I have terrible posture, I have for years. I remember when I was a very little girl I had perfect posture. People would comment, especially my Grandma Mona, on how straight my back was. They said I sat up, “like a little lady.”
I also remember when I was 14 years old and a man approached my mom when we were at the grocery store. He told her that he noticed how poor my posture was and he would like to help my mom get in contact with the right people who could fix it.
Even as a moody, insecure teenager I could tell that this man meant no harm. He was trying to help me and, though this was the first time I’d ever really thought about my posture, I could see what he was talking about. Nobody likes unsolicited advice from a stranger. Even more so when they are telling you that something is wrong with you but I was willing to hear him out. I wanted to get better.
I was quite surprised by how offended my mom got by this suggestion. She grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the store, leaving our groceries behind. She was yelling at the man to mind his own business and that I was fine. I really wasn’t bothered by it even then. I don’t think I mentioned it to my mom again when we got to the car. I didn’t know why she was so upset. I still don’t. I figured it was something I did wrong.
So when I say I have horrible posture, it is no exaggeration. I have stop-a-woman-in-the-store-cause-her-daughter’s-so-fucked-up posture. It’s for real. (Incidently, when I was 18 or 19 I also had an older man come up to me at work and recommend someone to help fix my acne problem. So maybe this is something that happens all the time to everyone. I thanked him for his input and even though I was embarrassed, I took to heart his advice and I got my skin cleared up.)
Anyway,this was the first time that I became aware of the problem I have with my posture. Judging by my mom’s reaction you can guess nothing was done about it at the time. Since then I haven’t had any strangers approach me regarding my hunching but I myself have been aware of it ever since. So mission accomplished old man who is probably dead now. Thanks for the advice. Sorry about my mom.
My problem is I have a lot of tension in my neck which causes my shoulders to push up around my ears. I also have what I believe is referred to as a “forward jutting head posture” although I haven’t been told that officially. As the name implies, my head juts forward over my chest instead of lining up with my shoulders. These two things together cause an overall hunching of my back. Basically I look like a beat dog.
I don’t know what caused the change from a perfectly postured child into a hunched over adolescent. I could make a few guesses. The first two are my breasts which developed during that time. The third (and I think more likely) reason is probably the stress and sorrow that I endured from around age 7 onward. I won’t get into all that right now. Let’s just say it involved my divorced parents fighting over me and my grandma, who actually raised, me getting very sick and ultimately dying. Fun!
The point is, I have bad posture. It bothers me a lot but because I can’t usually see myself, it bothers my husband more. I try to stand up straight but the second I stop thinking about it, I fall back into my hunch. My husband reminds me often to stand up straight. Which is equal parts helpful and annoying. He tries to appeal to my vanity, telling me how much taller and more distinguished I look when I’m standing up straight. But it’s not like I don’t want to stand up straight. It’s just that I be forgetting.
So while we were in vacation, we took a stroll up and down the beach. My husband complimented me on standing up straighter (I was really concentrating on it) but he noticed how hard it was for me to keep it up. He told me that as soon as we get home we are making me an appointment with a chiropractor.
This is not the first time we’ve had this discussion. One of the joys of married life is having the same conversation over and over again. I have always been reluctant to go to a chiropractor because I’m afraid it’s one of those things that once you start doing, you have to keep doing it, like breathing oxygen or watching America’s Next Top Model.
Anyway, two days after we had this conversation, while we were still on vacation, I did something (I don’t know what) and it really fucked up my back. I was okay walking, standing, and sitting so it didn’t ruin the rest of our trip but if I tried to sit up from a laying position or lie down from a sitting position or reach for something slightly further than arm’s length away, the pain shot through my back like a son of a bitch. I took this as a sign. As soon as we got home I made an appointment with the chiropractor.
To be continued…