What activities can I, can you, do today, that are pure FUN? How can you make a step toward undoing the oppressive self talk or expectations of others that have made you confine physical activity to crack of dawn jogs, to the inside of a gym or your more restrictive in size and private, lounge room?
I recall when I was part of the artist in schools program taking a group of primary school children into Jells Park to sketch, and they saw a senior lady performing graceful Tai Chi movements beside the lake. She was confident and comfortable within herself in moving the way her body and indeed I could easily see, her mind and soul was loving.
The young children, already somewhat inhibited that it was OK for children to be active in play in public and comfortable running around, but believing that adults must be more restrained, began to snicker at her from a distance.
I quickly asked them not to do that, and used it as a great lesson in teaching them about self-confidence and to admire her for her strength of character. She set such a great example of how we should not fear being ourselves and expressing who we are in words and movements as long as those actions are good, hurt no one, then believe in yourself and be yourself.
The entire basis of my artist in schools program wasn’t just about the large mural I was painting for the Jells Park School with the assistance of 400 primary school children it was about instilling, 'I can' attitudes in these children and it was enormous fun and I believe I was able to leave an impression.
It's good for me to remember these things now. Time I re-learnt some of the gifts I had in the past while they are still laying there waiting to be re stimulated. I’m not sure I want to climb trees or scale cliffs any more. My Tai Chi is less than graceful and I now fear broken bones due to osteoporosis of the spine so I don't intend to try dancing on high brick walls again, but it is a lesson in dropping some of the inhibitions that still do hold me back.
I never did read any more than the cover of the book, 'Feel the fear and do it anyway', not sure I've even quoted it correctly, but I get the gist of the meaning of that title. I know that, if crack of dawn running doesn't suit me, so what, if I want to brisk walk. Some run around our summer retreat, mostly retirees village when the others just sit and gape.
Who knows I might start a seniors fitness trend yet. Who will it hurt if I perform clumsy awkward Tai Chi beside a lake? So what if anyone thinks I'm insane, if I want to skip down a soft grassy embankment.
Today I am going to acknowledge that, yes some internal impulses I get to move my body come when I am in public, as that is where life places us. I realize if your employed you can hardly dance around the office, but as I am self employed, if I want to give little jumps for joy when I'm happy or things are going well, I will do this. Easy to get my fifty bone strengthening jumps in that way.
I have met quite a few seniors who have a 'jump robe for your heart healthy, routine.' I am just learning to jump for the sheer fun of it, whenever and wherever I feel like it, LOL, I'm still getting tangled up in a skipping rope, but that skill too will one day be reclaimed and I'll skip rope for fun again.
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