Thursday, February 24, 2005


Strangest thing last TKD class. Mr. Houtz asked me to do Palgwe 1 . . . and I could not remember it at all! When he showed me the first move or two, I kind of remembered ("Oh yeah!") but still made mistakes. It's amazing how quickly that sort of thing goes. Is it because I'm learning a new form? Because between learning it and now I turned 43?

I also went to ballet today after a week off (last Thursday I was home with Eli). It felt very good to be there, but it's amazing how much you lose when you miss one week! I felt clumsy and loose during barre work. I had trouble doing the ballenets and even the simple jetes and turning assemble--all those moves from my favorite part of class, the petite allegro. (OK, Bill. No "petite"' jokes.) But, hey. I still loved getting back despite my klutzy day.

So I guess the theme today is memory--muscle memory and regular "what move goes next" memory. The thing about fitness--about being good at arts like ballet and Tae Kwon Do--is that it is a process. You don't gain something fixed when you learn how to do Palgwe 1 or a pirouette. You have to keep doing it to make it work for you.

Of course, if you do it enough, it might be like riding a bicycle and it will come back to you even if you've taken time off. Playing piano was like that for me. When we got our piano last fall, it had been, oh, probably 30 years since I'd played regularly, and I'd played only at Christmas in between times. But I was able to start playing and even learn new songs.

Something's different when large muscles are involved, though. You must have to keep generally fit to be able to get back into one of those moving arts. Arts of motion. Hmm. I need to concoct a new phrase for them. Something that includes both ballet and Tae Kwon Do. . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here are two examples of muscle memory from my world.

Sawing. By hand of course. You'd think that sawing to a straight line, plumb through the cut, would be as easy as pie, but it ain't. It's a learned something and an easily forgotten something.

Casting a fly line. Haven't done it since early November and I KNOW that whenever it gets warm enough for the water to be liquid rather than solid, I'm going to have a hard time getting the fly to go where I want it to go. Casting is a complicated series of movements, and definitely requires learning and repetition.

Mind you, neither of these are gonna keep me or anyone else petite :-)