ahead of himself

by thankfeldenkrais


Determination written all over his face.

Here, there and everywhere.

And we relish in that,
Are beyond thankful for it,
And yet the tendency to get ahead of himself,
Is beginning to play a regular role.

Trying to pull to stand,
Before stabilising himself,
Trying to grab a toy,
Before stabilising himself,
Already moving onto the next action,
Before finishing the transition to get himself there.

A good problem to have,
But a tricky pattern to break –
We’ve spent 21 months teaching him how to move,
And now to ask him to slow down,
It’s no wonder he looks at us with skepticism in his eyes,
As if to say you must be joking?

But I begin to see more than ever how important the transitions become,
The ability to correctly weight shift,
To stabilise to minimise excess spasm,
To have options in transitions to assist how to stabilise without effort.

If his weight is actually going down through his base –
Whether it be his feet, bottom or knees –
Then he’s not relying on his upper body to stabilise –
His chest, shoulders, neck, arms, face –
So he can actually have freedom to reach forward with an outstretched arm,
Turn his head to look to either side,
Rotate at the core,
Or grasp the object in a hand,
And just as importantly release it.

If he skips stabilising himself,
He locks up,
Utilises his upper body for a job his lower half is capable of,
He becomes stuck,
And limited by his own rushed movement,
And inevitable instability.

And while I’m told we wont seek finesse of movement –
That will come later.
It’s gross, basic movement we find first,
The actions that translate within Isaac’s world to perform the fundamentals,
And once they are mastered – As is for any of us –
The progression becomes possible.

And so we must slow him down,
Despite his initial reluctance,
We come back to showing him where his base is,
In an array of positions – in standing, side sitting, seated, kneeling.
No matter the activity,
If he is stable,
He isn’t frozen in spasm,
He is confident,
He can move –
Opening up so many more components of himself,
And ultimately he can attempt his desired task,
And succeed – with practice.

And then may he become fluid in action,
And as he so desperately desires then,
Fill his need for speed.