There is a sense of freedom as my fingers skim over piano keys forcing a combination of sound frequency, intensity, and percussion resulting in music. How much more exhilarating to add a second or third manual keyboard as well as the pedal board of the pipe organ. With much practice over several years, I fairly mastered swinging my legs from the knees rather than the hips in order to maintain the center of the pedal board as well as reach the outer octaves. Perhaps I was built for this. I recall embarrassment when a physician faulted that my right knee does not line up with my foot, as if I had willed this deviation.
The pendulum movement of the legs is second nature to me and unconscious. What a surprise when I glimpsed myself in a mirror at yoga and RIPPED, not extending my leg from the hip to the side as instructed, rather swinging from my knee. Gosh, is it going to fling into the wall? More surprising: how much mental effort is required to move from the hip. Without the mirror as a monitor, I could easily retreat to knee flinging.
Getting older requires more mindfulness in every task. How easy to forget why I walked into the bedroom. Why did I call Susan? How do I finish the sentence I just started? The mindless activity of youth now requires consciousness: attempting a jumping jack demands that I think about extending my leg rather than swinging from the knee aimlessly. Conversation during walks cease as we cross the street. Hiking necessitates calculation to avoid stumbling on a rock.
I am grateful for the lovely Kelly and gentle Noreen who instruct me in RIPPED and Yoga stimulating not just physical movement but offering cognitive challenges as well. Although Words with Friends and Sudoku are two of my choices to fight cognitive decay, there is evidence that the combination of physical and cognitive exercise is even more beneficial. I just have to remember to go to class.