Consider the cat. He doesn’t make up lists. He doesn’t remind himself to do things. He does things because it feels good, because it is instinct. Part of this instinct is his daily stretching routine. He flexes lazily as he gets up from a nice nap. He stretches as he scratches his paws. He stretches when he settles into a lap.
I have been thinking about this lately because I have been doing physical therapy for my Achilles tendon. My enthusiastic walking led to a walk that was rather farther and more intense one day, and I hurt my Achilles. I wandered around all summer waiting for it to improve, but now I’m getting it treated which has seriously cut back on my walks. You can insert a giant frowning face right here in your imagination. The little yellow icons don’t do my sadness justice.
I will get back to my long walks, but in the meantime I’ve learned that I need to stretch my calves, and stretch them good. Apparently the Achilles can be injured by tight calve muscles, and I wasn’t doing much stretching at all. It makes me wonder what else I’m not stretching. I don’t want anything else to get injured. I’ve decided to take preventative measures. The cat is right, stretching does feel good. I need to make it more of an instinct.
I’ve been doing what I’ve been told to do for my recovery, but I’m planning to get back to some yoga and other similar routines. It’s hard to maintain a joyful life with limits on one’s wanderings, so I know that the time I spend will pay off in trees and critters and all of the things I discover as I ramble about. In the meantime, I’m learning to appreciate the simple pleasures. I’ve graduated from not being allowed walks to being able to walk ten minutes at a time. It’s amazing how grateful I feel for that little bit of freedom.
I’ll have more to share about walking soon, but for right now you’ll need to excuse me. There’s a stretch that’s calling my name.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
279. When was the last time you stretched? Take five minutes and stretch a little right now, and consider adding some stretching to your daily routine. It will make a huge difference.