Every day when I attempt to do my exercises, Sam my cat comes to help. I am doing various poses for frozen hips and legs, something Sam does not suffer from. At first I thought he just lacks understanding as to what I am trying to do, but I’ve changed my mind. He is a lot smarter than me.
He reminds me that we adult humans turn every task into work. We need to play.
As I do static exercises; hold a pose, much like Yoga, to coax my body back into alignment, Sam is busy undoing my best efforts. He jumps up on my back, bites my toes, fiddles with my legs, nibbles on my fingers, licks my face.
He wants to play. That is how he stays in alignment. Constant free flowing movement, ridiculous positions, contortions of upper and lower body going in opposite directions. Stretches that enable him to do the limbo under 2 inches into cupboards and under furniture. Energy that propels him up in a couple of bounds to the highest perch and back down in one.
He is trying to tell me something when he perches on my back during a thoracic stretch. When he bites my toes while trying to do a foot stretch. Nibbles on my fingers while trying to do the corpse pose.
I get visions of jungle gyms, monkey bars, ropes hanging invitingly over swimming holes. The mad splash from jumping into puddles. The thrill of scaling fences and climbing trees. Hop Scotch and skipping rope. Sam says, yeah! Be a kid again!
At the moment I barely survive static exercises. My hips and legs don’t yield much yet. For sure, I am not having any fun at this.
Meanwhile, purring madly, Sam is a pure delight of energy and fun, ready to mess up my best efforts of anything I claim as work. He has a radar for the mundane, the boring, so whenever I get immersed in it, he is quick to thwart it. Whether it be exercise, writing a report, washing dishes or studying, he soon disrupts it.
Come play with me! He grabs my pen and off he goes! A merry chase ensues that soon has me breathless and laughing (but not yet to the point of rolling on the floor – it takes me some time to get down there). When the game is over, he head butts me and purrs deep into my soul.
Oh to be agile like him – well, for a few moments of chase when I forget myself – that is the adult serious self, I am. Perhaps he is right, all my day should be full of merry chases and a little less of making everything a chore.
If you don’t own a pet, check out videos on You Tube of cats and dogs helping their owners do exercises to convince them they are not doing it right. They seem to know better than us!