Today, I Squatted
"Today, I Squatted!" That was the subject line on an email I sent to some friends a month or so ago.
For me, this was a BIG DEAL for two reasons.
First, I'd been wanting to squat flat-footed for as long as I can remember. Which meant that over the years I'd tried all sorts of ways to make it happen—stretching, strengthening, spending many minutes squatting with a rolled-up yoga mat under my heels hoping something would magically release. Nada.
The second reason this was a big deal is that it happened without me trying. In fact, I'd given up focusing on it some time ago as I dealt with various injuries and then as I turned my focus to how my body operates as a whole system, not as discreet parts that I can adjust to make some specific movement happen.
And then one morning I was up early, about to weed the patio as the sun began to peek around the corner of the barn. My mind was quieter than usual, and as I looked at the first patch of weeds, instead of my usual internal trepidation about what might happen to my back when I bent over, I simply folded down to the ground into a flat-footed squat.
I didn't even think about it—my body just took the easiest route to the ground in a fully integrated movement where hips, knees, and ankles worked together in one seamless action.
And my world shifted. The ground was remarkably close! And it felt like someone had oiled my joints while I slept.
I laughed aloud, with startled joy. And I swore more than a few times too. I went up and down to make sure I wasn't still in bed and just dreaming. Nope, this was real.
The next day my capacity to squat was gone again, for some unknown reason, but now I know what it feels like.
This kind of kinesthetic experience is powerful learning for my body/mind. It set a new reference point for me, opening up avenues of creativity and possibility.
Equally important to me was the lesson on how to get there: Desire. Surrender. Repeat.
And keep showing up on the mat with a wide focus and a sense of curiosity, which is a much more interesting way to live, squat or not.