“Happy birthday” she said. I tried to hold my jaw from falling to the ground as she handed me a small box. I smiled politely and said “Oh my gosh, thank you. You didn’t need to do that.” I opened the box and there it was. The most awkward moment waiting to happen.
It was a small initial necklace. It was lovely. Costume jewelry, of course, but a senior member of our dance company knew it was my birthday and she had gotten me this present. The only problem was the initial was an M. My name is Angela.
I deliberated what to do next for what felt like slow hot minutes. I had two options:
1. Say thank you and pretend like my name was Maria or Michelle or Mildred, or whatever, and just walk away.
2. Say thank you and inform her that while it was lovely, my name is Angela but I’m so touched that she would think of me.
As I was about to respond, she said “It stands for ‘movement’, Angela. Don’t ever stop moving.”
“I’ve never really seen a test like yours before” she said as I caught my breath from the fastest, most inclined treadmill I’ve ever been on. The cardiac nurse told me that the stress test record at the hospital was X time. I was determined to break it.
I didn’t. My time was X-14 seconds.
I’ve had irregular heartbeats since I was in my 20’s. The doctors have done every possible test known to mankind about it and the results are always fine. “I guess this is just you” they say.
After I almost flung my body off this hospital treadmill, the cardiologist came in and said “It’s so interesting. Your heart looks better at work than at rest.” (Never stop moving, Angela)
It’s November and I REFLECT (our theme for the month) on the nature of movement, how lucky I am to do it, and how honored I am to help people do it well.
These two experiences in my life have always served as reminders of my movement mission. Clearly, my life’s work has proven that these experiences have been taken to heart. Quite literally.
Movement is such a gift, and while physical movement is one of my favorites, I also honor movement in the way we carry ourselves through life, how we help others move through theirs, and how together we create movements that matter.
This November, I wish you all a wonderful month of reflection, gratitude, and thanksgiving for all that moves you.