The past weekend's marathon brought 50,000 runners to New York City. But you needn’t stride 26.2 miles through the City's five boroughs to achieve a sense of body awareness. The recent marathon offers an opportunity for all of us, whether elite athletes, weekend warriors, or more sedentary folks, to check into our physical selves.
Think about your muscles, major and minor, at work as you make even the smallest of motions, the mechanics of mobility, and all that is required for to ambulate even several steps, let alone 26.2 miles. Think about your sense of proprioception—the spatial awareness and awareness of the movement and position of your bodies, and particularly your limbs—involved in moving from here to there, even if “there” is across the street, down the block, or up the stairs of a subway station.
Consider too how kindred the structure of your body is to other animals, with spines, shoulders, and joints, eyes, noses, and ears, and how your limbs mirror their limbs, even if we move upright rather than on all fours.
And think about the pull of gravity, with every step reconnecting us to the earth. Our weight and presence returning to the earth with every step and stride, offers a reminder of our tangible, material being and our connection to the earth that supports us.
In a place like New York City, there is often a primacy placed on our “thinking selves”. We are often measured, or measure ourselves, by what we know and what we do, leading to a risk of separation from our “being” selves. Attention to movement, however minimal or subtle that movement is—the balance required when we lift a foot to take a step, sensing when our foot has returned to the ground and we lift the other foot—can reconnect us to our fuller selves, to the earth and to our kindred fellow animals.
About this Blog
Hi! I'm Nancy Kopans, founder of Urban Edge Forest Therapy. Join me on an adventure to discover creative ways to connect with nature in your daily life, ways that are inspired by urban surroundings that can reveal unexpected beauty, with the potential to ignite a sense of wonder.