sunrise: 7:01 blog time remaining: 22 days
I still have three weeks of dawn outings left, so my title may seem premature. I am not writing today about the impending completion of this year, however. I am writing about one part of my morning routine that has, I think, changed my life.
One of my earliest blog entries last January referred to my "unstable core." I had been suffering from chronic back injuries for years, and finally had a real doozie in October of 2009 that put me off sports for 9 weeks. Part of this year's project was to stabilize my core - both physical and spiritual.
An exercise class that hones in on core work - on the muscles of the torso that support everything else we do - has made an enormous difference. The other thing, though, is that I get up and do 10 minutes of stretching every morning before I go out walking (or kayaking or skiing or whatever). Since I only go to the class twice a week, the daily stretching at home is crucial.
My back still creaks and feels stiff from time to time, but I have had only one injury this year, and it only kept me down for about a day and a half. That home stretch is essential. Not only does it loosen up creaky joints and stiff places, but it gets you focused on your body, how to hold it, what it's feeling, where it needs straightening and better support.
I hope I will continue to find the discipline to keep it up, even when I'm not maintaining my other daily dawn routines. The stability of my core depends on it.