No doubt, you'll have started 2015 with one or two (or maybe more) resolutions, some of which may be yarn-related, some may not. Needless to say, I also have mine. Top of the list is to work on correcting my posture which, and this is an official, medical description, is "awful". I cannot argue. This diagnosis might have been slightly easier to hear had the therapist not voiced almost the exact same phrases that my mother has been using for most of my life, but it does not shake the truth: My posture is awful and, if I don't do something now, it might seriously affect my quality of life in the future. Now these words, these will make me sit bolt upright.
The ensuing lecture on the perils of modern living wasn't, I have to admit the most enthralling: Yes, we're all using computers more, sitting badly at desks and keyboards more, slumping across our sofas while reading / typing on our phones and tablets more, driving our cars more and, as a consequence, turning back into Neanderthals, but it seems that this particular primitive is exacerbating the problem by knitting more while sitting badly, often in the car (though not driving, obviously). Being the coward that I sometimes am, I didn't mention this significant "other" in my life for fear that he recommended some limiting measures, such as 'not knitting as much'. Onset of these most recent symptoms has been preceded by running (albeit slowly) and whilst he hadn't told me to quit this (quite the opposite, in fact), he wasn't to be trusted to make a similar prognosis regarding the sedentary practice of needle holding.
Given that I'm a 21st century gal, I had hoped that he could fix my postural problem with a few appropriate re-adjustments of the spine or similar but apparently the trouble is beyond that kind of instant repair. Apparently I'm looking at years to correct the issues. So what does this mean?
Well, apart from expecting to see this resolution at the top of next year's list, I have been more mindful of the way that I stand and sit and although this usually ends up with me not knowing how to do either "properly", I hope that my awareness will help me find the right path to, err, backfulness.
I am more conscious of my posture while I knit. I usually knit sitting down (although it wouldn’t be so unusual to find me knitting, standing in front of the cooker while waiting for the kettle to boil) and adopting the correct posture when sitting against a chair back is easier than when standing surrounded by air. I have never been one of those knitters to secure a needle under one armpit, so I guess I've saved myself a twist or two (though, no doubt, child birth has removed any potential brownie points so let's not compare). I tend to knit with circular needles, even when knitting a flat piece of fabric, and so by trying to raise my hands off my lap while knitting, I hope to stop my head constantly looking down quite so far (which has created a "near-permanently bent neck, which makes my head look detached from my body". All in all, I think I'm taking these analyses quite well.) What this new position is doing to my wrists and arms, I really don't know, but it doesn't ache and, perhaps more importantly, I'm aware that my shoulders are less rounded.
I have enrolled in a Pilates class (first one next week) in an attempt to re-educate my muscles so I might, at last, re-learn how to stand up straight. Going to this class is a bigger deal that you might first think because, unlike the daytime versions I attend, this is an evening class, and not just any evening, but Wednesday evening. This means that I'm going to have to leave my fortnightly knitting group early. Yes, I'm that committed to Project Back. Don't worry though, I plan to get around this inconvenience by going to the knitting group earlier so overall it'll balance out, but that doesn't stop it having an impact on our family life and the increasing number of night-times that I'm out knitting, by which I mean working :-) But who knows, maybe I'll be brave enough to ask the Pilates instructor the best way to hold my needles – coming straight from Woolly Wednesday, I'll have them to hand.
I also plan to go back to the aforementioned Voice of Doom for further re-adjustments and some good ol' fashioned plain speaking.
And in the meantime? I knit, obviously (and I look forward to sharing a few fruits of my needles in the next day or two). I type on my laptop (I'm Old Skool! How else do you suppose I did this). Read / send messages on my phone and tablet, drive my car and basically carry on with my 21st Century life. I've also been running and, perhaps you should sit down for this, have remained pain free. The road to (near) complete back recovery may be a long one, but with my needles and yarn to accompany me, it'll also be an enjoyable, satisfying and who knows? Maybe even a productive one too.