lean down to take my turn. Unfortunately, the nature of this game requires everyone to participate in everyone else’s turn, so I spent ½ an hour hunched over with my spine pretty much bent into a C-curve.
When I got up and went to the washroom after the game (I won, take that kiddos) I straightened up into proper posture. It’s taken five years but doing this is now completely natural and habitual.
Yesterday as I straightened up from my board game slouch, I noticed something. Hunched over, I hurt. Straightening up made the pain go away. In short, I’ve finally flipped the script; five years ago I stood in what I called “a comfortable slouch.” Today I discovered
SLOUCHING HURTS, and standing up straight doesn’t.
It took 5 years to train my muscles, recurve my spine, to relearn to stand up right and turn proper posture into my default shape. But I did it.
Over here, I talked about measuring success. I said that sometimes success can be quantified and measured:
- Can I press my body weight?
- Can I run 3 miles in 18 minutes?
I said that sometimes success can not be quantified and measured:
- Am I getting in shape?
- Is my yoga practice improving?
- Am I a better writer?
In the second case, lacking a metric, you need to think, to ponder, to reflect, to consider, to ask. “Am I succeeding?” In the case of posture correction, there really is no metric to determine if you’ve fixed your lousy posture.
But upon reflection, a revelation like, “It hurts to slouch, and standing up straight relieves the pain of slouching” gives me a mighty big clue. Where my posture is concerned, I did it.