Saturday, September 5, 2009

But It Hurts...

I would be a better person, except it's too hard. I would change myself, except it hurts.

Why does it have to hurt?

The original title of this post was "Stand Tall." It was going to be "Walk Tall" but I believe that's being used elsewhere.

The content is essentially the same:

One morning a few weeks ago I was walking towards the elevators in my building and decided to throw my shoulders back, into "proper posture." It was very eye-opening. First I realized that with my shoulders back and my chest up (a natural by-product of the shoulder move) there was absolutely zero chance of me ever seeing my feet again past my ample bosom. But if there was no chance of me looking down, then the only option left was for me to lift my chin, meet the world eye-to-eye, and just make darned sure I knew where I was going.

But I didn't account for one thing: the slight ache that began in my shoulder blades. Now I can guarantee that this was not a post-workout ache, because I've rotated my shoulders back to where they're supposed to be a few times since then and it's amazing how quickly they begin to hurt.

And it made me think about how we live, and the habits we need to break in order to move to that next step in our lives. That step of surety, of knowing where you're going well enough ahead of time that you don't have to sweat the small stuff underneath your feet. But you don't get there until you train yourself to stand tall, and that, dear friends, may require some getting used to, and no small amount of pain.

When I was in grade school my best friend and I used to sit with perfect posture. We prided ourselves on it. And yet I wonder now when that stopped. When did I not care, when did I start to schlump my way through the day? What other bad habits have I acquired, things that I never used to do?

It's easy to get into something, like slouching. It's generally a gradual process that you don't even have to think about. Getting out of that same something, however, is a lot harder, and requires constant attention. It's annoying, that's for sure. But you know what, the more you do anything the easier it becomes, the more second-nature it is. So maybe if I keep throwing back those shoulders I'll learn to keep them back. And maybe it won't hurt any more to change that bad habit into a good one.

All I know is I'd better get started, for as the great Debbie Reynolds said: "Chins up, boobs out, it's showtime!"


  1. And the hurt of it does go away after a while...and becomes natural again.
    Sometimes when I feel defeated I intentionally stand tall and hold my head up, like I'm bowing up to the world. It helps.

  2. I've also been aware of my slumpy shoulders, recently. I checked in the mirror and saw how much I was slumping and put my shoulders back and noticed how much better that looked. But, like you say, it is something you have to be conscious about changing, otherwise it's just slump city.


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