my toothbrushing muscle stretch

When I was 13, I used to do leg lifts as I brushed my teeth at night. It was rare for me to have the wherewithal to do so in mornings. The 10-minute tooth brush is a family habit. I deepened those minutes in my attempts to build calf muscles while i cleaned my teeth. I was convinced — or at least, hopeful — that by doing 30, or 100, calf extensions I would surely build mass in the spaces between my knees and ankles.

Alas, it did little at the time. Genes seemed to trump calisthenics back then. I couldn’t run from the lean legs that dad passed on. He is also where I got my orange-olive-toned skin with almost no hair on my forearms and little on the skin that holds those calfs that just wouldn’t grow like I had hoped.

Nowadays, those childhood leg lifts were a precursor to how I am in my body, and my felt sense. I now stretch the adapting tissues of my legs, backs and joints in front of the bathroom sink and mirror at night, and throughout my day.

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Writer. Humanitarian on the long slog to freedom. Baker with many a sweet teeth. Outdoorsman who is a kid at heart.

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