Learning to move again after having my son is one of the hardest, most aggravating things I’ve ever experienced. I had forgotten what it was like to use my entire body to move, especially my backside, since becoming a mom. It felt great while doing simple movements, that now seemed tough. It continues to be a never ending process but one that I’m constantly learning.
As an infant, movements are learned and intentional for a reason. All of us are born with the same innate movement patterns that we learn to do on our own time and in a specific order. “Most importantly, the greatest achievements are attained with the least amount of effort”, writes Dr. Emmi Pikler. I’ve noticed this greatly by watching my son starting to learn his motor skills from laying on his back to being able to turn side to side to rolling back to belly and vice versa. Now he’s at the point of trying to get up on all fours while trying to make himself go forward, but he’s not there yet. But so much is accomplished in such a little time by him, because he practices doing the motions every single day until that movement is learned. Then it’s on to the next!
We slowly progress through the movements with skill and intent as we get older. Our bodies remember these movements and don’t forget. Muscle memory is an unconscious process where movements, if done enough, become automatic without any thought such as walking. I needed to relearn how to move again and use the muscles that had been neglected for the past few months. And it felt good does it feel to be able to do an air-squat, slowly and intentionally. I needed to remind myself of what my body can and knows how to do.
My little guy has taught me that ‘slow is fast’ which is reassuring when I’m having an off day while reprogramming my movements. And in order to progress we must understand the ‘think, initiate, and execute’ (T.I.E. per Dr. Lindsay Mumma) to progress further.
Dr. Sara Leavitt, DC