“I am using myself well”
‘People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures’, said FM Alexander.
Information and knowledge are useful. Putting these into action is even more useful. Committing to doing this thinking-in-activity one, three, or ten times a day – then you’ll really start to notice the benefits.
As many of you know, one of Alexander’s major discoveries about us mammals is that the relationship between the head and spine govern the coordination of the rest of us. Yes – all of us! Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – we don’t separate – its all one thing – our Self.
Lucy nearing the steep part of the Armthorpe Ascent
“I am using myself well”
Update from yesterday.
Armthorpe Road where I live in Sheffield held a street party, socially distanced of course, with time trials of runners and cyclists going up the steep hill, and younger kids along Bramwith Road which is flat.
I had thought my bike was not available, and Rob Jackson of Revive bike repairs in Crookes, finished it early and happened to return it to me just as the first cyclist started off. No excuses now. Hurrah my bike was back, new brakes and cables and tyres all oiled and moving smoothly. By rebalancing the cables, there was an appropriate amount of tone in the system making for smooth runnings.
I knew my bike needed seeing to. I was aware of the brakes being a little thin as they needed a good squeeze to get the desired effect. I hadn’t realised that adjusting the saddle another centimetre up would help my legs extend better and give each stroke of my pedals a little more efficient power.
When was the last time your had a service?
So now I had another chance to go up the hill, this time for real, with many many neighbours watching from their front gardens. There was music playing, and I had requested Shakira’s “I won’t Give Up, No I won’t give in, til I reach the end, then I’ll start again…” from Zootropollis. A great track to work with!
At first I put on my sporty top, as it was warm and sunny. I soon realised watching some of the cyclists whiz up that I might be giving the wrong impression if I wore lycra. So I went and put on a dress. This is the way I like to ride. This the way the ladies ride – hobblety hoy!
I really enjoyed the occasion – people waving and cheering as I went. I made a 9 badge for my front and put Lucy on my back, so people could cheer for me. It works wonders to hear your name as you do something challenging and get personal encouragement.
I was riding slowly enough to chat with people – up to a point, then I needed to conserve my energy for riding.
I kept my form all the way. I kept thinking about using myself well.
I kept wishing for my head to be lengthening away from my pelvis, wishing my pelvis to stay wide and supported on the saddle. I invited my back to be long and wide, so my breath would have the best chance of moving freely.
Yes I was determined to get to the top, AND I was more keen to do each turn of the pedal well with all of me.
I consciously invited my heels down as my head stayed up. This helped my legs extend without all the work being on the front of my thighs. This encouraged my whole body to lengthen rather than scrunch, which gave me inner strength and support.
My bicycle was going like a dream. Yes, of course, it is hard work going up a hill, or two, or even three. And the more I work at maintaining my balance the less my body is strained and the easier I can move.
Yesterday, for about 3 hours, families of all shapes and sizes tried the big hill, walking and running and on their scooters with tassels on the handlebars too!
My legs felt a quite wobbly after the climb, and I tested my new brakes squeakily on the hill down.
As soon as I got home, my son said, lets go for a bike ride!! He was too shy to ride in the race. He wouldn’t have enjoyed all those eyes on him.
So I had a drink of water and off we went for a ride, through the park, valley and up towards Fulwood, past the church, up towards Lodge Moor and back down Graham Road and home. The bunting was still flying, and the last scooter and parent were going up the hill.
I had forgotten to take my number and name off me!! I certainly got a few looks as we went on our route.
Just as my bike benefited from its annual servicing, so I benefit each time I give myself conscious thoughts which direct my body towards its most natural and harmonious way of working. I can sort of rest and work hard at the same time.
If you would like to know how to fine tune yourself – please get in touch. I’d love to show you my unique system and get you moving more smoothly towards your personal goals.
I don’t yet know where I came in the race, though I’m told I was the most elegant and poised.
Thank you to everyone who sends me emails and messages about these daily emails and how they are inspiring and informing you. Please keep them coming.