. . . croons Justin Timberlake.
I’ve been looking right at the other half of me in the plexiglass surrounding the rink, in photographs, in the large bathroom mirror. Narcissism aside, what I’ve been looking for are signs of bodily distortion–twisted upper body, dropped hip, shoulder raised–as I stand, skate, walk.
Correcting alignment issues might well be a lifelong task, even if I stop skating. I’ve been practicing my walking skills, doing those eccentric exercises for my foot, doing a variety of morning and evening exercises to strengthen my left side. These are in turns challenging, frustrating, or just plain boring unless I invest them with some kind of meaning. One of my goals is to be able to do this on my left side (the beach is optional, but would be nice):
So in the bigger picture, skating gives me a way of making meaning of this, something else to focus on while I straighten out my body. I have to believe that improving my strength, balance, and control on my left side will pay off.
I will stand up straighter. No more foot pain. Being able to walk for longer distances (or maybe even run again). Tried out my cross-country ski boots yesterday and thought about what it will be like to get out there into the snow on a bright, sunny winter day.
Over the years, I’ve made all kinds of excuses to keep skating. It puts me in touch with my body on a regular basis. It is a welcome break from my desk job. It helps me sleep better. It teaches me patience. I get to hang out with cool people. It’s cheaper than therapy. I’ll add the “equality of the left” to the long list.
Sing it, Justin!
Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul
I can tell you there’s no place we couldn’t go
Just put your hand on the glass, I’m trying to pull you through
You just gotta be strong
‘Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you, baby, it was easy
Coming back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along