Hello, June! And hello, home! Wherever I go, I always love coming home to Oahu. During the past month, my husband and I went to Graeagle, California for a wedding; Point Reyes National Seashore for a hiking vacation; and Wisconsin to spend time with family. My husband and I call Point Reyes our “California Camino,” after the Camino de Santiago in Spain, because all we do is walk and eat, walk and eat. And practice speaking Spanish with each other. It is the perfect vacation.
While I consider myself an expert at eating—I really don’t need much help to enjoy my food—I have needed guidance with walking. I feel incredibly fortunate to have learned, and to continue learning, about proper walking mechanics through exercise classes with Dr. Michael Luan, with whom I first worked before walking the Camino de Santiago in 2015. I was nervous that I might have trouble completing the 500-mile journey because I had badly injured my knee the previous year on a weeklong walk on part of the South West Coast Path in England, due to the steep cliffs. The pain lingered for well over a month after the walk. What I learned from Michael is that my injury wasn’t due to the severity of the cliffs; it was due to my improper body mechanics. I assiduously practiced all of Michael’s strategies, analyzed how others walked, and joyfully completed the Camino without any knee pain. (I’ve mentioned Michael and what I’ve learned about walking to several clients, so I’d like to share a blog post he wrote that sums up how you can walk properly with confidence—especially going downhill.)
As a new massage therapist, I’m constantly thinking about my own body mechanics. I’m not perfect; I focus my energy on improvement. I wish I had made thinking about my body’s position in space and time a priority earlier in my life, but I had a job that I considered far from physical. The truth is that no matter what kind of job we have, good body mechanics are essential. It’s just as important to be attentive to how we hold our bodies in front of a computer or classroom as how we lift heavy equipment or maneuver under a sink. A great massage may provide some relief and a gentle reminder, but what’s happening the rest of the day? How are we attentive to our bodies in everything that we do?
On the plane home I watched the movie Ladybird. I’m still thinking about the scene in which a nun asks Ladybird if paying attention to something is not really a form of love. Even paying attention to something you think you hate, or you think is a problem. Yes, I am sure our attentiveness is a form of love.
May you walk with love and be well this June! I’m home and available for outcall massage appointments until the first week of August. I would love to see you!