Saturday, January 8, 2011

"S S S " -- RE-EXAMINED.

Everyday, throughout the day while I'm working, I remind myself, and order myself -- "SIT, STAND, STAND UP STRAIGHT!"

Though I published an "S S S " blog on June 13, 2009, I'm attacking the subject again, because nowadays, when I tell myself "SIT, STAND, STAND UP STRAIGHT," I seem to end up slumping even more.

"Spaghetti posture" -- that's what it looked like on JD, our son, whether he was on his bike or just walking around. JD, at age 15, was hooked on exercise. He biked on his exercise bike about 3 times a day -- pedaling fast, hunched over -- pedaling faster and faster. Like a good Mom, when he was off the bike, I reminded him to stand up straight, then found myself, fairly often, blurting out, "STAND STRAIGHT-- IT'S EASY -- JUST DO IT!"

My husband, actor John Cullum, and I wondered if JD was becoming an exercise bulimic, but parents outgrow their wonderings as the child grows up and gets into other things. JD is now a working actor in L.A. and his posture is strong and quite straight.

Spaghetti posture -- it's something to avoid -- that out-of-date, aged look of an older person -- the dowager's hump -- the wearied, slumped-over head.

"SIT, STAND STRAIGHT" is what you have to yell at yourself as days, weeks, months, years pass! And here we are today, into the new New Year. I just did a "vlog" with my husband about Resolutions, and said, "Don't make resolutions -- resolving to do something quite often predetermines that the something will fail."

Dammit, I've certainly mastered the physical disciplines of classical ballet -- why can't I maintain S S S ? While typing, creating the words you are reading right now, I keep re-adjusting my posture. I put a wooden board against the back of my desk chair. Sometimes (like today), I'm wearing a wide, tight, uncomfortable belt. But neither board nor belt helps me obey my S S S command.

Hey, I've even tried working/typing/writing with a book on my head. It's ridiculously distracting!

REALTY: The only way to hold onto S S S is to find some little moments when you can practice what you're preaching.

SO -- am I practicing? Yes!

My husband and I take a walk first thing in the morning -- a stand straight, stand tall, head-high, stroll around my studio.

We take hands and stroll 15 feet to the entrance door -- enter my dance studio area, then, we stroll 30 feet from the door to the other end of the studio, where a huge loudspeaker sits. Holding hands, we square the corner. It's just 25 feet from the loudspeaker to the skinny mirror. Approaching it, we see the slender couple in the mirror, and admire ourselves. We look ... well ... nice, sort of king-and-queenly elegant, sprightly, youngish, not at all thickset, mature.

I like the way we look together.

We proceed 30 feet along the mirrored-wall to the audience seats. (My dance studio converts into a small theater.) After we square the corner, it's just 18 feet back to the hall.

JC goes to his office, I go to mine.

Our promenade sets a mood -- exterior and interior, and somehow, once we get that tall, confident, head-high feeling -- well, we can't sustain it throughout the day, but I'm okay -- having obeyed the S S S command, I know it'll be verified again, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

2 comments:

Carola said...

My physical therapist is trying to figure out how to advise parents, because she knows the "Just stand up straight!" order to kids doesn't work. She suggests showing kids pix of compression fractures, but I don't think that would work either. Now I have to stand properly just to avoid pain in my back, but it would have helped if I had made a lifelong habit of it.

Kevin said...

I am guilty of not doing this more often than I should be. Even as I type I realize I'm slouching with my feet up. However, when I walk or stand I stand up straight, but I think that's because I'm short enough as it is.

I only really sit up straight when I'm singing sitting down - and that's drilling from my spectacular but militant high school chorus teacher who didn't allow for anything less than perfect posture when working.

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