Friday, March 5, 2010

What a Kick

We've always said having kids late in life kept both My Mom and Dad healthy and in-shape. My Dad played golf right up until he died at 92. When we were little they were already in their 50's. My Mom swam with us, played tennis, golf and even took up figure skating. I remember the day she didn't pick us up from school and we walked home to find her laying on the couch with her arm in a sling. She sprained her wrist attempting a spiral -- gliding along with her back leg stretched way up in the air -- at 52ish.
Well, she's going to land up in a similar state or worse if she keeps up her latest antics. First, in an attempt to prove she didn't need a visiting physical therapist last year, she threw her leg up in a full blown Rockette kick complete with touching her knee to her nose. Before you panic, she was sitting safely on the couch for the manuever, but it was still very impressive. In fact, I often have her show off the move when company comes over. (I pray both God and My Dad forgive me for the minor dog and pony show. She gets a kick -- pardon the pun -- over shocking people with her agility.)
Now at 88 she thinks she's become a yoga aficionado. We do "tv yoga" -- you know the free workouts available through the cable company, but honestly, they're a workout. I've convinced her that due to a bad knee, she has to do seated yoga, but assure her that she'll still reap full benefits from the workouts. Most days she takes the practice very seriously, breathing in and out like a master, looking very solemn as she brings "hands to heart center" for rest. She's so hip when she utters "namaste" at the end. Although, as proud as I am, I must confess it rarely comes out "nam-a-stay", it's usually ama-something. One time she respectfully bowed her head and told a store clerk "amastad" as we left the check out lane. The greeting was lost on the clerk, but the lady behind us in line burst out laughing.
My favorite definition of the yoga salutation is "the spirit in me, meets the spirit in you." I'm just hoping our spirits don't collide in a tangled mess on the living room floor. No matter how many times I ask her to stay seated, she pops up with anticipation every time the instructor introduces a new move, determined to follow along -- even with the most difficult upside down poses. I've found her one too many times precariously leaning bottoms up off the couch with one thin wrinkled arm pointing skyward and her head hanging low, twisted to catch a glimpse of the tv to see if she's doing the move correctly. I won't give in and do the seated version myself, so I now workout behind her recliner chair and add an element of balancing difficulty to my own practice, keeping one eye on the tv and one eye on my crafty, energetic Mom making sure that when we're all doing an up dog, her fanny stays firmly planted down in the seat.
It's working. I've been able to successfully police her pretty well lately. And, as an added bonus, because I'm behind her I no longer get her critiques. When I said aficionado earlier, I wasn't joking. She studies my posture versus the tv instructor and tells me exactly what I'm doing right and wrong with no mercy. When she gives me a "that's pretty good" I sincerely know I've mastered that move.

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