Sunday, February 24, 2013

That's Right, Skippy

When I was a kid, a younger kid - not that I ever grew up, I used to watch the Smurfs. Cute little blue guys that sung "falalalalala" and skipped everywhere they went. You know you watched them too, and right now you are fighting the urge to sing that tune. Anyway, the Smurfs would skip around, and I too used to skip around. Have you ever watched anyone, usually a child, just start skipping out of the blue? Have you ever noticed when people start to skip it is usually spontaneous? 

You know why that is? Because Skipping is a joyous movement. It is the body's way of joyfully, playfully nourishing the brain. It is rhythmic, it is graceful, it is the movement of joy. I did say it was graceful. If you see a "spontaneous" skipper, more than likely, it is a graceful movement. Anyway, skipping is the RESET of JOY. 

Skipping is a reset. Much like rolling, rocking, and crawling, skipping is a reset that restores the body and brain. It is a contra-lateral, rhythmic motion, that coordinates both sides of the body and makes both sides of the brain communicate. Skipping makes you smarter and helps tie you together. It even helps prepare the body for larger amounts of force like sprinting. 

Remember earlier, when I said spontaneous skippers where graceful? I also just said skipping was a reset. The truth is skipping should be a reset. Many people, even kids, lack the coordination and strength to skip well. For these people, skipping is probably not a reset at all. Also, these are people who will probably never break out into spontaneous skipping. Did you catch that? Some people will never feed their brain with this movement, this reset of joy. Not being able to skip well is like robbing the body and brain of potential joy. 

I know this sounds EXTREMELY WEIRD. But just think about it. Have you ever seen anyone try to skip, like say in a bootcamp or PE class, and they skip horribly? They have no rhythm, no coordination, no confidence in the movement - which shows up in their posture and demeanor. They are missing out on a little bit of joy, movement joy. These people look and act as if they feel awkward. It is because they do. 

We were made to be able to skip; ALL of us, with grace, power, rhythm, and JOY. Skipping was meant to be a reset, a joyous reset. If you cannot skip well, if you never just break out and spontaneously skip, you are missing out. You need to get this movement back into your body's vocabulary. You need to allow yourself to experience this joyful movement. 

So what do you do? You press reset with crawling - lots of crawling. Crawling is the easier cross-body, contra-lateral movement that sets the foundation for two footed contra-lateral movements. AND, you practice skipping - swinging the arms from the shoulders and matching their movement with the legs. Practice and rebuild this movement. Feed your brain and body with this reset of joy. 

You can think I'm crazy all you want to. I still know you are thinking about going for a skip. Skip on my little smurfs!

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