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Becoming more comfortable being out of balance

Updated: May 10

At the end of my Zoom Gyrokinesis class today, Leslie, Plummer, my teacher, said, "Blink your eyes as if you were taking 1000 camera shots." In other words, "Be aware of what's happening right in front of you." The act of blinking my eyes took me out of my thoughts and into the present, looking out, rather than looking in. It's not that looking inward is not also important, it's just that there's a time and place for everything and when you are taking a movement class, taking a nature walk, or walking to your car, it's best to stay in the present or you might fall flat on your face.

"No fall is an accident," Betsy Best-Martini, senior exercise instructor, told me, "Stay in your body with your thoughts. One of my students went down the steps to look up at her Christmas tree, forgot she had a Buddha statue on the steps, tripped over it and broke her hip."

Several months ago, while taking a walk around the block, I tripped on a shoelace that was too long for the shoe and fell down No major injury, thank heavens, but a good warning to "take 1000 camera shots."

This time of year, close to daylight savings time, with major weather changes, is especially hard on our bodies and minds. As Activity Professionals, we aim to creatively share what's important to keep our elders safe and happy throughout the year. Metaphors, such as blinking your eyes as if you were taking 1000 camera shots, can provide word pictures that hit home. While walking, I see something interesting right in front of me, so I stop and take photos with my iPhone.

An indoor activity that I presented at a career conference, was Walking the Tightrope. I shared the same activity with elders in the assisted living community where I worked. In short, walk along an imaginary tightrope, a line on the floor in front of you (or tape or floor board). At the same time, let your mind wander into a challenge, but don't fall off the tightrope. In this exercise, you become aware of being in the present, which takes your mind off a regret of the past or a future fear. My inspiration was artist Janine Antoni.

My lesson, to myself and to you: Don't fall this fall.

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