Thursday, June 7, 2012

Some Words from the First Day (Skipping on Dirt)

I felt my calves starting to tense and I thought about how much technic saves you from massive pain, injury or just immobility.  I hear of West African runners having better prepared feet when it comes to marathons, that this slight advantage may be the reason they are some of the top runners in the world.  Running on mixed terrain, different natural platforms, earths of multitudes, can only help.

I started skipping on dirt and as I described in an earlier entry the ground supported my feet, the action of the rope beating the ground produced soft earth which rested under my feet, allowing me to continue on without much pain.  But my calves, well, that was something else.  My achilles flexing up and down, repeatedly, at times twice per second, and my deep soleus producing slight cramps, which later in the day needed icing.  I continued on, feeling and knowing, that for many in history, those I reflect upon so often in my works - and for many now throughout the labour world - stopping was/is not an option.  Yet I understand I have that option (a contradiction I am very aware of), I understand this every time I stop.  This is why one of the project's focuses is endurance (not only physical but mental endurance of reflection). 

In this first day I found myself distracted quite easily.  The space here is like two big yards, with a car park and different buildings slightly surrounding them.  People come in and out, not constantly, but enough to catch my attention - sometimes I actually hope for it.  There are also small bar/restaurants around and through the yard's fences I can hear, and often see, people eating and chatting;  I suppose a large part of my distraction is self inflicted.  The space is new and my eyes and ears wonder like a child in the forest.

I also noticed the heavier rope that I brought.  I chose this particular rope because it allows me to focus more on strength and not on speed, and with every passing minute the weight is felt.  My upper back swells and sweats, and my left arm struggles to keep up with my right.  By the end of that day I had taken some images, noticed the art left on the ground by the rope and my feet, got used to the swell of birds that hover above me from time to time, and even lost myself for a moment - the rhythm allowed me some escape, and I reflected.

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