Today I had another one of those light-bulb moments. Inspired both by Eric Franklin’s dynamic imagery and by the fact that I have now worked those flaccid left muscles to the point of cramping up, I decided to think instead about how my femur bones connect to my pelvic girdle. You know, like those Halloween skeletons that are now everywhere (how handy!). This is something Ari has talked about too. And I realized that where femur meets hip socket is actually behind where I thought it was. I guess I was thinking of the leg bones just hanging down from the front of the hip, or maybe vaguely at the sides, as if I were a paper doll. But no, the bone goes in underneath all those gluteal muscles. It feels as though it inserts right at the point where the buttock comes out from the upper thigh, deep inside that crease.
So I thought about using those joints as my centers of gravity, transferring weight directly from one to another. This seemed to help quite a bit with outside mohawks. Then I played around with this idea on other moves, and then I had an actual, bona fide, OMG accomplishment. I did a forward outside swing roll into a twizzle (like on the Argentine). Then another. Then another. They were not perfect, but they were easy; everything moved at once and I had none of that fighting for balance or rocking on my blade that usually accompanies this move. I’ve never done it that easily before.
Not as dramatic as landing one’s first axel, but oh so sweet. Of course, I didn’t go so far as to break into one of those end zone post-touchdown dance moves. And because I was at our university ice rink and didn’t want to scare those poor students who are just going around in circles minding their own business, I didn’t even get a high five.
But no sad face here. Instead, I reveled in the moment, with music playing in my head (One Eskimo, “It’s Amazing” ).
Walking back to my office afterwards, I was reminded of another happy athletic memory . When I was organizing some of my mother’s things last year, I realized that she had saved just about every letter I wrote to her. One of these letters, written during my freshman year of college, jubilantly proclaimed, “I got my aerial!” (a no-handed cartwheel, something I’d been working on for gymnastics). I’m not sure my mother, who was rather terrified of my tumbling, ever even knew what an aerial was. But it was clear from my letter (as well as the fact that she saved it) that the joy of that moment is something that went far beyond my own pounding heart.
This celebration of the move of the day calls not just for music, but poetry. The title of this entry is from “Fern Hill,” by Dylan Thomas, a beautiful illustration of poetry in motion. Here’s the second stanza:
And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.
Too long to copy out here, but worth reading in its entirety. Here’s Mom’s sweater #8, lots of flowers on this one.