Tag Archives: muscle memory

June: Wild Card

IMG_3076-1IMG_Aaron H
Theme: Body/Kinesthetics
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Roles and the Rules for this project, the Wild Card adds one new element to the finished written chapter by playing their one and only card for the month. This “card” is really a suggestion or a new task that will shift or re-energize the chapter.  It may add an element of risk or an element of reflection and reverence. The wild card action must be played at the mid way mark of the month and will be taken on by the protagonist.  This new element may elevate an activity already written or diversify the challenge by changing the frequency or specifying a detail.  The Wild Card cannot eliminate pieces of the written chapter or negate any part of the written chapter. The Wild Card also should also take into consideration the chapter theme and the writers’ already composed directives when making their suggestion.
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I’ve felt a big responsibility being the inaugural Wild Card for Living Chapters. What we players dream up for Beth in this first month will in many ways set the tone and even perhaps a standard for the months to come. Talk about pressure! And then to discover how wonderfully wide-ranging and comprehensive Joe’s Chapter was in provoking Beth to become more aware of her body, what she puts into it, how she employs it, and what it means to live inside it…the bar is set quite high. And I couldn’t be more pleased with how Beth has manifested the challenges presented to her by Joe. I cannot see anything that I can, in a sense, improve upon. So how to add a new action/variable that will up the ante?
 
I started to think a lot about a particular phrase Joe used that I think Beth could more fully explore: “take heed when the little voices that sing within us creep to the surface.” 

So how might Beth hear and heed the little voices singing within her body in a way that builds upon the great work she’s doing with exercise, diet, and muscle memory while still playing into this month’s theme of Body/Kinesthetics?
 
Here’s the challenge I propose for you Beth, for the rest of the month of June: in order to be more fully attuned to what your body is telling you from within, do not look at yourself in a mirror. Not once. 
 
While you won’t be able to avoid them in public spaces, your challenge will be to resist the temptation to glance at yourself, to see if you “look right.” Not that you are a particularly vain person, but this will force you to only listen to your body to know if you’re looking, and more importantly feeling, right. 
 
Now, I do know you’re recording this project with lots of photos and videos, and I think it’s fine to view them after the fact for posting/blogging purposes. The key is to resist the temptation to look at your image for affirmation in the moment. One exception: if you’re doing exercises and must use a mirror to ensure you’re doing them properly and to avoid possible injury, fine. But in those instances I’d ask that you avoid looking at your face, just observe your body.
 
Good luck, and keep up the good work!
Beth Reads June Wild Card:
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off to a running start

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Ok – so we are only about a week into chapter one and I have to say, I am a bit exhausted. It might be all the running and jumping, swimming and stretching that my body was not quite ready for OR it could be that instituting these changes all at one time could be taking a small toll on my small frame. I am not discouraged though.

A few days ago, I made time between meetings and went to the mall attempting to purchase my very first pair of running shoes.  The simple process gave me a massive migraine. I’m not sure if it was the act of being at the mall (which for me is not a pleasant experience) or the horrendous neon colors/styles of shoes available that caused this reaction.  Although I did have an intense “sensory” experience, (high volume crowds, loud colors and atmosphere). I left failing to accomplish the task at hand and couldn’t help feeling a bit defeated. I came home nursed my migraine with water and a steady yet brisk walk to alleviate the situation.  I realized, while walking, that I may have taken the wrong approach in beginning this process.  For me, this project is not about checking off things a bucket list or just getting things done.  If I want to grow in any way, I really need to think about how to add or weave these new elements into my life in a way that makes sense for me. How can I make these new changes fun but also use them to re-energize pieces of the day that I had not thought about before. Instead of trying to find more time or new times to do these things, how could I develop and create ways to multitask and try to integrate these things into the time I already have in my current existence?  This is something I am going to work on in the upcoming weeks. To understand a bit more, maybe it would help to give you some baseline information on my current existence.

Starting point:

Body:  I’m 5ft 2 inches tall. I weigh 106 lbs. I luckily have never had to worry about weight or health issues.  Born with a high metabolism, I eat like a bird most say.  This however has allowed me to be under motivated when it comes to “getting in shape”.

Exercise: I lead a relatively inactive lifestyle: I sit for at least 4-6 hours a day between my time on a computer and driving.  I would not say my body looks out of shape but both an  8-year-old and an 80-year-old could beat me on the racetrack. I have no set exercise routine (nor have I ever). I probably burn more calories stressing about the fact that I don’t exercise. The unstructured exercise I have done in the past year includes, walking, yoga, helping people move? swimming, occasional hula hooping, dancing, and one dreadful zumba class . I can jog for about a total of 10 minutes before being completely out of breath and I can do about one pull up on a good day (about a half on a bad one).

Food: My diet is mostly healthy but based on efficiency, a budget, and what I can cook in a galley without a stove.  I have been cooking significantly less since moving onto the boat.  I have never officially been on a diet, until now.

Muscle Memory: I picked up a guitar in college learned a few songs, forgot them, and didn’t pick it up again until my mid twenties when I learned a few more songs and promptly forgot them. I’ve repeated this process probably every five years and still somehow only know about 4 chords.  Lack of discipline here has weakened my muscle memory.

The Senses:  As physically inactive as I portray myself to be, my mind is the opposite.  I am constantly thinking about a million things at any one time, often working on putting them into action.  In order to concentrate on my work or thoughts, I find myself having to “tune out” external sounds, smells, external motions etc.  For these “sensory activities” I am finding that I need to physically stop my motion to become aware of my senses. This stopping and concentrating in my fast paced day is a challenge.

As promised here is my plan for moving forward:

Goals for each day:

Follow proposed diet (emphasis on have-nots)

Upper body strength exercises in the morning, on the boat, in the car, or at the office

20-30 minutes of chosen exercise

Jogging (must do at least twice a week)

Jump rope Journal (everywhere all the time!)

Yoga before bed

Guitar before bed

Goals for the month:

Learn 2 new songs – play them for an audience

Guided sensory walks

Sensory deprivation activities (More on this soon!)

Want to check in to see if I am keeping up my promises? Check out the Living Chapters Facebook page for updates on the jump rope journal, exercise documentation and my food photo gallery.

Just finding this blog today? Read the prologue for more details on what Living Chapters is all about.