Revel in the Rise: The Magic of Ease

I moved to California nine years ago, around the time a severe, record-breaking drought began. Recently I went hiking with friends in one of our favorite parks. This was a hike I’ve been on many times over the years, but this time the landscape was unrecognizable! After weeks of rain, the dull brown hillside was now as lush and green as the Emerald Isle, and the dry riverbed I remembered had been transformed into watery rapids you could practically ride a raft on.

Now, of course, theoretically I knew that the purpose of a riverbed is to channel water, but still I was shocked to find it serving its intended purpose after all this time. How could such a a radical change have happened overnight? The much-needed water rushing toward me was what everyone I knew, including myself, had wished for, but the water obscured the reliably bone-dry boulders I knew so well. Disoriented but curious, we decided to take a steep path in a different direction. We slipped and fell a few times along the way. We got muddy, laughed it off, and eventually discovered our new favorite picnic spot, one with a view for miles around.

Deep down, aren’t we all creatures of comfort? Has “good enough for now” ever become your permanant address? Eventually, suboptimal movement patterns have to be let go of for new ones to emerge, and these transitional moments are when we need strong internal and external support systems to keep us steady. After a lifetime of walking with my feet turned out, doing a lunging motion the “right” way, with my hips and knees aligned, felt all wrong. My nervous system was saying no to the movement, but after working with my trainer Nikki for over a year, I trusted her enough to go out on a limb. When I found center, it took guts and breath to stay there, feeling as if I could fall over at any moment. Just when I was about to give up, my leg started to shake, as my muscles and fascia released years of patterning in just a few seconds. I left the studio feeling supported, softer and stronger, ever grateful and amazed by what this body I love can do.

– Jamie Skinner

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