I live in the beautiful Hill Country of Central Texas. (Notice how
I capitalized those terms? That’s how special Central Texans think
this area is.) Our little community on the shores of Lake Travis
is blessed with lots of woodlands and natural beauty.
Along with our healthy habitat comes a plethora of flora and fauna
that never cease to fascinate and entertain.
For example, one of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen –
and I’ve been to some places like Costa Rica that seem to have
invented beautiful flowers – is the yellow flower on the prickly
And one of the cutest animals I have ever encountered is the
baby aramadillo that meandered into our back yard one time. Poor
little guy just wanted to dig in the mulch. He dug in, held on
and made little baby grunting noises as we tried to pick him up
and move him to a safer area outside of our back yard (where our
dogs and cats roam).
We also have a very healthy deer population. Many towns and suburbs
are overrun with deer, and I know this can be a topic of
contention for many people who have seen their shrubs and flowers
get eaten, seemingly overnight.
Our yard borders on a well-trod deer path. We have kept the lot
next to our main yard wooded and in a natural state, so the
deer can traverse the area between our neighborhood streets
in safety. So we see quite a few deer moving through our yard.
Yet imagine my surprise when I went out to get the papers one
Saturday morning a few weeks ago, and I saw a baby fawn deposited
on our front lawn, not 15 feet from our front door!
We’ve seen baby fawns before, including last year when one was
lying under a tree just on the other side of our street. No,
the mama deers are not bad mothers. Apparently they leave the
fawns so mama can go forage and eat. The fawns know instinctively
to stay still and not move. In most cases they are well
camouflaged. And these newborns lack any kind of scent, so they
are actually safer without mom because coyotes and other potential
predators can’t smell them.
However, right smack in the middle of our front yard seemed
kind of nuts! The fawn definitely was visible.
We resisted the temptation to pick the little thing up and hide
it someplace better. We looked out and checked on it a few
times. Eventually mama deer came back and took the fawn along
with her, down the deer trail.
I’m happy to report that mom and baby are doing great! We see
them every morning and every evening as they make their way
along the deer path. They’ve been joined by a few other does
and fawns too, and we enjoy watching their antics as they
learn the ropes.
As I watch the fawns jumping and leaping, bounding and running,
I’m struck with how powerful they are. That kind of power –
to be able to start on a dime, jump and bound with great force,
and accelerate quickly – demonstrates the tremendous potential
energy they store in their muscles and tendons.
Same thing with our pets. We have two dogs and two cats. (And
they all get along just fine.) Our dogs tend to want to nap
and lay around, in particular they like to lay on their dog
bed here in my office and hang out while I am working.
Our cats are, well….cats! Which means they also lay around
and nap quite a bit.
But rouse any of one of these puppies or cats with something
interesting, like the rabbit that runs through our yard (the
dogs’ current obsession), or a bird or butterfly flitting
by (the cats, of course)….and they fire into action.
In a heartbeat, they can go from resting to full sprint.
Young children demonstrate the same capability. My son and
his friends can go from zero to 60 in an instant – from
laying around reading to sprinting into the back yard with
their nerf guns, ready to attack “the enemy” in their pretend
They can stop on a dime. They can sit and stretch and hop
without any warm up at all.
The key to this type of flexible power and quick starting
ability is in all of us.
It’s dictated in large part by how flexible we are.
We see this unhindered flexibility in young children. We can
continue to cultivate is as young adults. But then….
It seems to go away. As we get older, we lose our flexibility,
as well as our ability to start fast and accelerate quickly
without a warm up – AND without pulling a muscle or putting
oour backs out.
Our muscles and tendons get tighter. Our joints get tight or
even painful. Our backs ache.
This loss of physical flexibility is echoed in a loss of
mental flexibility and emotional resilience. In fact,
many bodyworkers and energy practitioners have linked
cognitive challenges and moodiness to a lack of flexibility.
Of course, these are unwanted results. I think you probably
agree that you would rather maintain flexibility of both
body and mind. But how best to reclaim your god-given
On the positive side, even if you’ve lost that youthful
flexibility you once enjoyed, you can still get it back. The
human body has amazing regenerative powers.
And improving your flexibility results in a number of
positive side effects, including mental and emotional
Dogs and cats, children and fawns actually stretch all the
time. And they stretch in a particular way.
It makes sense to consider this as you work on your own
I think flexibility is one of the most important areas you
should focus on, especially as you get older. But most people
don’t understand how important this is…or how best to
I’ll devote my next few tips to addressing this important
You Can Do It!
“Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2014