The Importance of Movement

The older I get the more aware I am becoming of how important movement is, especially now, during this pandemic.  I’m spending far too many hours sitting at my computer, piano, artist table, sewing machine, or easy chair.  Yikes!!  When I see this in writing I’m appalled. 

From the age of sixteen I realized the importance of movement.  Even if it was only a driver’s license, it symbolized movement to me.  Of course I was “on the move” much earlier.  I was always an active young girl, climbing trees, walking on stilts, ice skating, roller skating, and riding my bike as fast as I could.  Those were the days!

Later, as a singer, I became acutely aware of how important the movement of breath was.  I exercised my lungs to expand my breathing capacity.  Even today I continue to practice diaphragmatic breathing when I’m singing.  I am so grateful to never feel short of breath.

When I was studying nursing I learned about the enormous importance of the movement of blood and oxygen and fluids throughout the body.  All this movement was driven by muscles in the body that pumped the fluid around.  Once this movement stops, life ceases.  And like every good muscle, you either use it or lose it.  Muscles atrophy with disuse, and without the movement of muscles there is no movement.  Even knowing this, I find it a real challenge to keep moving when it’s so comfortable and easy and fun to sit while engaging in pleasurable activities.  I’m not a big TV watcher, but I do love to read. 

During these troubling days of protest all over the country, I am reminded about another kind of movement – that of societal change.  Every society on earth is in a state of flux.  Change is inevitable and very often necessary.  Of course I want to “only” see change for the good, but one thing I know, change will happen.  I am reminded of the Buddhist doctrine of impermanence and the physics theory of entropy.  I find both these ideas help me accept the changes all around me, whether it’s the broken potting table or our broken democracy.   But at the same time I am motivated to do all I can to stave off the effects of negative changes and total breakdown within and without.  So…It’s time to get out of this computer chair and take Penny for a walk.  Let’s all keep moving and be the maker of change and movement rather than the keeper of the status quo!