Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Body Movin'

How do you walk down stairs?

This thought occurred to me when I was going down the stairs at work this afternoon to deliver something to the second floor for the fourth or fifth time.

I found myself holding my upper body fairly still and centering all of my movement in the legs as I moved at a pretty rapid pace down each step. My feet create a rapid-fire percussive sound as my feet hit each step going down. All of this is fairly standard and something that I do all the time. But what made me think about all of this was when I relaxed a bit and let my arms do whatever they wanted as my body moved down the stairs.

The arms sort of bounced and jiggled in time to my feet as I moved from step to step. I am sure that it would have looked a bit odd if anyone else had been on the stairs at that time.

But do people have a distinctive stair style? Some people go slowly down stairs, moving quietly downward. I am more of a rapid stair descender--much to my detriment back in high school. (Maybe I'll put that disastrous story online later . . . but I'm sure all of my readers have heard me tell it before.)

Certainly, we all walk a bit differently. I know that my gait has a very particular limp to it that I don't think I can do anything about at this point in my life, no matter how much I'd like it to go away. (I HATE watching myself walk past large windows, by the way.) In fact, I saw a young boy walking home from school this afternoon and he had a pretty odd gait himself. I have no way of knowing if this was his normal walking style or if he was responding to something or someone I didn't notice, but when he swung his leg forward to make the heel plant that begins the forward step, his legs were very rigid and robotic in some odd way. He must have been doing it on purpose (for what reason, I can't begin to guess), because I don't think he did it on every stride. At first, I thought he was walk-dancing, but I couldn't see any headphone cords emerging from his stocking cap.

In other observational news, I also thought that this boy in question had a very nice, proportioned look about him. And the only reason I bring that up is because I often think my clothing proportions look wrong, because I'm too "short." While there is no minimum height that makes me good or bad, I think that taller men look better proportioned in their clothes. I fear I end up looking slightly dumpy. But that's probably just my insecurities rather than how I come across in reality. (I have the same thought when I am buying shoes. The shoes that are displayed for selection are invariably size 8, which must be the best, most proportionally pleasing size. When I find a shoe I like, I then go and locate the size 11 shoe that fits my feet and the design lines seem all misshapen and huge.

Whoa, I am full of self-loathing today! But though my thoughts are odd, I'm in a pretty good mood overall.

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