No, this is not a political rant, it is a statement on body mechanics, my body mechanics to be precise. It also touches on life issues, and, yes, some of what I have learned can, philosophically, be applied to the body politic.
Decades ago I was informed by a physician that one leg was shorter than it’s mate and it was amazing that I could walk so well. The solution was for every pair of foot wear to have an eighth of an inch added to the right shoe. (Note: Jackie Kennedy had the same condition and every pair of shoes had a slight lift added to one shoe). After one attempt to fulfill that prescription I gave up. What the heck, I had spent over thirty years with no clue about my “disability”. It stood to reason I could continue on in blissful denial, and so I did into my senior years.
My daughter grew up working her way into riding horses. Cleaning stalls, working on goat farms, ultimately driving a rural paper route. As I made the fast track into my fifties she maneuvered me into riding with her and learning the elements of Dressage, the thrill of jumping and the absolute peaceful, relaxation of riding on a trail through natural habitat. Full confession, my body is not a naturally, graceful dancing machine. There is a stiffness built into my gene structure that was absent in my daughter’s DNA. Regardless of what you may hear or think you know, an agile body and an agile mind are great components for becoming a comfortable and happy equestrian. My comfort level and ability grew as she molded my bodies abilities. I will not elaborate on the exasperation on one side and frustration on the other as the journey continued! But we conquered, and I became an able rider. Then came the years when we could not ride for various reasons. My body aged, I worked at a desk until my mid seventies, and suddenly there was a horse, a home and an arena. And my skills had disappeared. Back to frustration at the lack of balance…until…my daughter noticed I was always tipped to the right. It became evident even as she watched me walking that I put all my weight to the right. It became a mantra for us, “lean left mom”, or I would be in the barnyard feeling tired and think “lean left”. The feel in my body would immediately become more relaxed and energetic.
Through all of that I discovered the importance of balance in the body whether riding or walking. More importantly it made me consider balance in life. Take a teeter totter, put a 200 pound man on one side and a 30 pound kid on the other…there is no balance. The same with your daily life, too much focus on work can be detrimental to your health. Too much focus on play can bankrupt your family! You can also apply balance to your diet (moderation is king), your language, the use of social media! Extrapolate that to the political scene. Too far right and you have an authoritarian dictator, too far left and you have a government controlling the entire economic structure of the citizenry, to their detriment.
I have learned that nuance, moderation and balance are paramount. My mantra continues to be “lean left”, carry my walking stick in the left hand, bring my left shoulder down and back, keep my life balanced. Because if you lean too far in one direction , you could fall off the horse!