Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Relative Objectivity

I wonder what you see if you have the chance to look at me?

I ask not due to any sort of vanity, but based on some thoughts and observations I am struggling to understand.

As I have said before here, I have a slight orthopedic disorder in my legs, due to my premature birth. I walk with a limp that (so far as I can glean from people who have told me so and from watching myself walk past big window glass) isn't overwhelming . . . but noticeable.

Now, here is what I am trying to figure out. Through the normal course of a day, my gait is what is is, has been, and probably always may be. It's not smooth; I've got to think about how full I fill my coffee cup (and even which hand I hold it in as I go back to my desk); and when I walk through the cafeteria holding my lunch tray, I make an (almost?) daily mantra to not trip as I head to the table. But that is how it is.

I've found, however, when I am not just going about these normal routine things, it is different. I've noticed it most when I'm at church, for some reason. If I am to go up to the altar to read one of the Scripture passages, I feel a pronounced stiffness in my right leg as I walk to the lectern. And when I walk back to my seat in the congregation, the stiffness is still there. I noticed it at church again this past Sunday, when the girls and I carried the Offertory items down the center aisle to be delivered. The stiffness was there and it (as in the past) was so pronounced that I almost felt like I have to will my foot into rhythm and plant it properly. It's a very odd, unsettled feeling.

I've asked Lynda about it. I don't think she's paying attention (because she's moved past that level of observation of me by now), but I wonder if it is more visible in these times of public stiffness (or whatever I might choose to call it) than it would be if someone happened to watch me walk across the cafeteria on a Thursday. I guess it is some sort of psychological reaction to "performing" in public, when I am assuming that people are paying special attention to me. I'd just like to know if it appears different to the naked eye.

If it is psychological, I suppose it is conquerable. But how, I wonder? Is it a result of trying to walk faster than I am othropedically suited to walk? And, therefore, if I slow down, the stiffness is more manageable or gone?

I'll try some remedies--as well as improving my confidence levels--and maybe report back on what I find. But, if you notice anything, please give me some data.


Anonymous said...

Although I was there, I was not sitting where I noticed anything--except that the acolytes were a little clueless about what to do next! Sorry I can't help you out!


Sven Golly said...

Happens to me all the time, in varying degrees of self-consciousness: a) I'm hyper-aware of walking and careful not to stumble, so I overcompensate and walk stiffly and/or stumble; b) I'm oblivious to walking, preoccupied with something else, and stumble; c) I'm attentive to walking, breathing, where I'm going, etc., and find a groove; d) I'm oblivious to walking and somehow make it from point A to point B without harming myself or others.

jack thunder said...

since you are perfectly capable of playing tennis, it's clearly all mental. perhaps you should carry a tennis racket with you at all times.