Waxing physically and philosically...

After literally years of deliberation, and as a result of some delicate and some less delicate prodding, this blog is my effort to organize - to bring together - my thoughts about my work as a conductor and as a personal trainer, to rant and rave as necessary, to celebrate the little things and the larger moments of brilliance, and to share some conductive magic and life lessons gained through 'waxing physically and philosophically'.

Monday, September 28, 2015

It's a long way to the top and other lessons in humility...

A conductor is certainly a specialist, but there is a very big difference between being a specialist and being an expert - and I love that difference.  I specialise in teaching people with neuro-motor disorders strategies and skills to enable them to manage their bodies better.  I don't make up these tricks and techniques, they are not my intellectual property - and I see my role, my specialty, as being able to articulate and share these solutions as openly and as freely as possible, and to facilitate the process of sharing and tweaking solutions that have worked for other people with similar challenges.  I have learned some of these tricks from other conductors, but most have been learned by being a partner in a problem solving process with an individual, and more often by letting my clients teach me the tricks they have worked out for themselves.  This means that the expertise and success are not mine; it means that I am teacher-learner combined, it means that I'm always on the lookout for new tricks to add to my repertoire and therefore always open to learning and growing, and it means professional humility is a part of being a conductor and I love that.

Lessons in humility come packaged in many wonderful formats.  Last week BC, a private client decided to stop training with me.  BC is a woman with advanced Parkinson's who started training with me because she was having frequent falls and trouble getting out of bed.  After a few weeks of private in home sessions she had mastered the tricks and techniques we had been working on to the point that she is no longer falling and can now get out of bed unassisted, and she no longer needed me to come to her home and practice with her.  I could choose to dwell on not being needed - but in reality no longer being needed is the best possible outcome and I'm celebrating. Conductive humility means knowing it is not about me - and that it never was - and there is nothing better than being around somebody who learns something and stepping back to let them own it.

Lessons in humility are sometimes delivered by posties on motorbikes. RP is a stroke survivor and a Harley Davidson enthusiast who has set up a rehabilitation space in his garage with parallel bars and steps - a dream workspace for a mobile conductor.  Last week while I was there working with RP, the postie - a big burly guy on a motorcycle - came up the long driveway to deliver the mail.  This week the same postie came up the driveway on his motorcycle. He had no mail to deliver, just wanted to tell RP that a few years ago he had been in a bad motorcycle crash resulting in a brain injury, and despite what everyone told him he was now walking again, and was back on his motorcycle, and that RP shouldn't give hope.  That day, for the first time, RP and I walked all of the way down and all of the way back up his long driveway.  This week RP did it again, twice in one session.  Conductive humility is being able to celebrate that after months of RP and I working towards something together and of me encouraging and teaching RP, what got him over the hump was a burly postie on a motorcycle and his heartfelt act of kindness. 

No comments:

Post a Comment