Friday, May 8, 2009

Doing Circus Bears With My Brother

That electric connection when gaze meets gaze and a deeper understanding connects -- that's family.  Oddly, it happened first in an unexpected place -- my physical therapist decided to show me how to balance on my knees on top of an exercise ball, like a circus bear. Yes! Yes! This is how physical therapy should be!
Almost instantly, PT guy looked around the room. Had the other therapists seen what he was doing?  In this most serious place -- quiet, almost like a library. The gaze happened -- if I had a nephew, he'd have taught me to do circus bears. 
The gaze, the reality of what he was doing -- nobody falls in PT --"You don't have to do that," he said.
"But I want to! This is fun!"  I didn't fall.
PT guy looked away and said, "That's how we get compliance."  He couldn't say speak such a betrayal to my face. We both knew -- we're exercise junkies.
When I visisted my brother at his home in CA, he had two exercise balls lying limply in the corner of a room.  I asked for the pump.  He didn't know where it was. So, I got a spoon, pried out the plugs, and inflated them by mouth.  I showed his wife some of the tricks I can do on an exercise ball, culminating with circus bears. She joined me in most of them, but not circus bears. My brother walked into the room -- he did a circus bear.  His physical trainer had taught him.  He even learned how to start a circus bear in the middle of the room.  PT guy taught me to start, balancing beside a couch.  My younger brother was one-up.  I can't allow that!  It only took a few minutes. We were both doing circus bears in the middle of the room. The gaze happened.  This is family.  We're circus bears!

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