After a period of inactivity caused by injury, my body has grown weak, heavy and stiff. Returning to training in this state is both frustrating and terrifying. Everyone says that the body remembers, but mine is unsure. Feeling useless and clunky, lacking belief in its abilities, it fails me in executing basic movements that just 5 weeks ago came as naturally as walking.
Every bodily movement is learnt. At one time, even walking was foreign and incomprehensible. At a much later time, movements that make no sense to most humans were things my body did automatically. Now these movements feel unfamiliar.
The body remembers, alright. It remembers trauma. It remembers the treason of the thigh that didn’t go where it was supposed to, didn’t catch it. It remembers the endless second in which it was falling, the almighty thud of the sudden stop, and the ringing sent into the ears by the crack. It remembers seizing up defensively, becoming hard as the floor it hit. It remembers the uncontrollable shaking, the inability to move its parts as normal. It remembers being restrained for hours on a board even harder. And now, when I attempt movements that were once automatic, it freezes. An immense fear factor sets in and it refuses to cooperate. In any case, the extra weight is unfamiliar enough to make it apprehensive. These feelings are deep in my body and i cannot override them with rational thought.
Never have I been so conscious of my physical presence as when doing aerial. The body has its own understanding of the space it occupies. A broken bone becomes a betrayal, and trust must be built all over again.