Stretchy stretchy stretchy stretch. That’s how Dad woke me up almost every morning. I was always ignoring my alarm clock and usually came dangerously close to missing the school bus. But, somewhere in between this time Dad would gently stretch my arms and legs and try to get me out of bed. Stretchy stretchy stretchy stretch, he would say. I starting doing this routine with Little Man when he was only a few months old. Pretty soon he started to anticipate it and hold his teeny arms up high over his head waiting for a good stretch. Stretchy stretchy stretchy stretch, I would say as I gently pulled on is sleep-warm soft arms and legs.
Now it’s my turn again. Whether it be in yoga or physical therapy, I hear a little voice in my head saying stretchy stretchy stretchy stretch as soon as I start to extend different parts of my body. As I did with Little Man and as I remember my Dad did with me, I find myself gently speaking to my body. Let it go. Open up. Reaching for the sky and then swan diving forward, bending at my hips and reaching for my toes; a one time easy maneuver quickly became painful and almost impossible after treatment. Stretchy stretchy stretchy stretch, reaching for my toes and coaxing my leg muscles to unfurl their iron grip from around my bones and innards. Little by little, I feel a small opening here or there. A spot that was once hard as metal becomes soft to the touch. A crackle or creek, once audible from across the room has finally fallen silent. Well greased joints have replaced those strange clicking noises. It’s going to take a lot to get back to where I was, but I’m doing it. One stretch at a time. Stretchy stretchy stretchy stretch.