In therapeutic massage, there’s a term to describe the perception of a joint being at the limit of its range of motion. It’s called end feel. When a therapist detects a client’s end feel, s/he uses it as a gauge to see if certain techniques can assist or whether to leave the joint alone to prevent damage. A silent call is made. Either there’s more work to do right then or you move on to the next area of focus.
That’s how I felt this past Friday when my former students (soon-to-be graduates) shared their excitement about graduating next month. It was the end feel every educator anticipates. Not in the perspective of being at the end of my teaching career, but it was the end of their collegiate journey and I had done everything I was called to do for that season of their lives. What a blessing to see their faces lit with the brightness of a thousand suns, knowing that they didn’t give up when they had the chance… they kept studying when their grades weren’t favorable… they networked across programs of study and found friends for a lifetime… And to know that I had a small fingerprint in that experience was a grateful moment. They thanked me, hugged me, told me their plans, and honestly, I was just happy to be in their presence. To be in the wake of their future selves. The selves we talked about so many times during and after class.
What is your end feel? Do you have an experience that has reached the limit of its range of motion in your life? It can be sad to admit, yet it can be so liberating. That’s the beauty of the end feel. It’s confirmation. Either way, you’ve reached the maximum amount for the moment.
Tonight, I pray that God gives you insight on the end feel. Where it is, why it is, and how to digest it. It can be a heavy burden to let go and a large pill to swallow, but it’s a necessary space in time. For our lives, it marks anticipated progress or goals fulfilled.
Have a great night, my Dear. Peace, Thanks for listening, and wind down safely.
March 21, 2018 at 9:40 PM
This is right on time. Tonight I tried a really hard hip hop class. There was a special guest choreographer and he was amazing. We were put on the spot but also called to have fun. It’s been SO long since I was accustomed to picking up choreography fast. Move it or lose it, right?
Well, I reached my end feel for my brain and body during the class tonight. I’m being dramatic and too hard on myself, but it felt like the end of an era. Can I no longer handle a class like that? I was probably 10-20 years older than everyone there. I felt so discouraged. But I was brave enough to show up try.
The end feel of something is sad/bittersweet…even if it’s something trivial like realizing you feel best while dancing the dark now. LOL I love you. Keep shining.
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March 21, 2018 at 10:06 PM
I totally understand you. I always feel like a sloth in classes like that where I used to be the one who picked up quickly and kept up easily. I think it’s a mind thing collaborating with the spirit. The insecurity and discomfort do a 1-2 punch on us before the class even ends.
Every year, I force myself to take intensives/clinics to keep a pulse on my end feel and my ego. It hurts like hell, but it keeps my creative self alive and humble. There are simply moves that I’m unable to do, mental agility that doesn’t click sometimes, and my breath runs out quicker than it used to while everyone else seems spry. Seasons. They always change.
The younger you isn’t there, but the fiery you DEFINITELY is. The dancer in you? Always. You are absolutely brave, Sis. And we are dancers no matter if the lights are on or off because it comes from our souls… and we have the memories to prove it. Lol
I love you BIG. Thank you so much for sharing.