Did you ever have a Stretch or Fetch Armstrong as a kid? Ideally you could pull on them and pull on them, and they would temporarily distort before going mostly back to their original state. My Fetch Armstrong worked in this manner until the day the stretchy inside stuff started oozing out of it. In contrast to this incident, when we stretch, no matter how we’re stretching, we often find that we have a new story to tell. In my experience, while stretching may be difficult, it is a rewarding story in the end.
To start, let’s jump right in and talk about stretch stories in terms of stretch marks. In a world full of creams designed to minimize the appearance of stretch marks, I’m going to be bold and say that I love my stretch marks! Society may deem my tiger stripes to be ugly, but to me my tiger stripes are a reminder that my body performed the miracle of growing a baby! As that baby was growing, I gained 31 pounds, and I don’t regret a single pound of it! Now whenever I look at those stretch marks, I can think about the story they tell of my pregnancy and birthing journey! Side note: I think of my c-section scar as a beautiful thing too!
Even though it cannot be seen, I also think that mental stretching is a great story teller! In my opinion (I’m not an expert) mental stretching can be as simple as doing math without a calculator or as complex as challenging yourself to learn a new language or skill. In either case, when you do these mental stretching activities, you learn things about yourself. Just yesterday, I used mental math skills that I hadn’t used in a while. I was amazed at my brain’s ability to still do it! Likewise, when I started doing brain puzzles again, I was amazed by how quickly they came back to me! They say that mental stretching can also help with keeping your memory sharp! Plus it’s always a great feeling to know that you can do something you thought impossible!
Speaking of things you thought were impossible, there’s some stories that literal stretching can tell! Last summer I took several yoga classes, and do you know what stories I learned from that stretching? One, at 38 I can still put my foot over my head. Two, my body can with correct training do Hot or Glow yoga and reap the benefits without feeling ill. Three, I can stretch and release tensions from my body! When I was regularly practicing yoga, I felt more relaxed than I have in a long time! Now that’s a great stretch story!
How about when you stretch? Do you feel your confidence boosted by instances of mental or physical stretching? Has it been so long since you’ve stretched your body or brain that you need to do it for a reminder of how you feel? What stories do you want your personal stretching to tell in the future?
The Great Kaysby