A valuable discipline, stretching.

The goal is to give the muscles a blessed moment
to rest, lengthen, extend, give a little. 

To allow our muscles to drape themselves—if only briefly—
across the frame of our bones, 
trusting them to do what they were created to do.

To stop the work of flexing, tightening, tensing, proving, producing, planning, taking, improving.

To cease, to release, to rest, to be. 
This is the stretch.

But in the middle of this release, I find myself grabbing.
I want to muscle my muscles into remarkable looseness, 
harangue them into extraordinary elasticity,
prod them into proving just how stretch-y I can be.

See me stretch?
Please, be impressed with this forced flexibility,
with my tolerance for pain,
with my willingness to push the limits of my God-given threshold. 

My ability to make pain happen,
to push through it—all the time smiling—
I start to believe, sometimes,
that this is what makes the stretch beneficial. 
When really, this is when the stretch ceases to be a stretch.
Instead, it becomes an opportunity to push, to drive, to coerce, to control.
To prove.

Of course, there is pain.  But it comes simply from letting the stretch happen.  From standing tall, planting feet, relaxing knees, hinging hips, allowing my head to drop--slowly, slowly now—towards the floor, arms following, feeling the pleasant heat of tissue that resists and then relaxes.

And so I will stretch.  Bend.  Breathe.  Trust.
Move from rejecting to receiving,
from arguing to accepting,
from resisting to resting.

This is the stretch.


  1. Interesting perspective. I love reading all the different points of view. thank you for sharing!


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