Flunking Breathing


Louie Armstrong

When I was in school, I considered myself a top-of-the-class, All-‘A’s, always-does-the-extra-credit….well, you get it, I thought I was smart.  Only upon becoming an adult and joining the workforce did I realize that I was only smart in the narrow areas measured by standardized tests.

In the realm of physical intelligence, I’ve always done poorly.  I have been taught how to tie a bowline knot at least 72 times — just don’t get it.  I only took the dreaded P.E. because physical education class was required for graduation..  It sets my teeth on edge when the perky greeter at the gym says “Enjoy your workout!”  This is kind of like saying “Enjoy your mammogram!”  I am struggling through ballroom dance classes as a brain/body exercise to keep my last little bits of dopamine pepped up.

And now I’ve hit bottom in the physical intelligence realm – I’m flunking breathing.

I reported in my last blogpost that I was starting to be unable to exhale into my gizmo as the resistance got slightly higher.  (The gizmo is the EMST150 to build up exhalation muscles.)  I visited the speech therapist yesterday, who was chagrined at my irregular results.  I was hoping she’d reveal the secret trick I had been missing, but she just said I was thinking too hard about the breathing process.  And like the ballet instructor with the yardstick, she admonished me  (yet again) about my slumping posture.

Alas, nothing’s working — sitting up straight, thinking about breathing, not thinking about breathing.  And the slumping posture is killing my back.  My goal is to do five successful exhalations in a row.  Out of 14 sessions so far this week, I’ve done this….once…oh dear.


Herb Alpert

I’ve also realized that I can never be a great trumpeter like Al Hirt, Herb Alpert, and Louie Armstrong.   I’ll never have that kind of lung power.  But fortunately, playing the trumpet has never been a goal for me.  Let us be grateful for people who have great trumpet intelligence!  Check out Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass doing “Tijuana Taxi“, Al Hirt playing “Java” in an unintentionally hilarious Ed Sullivan show,  and the immortal Satchmo playing (and singing) “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In.”  Whew!  Those saints are jivin’ up in heaven!

About Laura Kennedy Gould

Author of magictrickparkinsons.wordpress.com "The Magic Trick -- Life with Parkinson's"
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One Response to Flunking Breathing

  1. pammcgffn says:

    Love your posts, Laura, but I always spend wayyyy too much time on YouTube after you link to a song or video!

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