Monday, 5 April 2021

POSING MY WAY BACK TO GOOD HEALTH: ONE DOWNWARD DOG AT A TIME





SOMEONE needs to take my phone and credit card from me and lock it up. At least for a while. Until boredom propels me towards great waves of creativity and I produce the next great Irish novel. Or if not creativity, at least activity, and I tidy the house. 

My house was clean last week - sorry you missed it. My fridge magnet has never been so apt. 

These days, bouts of boredom find me scrolling through Facebook and Instagram on my phone. I've already bought tonnes of books online (local bookstores who deliver). I've also bought some clothes, including a rather nice dress, that by some miracle, actually fits me. So far, so lovely. 

But then, in a move I can't really explain, I bought one of those power cleaning brushes. You know the type: cordless, motorised, removable heads for easy cleaning. Kill me now. Doesn't your home deserve the ultimate clean? the voiceover on the ad demanded.

And suddenly, my lockdown brain agreed. Of course it deserves it, I thought. I want a sparkling loo and mould-free tiles, I crave shining sinks and a gleaming oven (remember those removable, washable heads?). 

And in a few, dizzying clicks, I reached a lockdown low. I am looking forward to the DHL man's delivery of cleaning brushes. I am officially a Stepford Wife. 

There is a reason why boredom has driven me to, let's face it, the most boring website on the planet. About a month ago, an old foot injury flared up and overnight, I was hobbled with pain. It ages you about 100 years. I did what I figured was the best thing to do. I iced and rested my foot when I could, I learned to hobble around, favouring my good foot, and I became increasingly tired and bad-tempered. 

When I eventually realised it was not going to get better by itself (yes, it took me a month to figure that), I phoned a good friend, who's a highly qualified physiotherapist and acupuncturist, and begged for help. No problem, said she, leave it with me. 

God almighty, you're in bad shape, she said when she saw me. Briefly, I basked in her concern and also in her presence. The last time I saw her was a couple of months ago, when we had a remote coffee, video chat. It's not the same. 

Then, I realised that she wasn't just talking about my foot. She was talking about me in general. Because I haven't been able to walk in a month, I'd become quite unfit. Mentally, I was at the buying cleaning brushes stage. Physically, things were looking even worse. 

Do you do yoga? she said. I looked at her. We've known each other since we were four years old, and briefly I wondered how she didn't know this about me. I don't do yoga. Unless lying-on-your-back-with-your-legs-up-against-a-wall is an actual yoga pose. I mean, it should be. But it doesn't roll off the tongue the way, say, Glute Bridge or Child Pose does. 

Right, she said. Shoes, socks and jeans off. I need to see what's going on and we'll go through some strengthening exercises. It's a good thing I know her so well. But even still, I was quite glad I'd shaved my legs. 

Some time later, after said exercises were demonstrated by her, and she'd completely ignored the bit of swearing by me, I got to lie up on the treatment bed, while she inserted some needles. The two that went into some tendon behind my hip (this is acupuncture and everything is bloody connected), hurt like hell. Which was entirely expected, and apparently not such a bad thing. For her, maybe. 

I want to see you again in three weeks, she said, as I was leaving. In pre-Covid days, we'd have hugged each other. I'm sorely sick of waving at my close friends. 

The upside, apart from the fact that my foot is feeling a bit better already, is that I have yoga exercises to do every day. Which I'm supposed to do until I can go for walks again. Actually, I'm supposed to do them all the time. For ever and ever. 

Which means technically, that if I'm bored, I won't be tempted to go online and start buying, say, super-strength wall strips that can hold bricks (because who wants a sticking-out brick in the middle of their wall anyway?) or double-sided mop buckets, that stop you slopping dirty water back onto your floor, or those long-handled weed pluckers.  

From now on, if I'm bored, I'll be doing Downward Dog. 

                                                            *

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Sharon. xx


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