Saturday, 23 January 2010

Walking the Beam in graphite and carbon pencil

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is clumsy, and this doodle takes a bit of explaining.

I was born with short Achilles tendons and had them -- well, let's say medically dealt with -- when I was three years old. Some of my earliest memories, unfortunately, are of sobbing to my mother that I didn't want to do the physiotherapy exercises that had been assigned to try to ensure that the tendons didn't contract again (and don't feel sorry for me about the sobbing. I was a weepy kid anyway). The whole tendon thing has led to a lifetime of being more or less clumsy and awkward in getting around.

One of the things I had to do regularly as part of the therapy was to attempt to walk a balance beam. Not the elevated type that they use for gymnastics; this was just the kind of thing you might find in a daycare's play area. For me it may as well have been three metres up and fifty metres long, though. I didn't have the balance or coordination to get all the way down most of the time, and my toe-scuffed shoes were always a testament to the fact that I often forgot to put my heels down when I walked.

Can you imagine having to actually remember to put your heels down when you walk? Even today I still occasionally find myself thinking "heel, toe, heel, toe" on my clumsier days...

Yeah, it's as weird as it sounds.

Kind of suits my overall weirdness, I guess.


nancy said...

You've really made captured that sense of complete concentration and utter nightmare! cool :)

Anonymous said...

you make this such a powerful image!

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