Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Anne Boleyn Wishes She Had A Stiff Neck

 “Anne eyed the orange segments that decorated her plate. She would rather feel the sweet juice on her tongue than the greasy skin of the bird, but she knew the King expected everyone to indulge in the meat, as he did, and she desperately needed to please him. She brought the leg to her lips again and took another tiny bite. Pamela, her lady-in-waiting, leaned in close and whispered. “The King is staring at you.” Anne lifted her eyes above the drumstick and caught Henry’s sneer. He tore off a piece of meat from the rabbit’s breast and chewed open mouthed. With grease dripping down his jowls he used the bones of the animal to point to the headless lamb. Anne cocked her head, as a puppy does listening to her master. He pointed again but Anne still did not catch his meaning. She lifted her chicken leg to show him she was consuming the meat, but saw the look of disgust on his face. She took another bite, to please him, and he laughed. A hearty, loud, guttural laugh that made the entire court turn to see what was so humorous. With all eyes on him, Henry lifted a huge roasted mutton leg, stood, and pointed to the head of the lamb…”


Necks, lambs, Anne, Henry – how do they form a blog post about flexibility in the neck? The above is an excerpt from a short piece I wrote for an assignment in my fiction class at Gotham Writer’s Workshop. I had to choose a figure from history and write about her/him eating a meal. I could have chosen any person from history, but Anne Boleyn insisted on being my character. She came to mind as soon as the exercise was given and no matter how I tried to come up with another idea: Hitler, Churchill, FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, Queen Victoria, Anne would not leave my mind. Maybe she’s the one who channeled this blog? Perhaps she would prefer to have a stiff neck than no neck at all? None of us enjoy the feeling when you can barely look over your shoulder as you pull your car out of the driveway. All right, if you have a new vehicle, whether Mercedes, Toyota, Chevy, whatever you probably have that rear-view camera which helps, but we still do need to be able to turn our heads comfortably, even if just to see who’s chomping on popcorn behind us in the movie theater.

 Below is a short video of a simple exercise that will help increase the range of motion in your neck.  You can do it in your car waiting for the red light to turn green. You can do it watching television or sitting in an airplane. You can do it on a chair. You can do it in the air. You can do it eating green eggs and ham (sorry Dr. Seuss, couldn’t resist that).



 In a previous blog post "A Pain in the Neck - Literally" from 3/29/13, I mentioned this exercise, but now you can see exactly how to do it in the above video. And to view a good stretch for your neck, move your mouse to the right, click on the above title, and watch the video.

Be gentle. Don’t force anything. Remember: keep your jaw relaxed and your shoulders down.  And breathe – This should be relaxing – that’s half the battle to tight neck muscles. Relax. Slow down. Notice the dew drops on the autumn leaves.

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