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It’s funny how you walk

Have you noticed how you walk?

Ever since last week I’ve been attentivelly observing people walking in the street.

Ever since we had this event about body and trauma, with Susie Lewis, a therapist with years of experience on reading body language and tension.

We were discussing the very subject of the body as storage of past experiences that defined the way we move, the particular posture we hold, and specifically the pain here or there, in the neck, in the back, the facial tension, the shallow breathing.

It now seems evident to me that whatever we do, even if it’s just mechanical, like driving a car, washing the dishes, walking down the stairs, and even more conscious ones like dancing, swimming, performing an artistic routine, when we do it, it’s impossible not to be unique.

Last year in Italy, standing.

In one of my pre-lockdown swimming classes, my teacher made an observation: ‘hey, Sergio, it’s interesting how you never ever relax your left leg’.

I read ‘interesting’ as meaning weird… I didn’t know that about me. Relaxing legs are vital when you swim, if you want an efficient kick in the water. My right leg? No problem. Fully utterly relaxed. My left? I cannot make it let go, whatsoever.

Half of me can relax, the other cannot. Half of me is at ease. The other needs full time control.

I’m sure I could dig deeper and probably find something in my past that might unlock my rigid left leg and make me a better swimmer and perhaps a better dancer. And, more crucially, a better walking person.

I’m aware that, in general, letting go fully requires, many times, conscious effort on my part. Breath in. Breath out. Relax.

I probably walk in a certain way. An acute observer could give me funny feedback.

What I’m discovering, yet again, is how unique we all are. My posture, my way of moving, of dancing, of swimming, is like no other. No one walks down the stairs as I do, only because I have lived my life like no one else, only because my history comes with me literally at every single step I do.

By Sergio Acosta

At heart, I am a story-teller. As a creative writer and designer, I tell stories on the web, on paper, and sometimes I scribble random lines on the dance floor.