I throw myself backwards and my breath catches in my throat with the possibility I may have misjudged the moment. And then the current hits, lifting me from my hips and trailing my legs out behind me. The sensation is freedom, gorgeous weightless drifting freedom.
Ever since I was a child I have dreamt of flying this way, by simply flinging myself backwards into an air current and moving my limbs in lazy fluid star jumps to keep the momentum going. Sadly this dream doesn’t visit me as often these days, more often I dream of running or walking effortlessly without concentration.
And netball, I dream of playing. There is this beautiful moment when a team of good players syncs. There is no thought required to move around and anticipate each other before breaking and passing. It is all instinct and trust. I dream of that moment and when I take a pass and turn and throw in a graceful and easy movement it seems predestined and choreographed and yet each sequence and play is spontaneous.
One day, I hope that I will not have to be so conscious and aware of the mechanisms of my body and that walking will be effortless. But for now my brain seems to send jumbled messages to my muscles, and like a game of Chinese whispers they respond in increasingly diluted ways. So I need to focus with all of my grey matter to try and manipulate every tendon and ligament into behaving in a manner that will at least keep me mostly upright.
Sometimes I am successful and yet I have to always be in the moment, I cannot take a step without be completely switched on. Perhaps I missed my calling as a project manager, because I have become startlingly efficient at developing a strategic plan for simply moving from one room to the next without injuring myself gravely.
So these days I dream of a different type of freedom. Freedom from the need to be so aware of my body in every second of the day, freedom to walk for more than a few metres without having to concentrate on my foot falls and freedom to simply run an errand or catch up with a friend without having to develop a twelve page, two hundred point strategic plan to cover all possible outcomes.
I dream of freedom.