Swimming Against the Tide

swimming against the tide

I ran into a friend on the street that had been in a bicycle accident and needed surgery on his wrist and hand. Shortly before his cast was removed he was in his doctor’s office and asked if there was any sort of physical or occupational therapy available for his injury.

The doctor looked at him cross-eyed and said “How silly. That would be like teaching someone how to walk.”

Swimming against the tide has always been a comfortable approach for me. My mother was hit with the “marches to his own drummer” cliché before I was five, and many times after so maybe I have always felt the need to fulfill that prophecy but it seems to come naturally.

When I decided to teach people how to walk I didn’t really expect so many people to think this was a crazy endeavor but here I am today watching peoples eyes glaze over when I talk about what I do. I have a very good rate of success when it comes to helping people out of pain but I also think that everyone, with or without pain, could use some self-examination when it comes to how they walk.

For the most part no one learns how to walk. We stand up somewhere  around our first year, creep around holding onto furniture for a bit and then take our first steps to flashbulbs and rousing applause before being left to our own devices to navigate something that actually has a specific design.

And we usually do pretty well with it for the first few years before we start imitating our parents walking patterns and lose the natural gait that we began with.

Watch most kids at a playground before they are five and they will walk and run fairly well. Watch those same kids a few years later and they will be leaning backwards and leading with the legs rather than the core.

Maybe I’m crazy but it doesn’t seem a huge leap of faith to think that learning to walk is fairly similar to learning how play baseball, or the piano or any of many things.


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