Better & Bolder, the Blog

bad dog

long dancing profile

 I need to be more fabulous.

My default posture is what I call “bad dog.” My tail is slightly tucked under. I let my chest collapse down into my waist. I squeeze my anus shut. This is my default, my hang out, my don’t-think-about-it posture, a tight-assed folding in of my self.

I  need to be more fabulous, with my chest high and in your face thankyouverymuch and my back side free to hang out in the space behind me. My spine aches to luxuriate in a beautiful S curve. 

I need to be more fabulous because this bad dog pose requires far too much effort and, worse, pulls everything down with it. 

It’s not easy being fabulous. My low back aches a bit, so unused to the curve, and in an attempt to release from bad dog, I sometimes exaggerate, bringing my tail up. My pelvic floor is stuck on Tense, and I remind myself to relax and I’m not even sure I know how. I hold tension there, hold for dear life.

My element is earth. Just as for years I have resisted the knowledge that there are ways my body is weak, not strong, I have resisted the knowledge that there are ways I am profoundly ungrounded, unrooted.  I take my running body into Rolfing or to the chiropractor, and I say it’s as if my right hip is hooked up. My heel hurts from hitting the ground. Sometimes I rock forward, grabbing at the knees, locking at the ankles, holding on with my quads, bringing more weight to the balls of my feet. It is absurdly unnatural, a crazy balance that requires vigilance yet has become a default, a pose I take without thinking. 

These are the ways we survive. My posture is my armor. 

I stand here, typing, aware of these shifts in my feet, ankles, hips. To release tension, I begin to dance, circling my hips, rolling my feet, shifting my chest. It’s running that reveals to me these weaknesses and shows me the harm my armor does. It’s dancing that invites me to drop the armor for a time. 

I run a race in five days and I’m not sure I can. My left hip got so tight last week that I had to stop running. Since then, I’ve been resting and receiving a Rolfer’s and a chiropractor’s generous care. I go to sleep at night with my healing-an-injury hypnosis track. I’m doing what I can to be ready to race. 

I wish, of course, that I had not been injured 10 days before a race. I wish I were feeling confident this week that my training had gotten me as far as I could go in the time that I had. I wish I felt badass. Instead,  I feel vulnerable. That is an awkward gift. I am contemplating that I will fail in all my goals for this Sunday. That would be a painful gift. 

Yet I feel hopeful. I hope I can run and can run well, and if I cant, I know Ill be able to run in another week or so. I know Ill heal. While the tension in my pelvis and back have been constant for days, I know that too is temporary. I know this is an opportunity for change, and that excites me. For all these reasons, and more, I feel deeply grateful to this injury. This is not the first time I have faced down my armored self. This is the first time that Ive felt ready.