I’m loving Twyla Tharp’s new book, Keep It Moving: lessons for the rest of your life! She’s the pistol of a fabulous dancer and choreographer now at age 78, a lady who has a lot of piss and vinegar in her personality– and I love that, too!
Movement has been her life and career, and she urges it to be ours, especially as we age. While at her age we “probably will not take up the broad jump–the practice of visualizing yourself doing something before you do it is a powerful way to get yourself moving even on days when you don’t feel like it.”
And we have to find opportunities to make some exercise, a habit that we miss if we don’t do it. A year or so ago, I settled on swimming and after another year, it has now become habit three times a week. As a new year’s resolution I’m adding a fourth day, swimming steadily for 50 min a time.
I was gobsmacked to find out that dancers also do something I do that I’ve never seen before. When I get to my BART underground stop to wait for a train, or to my post office in a slow-moving line (think Christmas crowds coming up), I move. First I do eight slow elevations while balancing on one leg then the other. Then I lunge forward next to a post to stretch my calves. I might rotate my shoulders back and forward, or do limited leg side kicks until my train comes. Apparently dancers do this too, called “marking.” They never stop but dance their lives away without wasting one moment. Amazing.
Thinking of work as one thing and exercise as another, is self-defeating. Tharp recommends we bring the two into close alignment in our attitudes. Find excuses to move! Bob, bend, and weave. And learn to breathe (a topic for another blog!).
In my books on corset waist training, I highly recommend visualization to accompany most any health/body reshaping goal. Tharp confirms it!