July 2010

Feet and Mindfulness

July 15, 2010 20:42

Feet!? You don't need feet to play the violin. Indeed not and their are some famous examples of violinist who play brilliantly while seated. 

But this isn't about playing the violin except that it is.

In February the doctor said lose some weight. So I have been doing that. Fewer calories, more exercise. It is the only proven weight loss technique short of stomach surgery and I wasn't quite to that stage. 

So I spend a lot of time every day walking. No particular problems until last week when I got some sort of irritation on my little toe of the left foot. I just compensated a little and bamm!! I had some blisters on the ball of my foot near the big toe. This was painful. How, without feet, does one exercise enough to justify eating?

I suddenly have become very mindful of my stride. I don't run. I just walk. But I have become acutely aware of how weight is distributed across each foot over the course of every stride. Where does the foot make first contact? what is the balance between the left and right sides of the foot? does the weight shift over the course of the stride to the toes or do I pick the foot up as it passes over the ball? before that where is the center of the weight? Is it between the big toe and the next toe? one toe over? What about shoes? What about socks? etc. etc. 

What is the ideal? 

I only have questions. I knew how to walk in the sense of walking from my car to the Kolache shop but when walking is my daily path to good health I have had a sudden loss of confidence.  I am beginning to wonder if I should take walking lessons. 

But this has focussed my mind. Clearly one can focus on one thing and cause even more problems somewhere else.  

How much more true this is in playing the violin! We get a small pain and we compensate in ways that make a large pain. We have to focus to learn but we also have to unfocus to play. 

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