The feature photo was taken by my Feldenkrais practitioner, Kim Wise. She was treating me at her property and her horse came to the door. What a magical moment!!
There was much to sort out with my body. I felt like I had almost ‘set’ in one position since the accident – like I froze in time. It was an effort just to get on the Feldenkrais table! I still had many aches – my spine and back muscles hurt and my left arm didn’t move very far – I was very protective of it.
I started to learn about what Feldenkrais was – I became aware of parts of my body that weren’t working – or were working too hard. Kim worked a lot on my jaw – it was so clenched. Also on my pelvis – and my arms….. in fact…. all of my body!!! I learnt about how we use our bodies – how to find an easier way to use them – the life long habits we set up – the unnecessary movements we take on.
Kim would work on me, then I would ‘float’ home – with a new lightness – a new ease of movement. I loved that feeling – becoming aware of parts of my body was like greeting a long lost friend.
I took home recordings of ATM’s -Awareness Through Movement exercises. I did these religiously each day. I spent some days doing nothing but these slow, gentle movements. Over time my body learnt to move again – or rather, I was more aware of my body than I’d ever been. I was still experiencing some pain – but it was so much better.
Finally I started doing a little more with the horses – I could brush them – and I attempted Magnum’s hooves. However, it was hard going on my body – I wasn’t really ready. I took them into the arena ….. but…..
I realised how nervous I was in there. I struggled to look at the mounting block and the corner where I fell off, but I went through the motions although my heart wasn’t in it. I was struggling in there. It was all too much. I needed to start by just tending to the horses and building up my confidence.
Over the months since the accident, I had gained weight – and I was very unfit. I still had to sit a lot and rest my back – it still ached but didn’t cramp so much. This all contributed to my lack of confidence. I was also tired. Madge would often interrupt. She not only told me I was too old to do all this and to stay sitting where I would be safe – she would then tell me I was being lazy, I wasn’t really tired – I was just using the accident as an excuse. She would not only tear down my confidence, she would kick me while I was down there and fill me with guilt for not ‘getting on with it’.
And there was something else I felt – jangly – shaky? I find it hard to explain. But it always felt like ‘something’ was in my body. Was it trauma? Mentally, I still felt safer sitting in my chair. I knew I couldn’t fall. The chair had become my place for comfort.
It had also become my place for going over and over in my mind what actually happened on that fateful day. Madge had done a number on me – shattering my confidence. Maybe I should follow Madge’s advice – spend my days in the chair with a blanket over me – never to move again. Of course then she would tell me I was just lazy and to snap out of it!!
Madge had continually told me that horses are dangerous, I’m too old – and now too fragile to ride them. She also told me that my training method – meaning positive reinforcement training – was all wrong and how silly was I to think I could actually ride! She was wearing me down.
It was now four or five months since the accident. The Feldenkrais exercises had really helped – not only for the aches and pains in my body, but for my confidence. But now I needed a change of scenery.
For some time I’d had a longing to see snow capped mountains.
COMING UP – SNOW CAPPED MOUNTAINS!
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