The new moon is today-ish (it’s today locally, your results may vary) which means my little exploration into being a Witcher for a month has officially wound down. I learned a lot, primarily about the way my body functions and how I can change it. Even that I can change it, which is something I actually struggled with for a while. On the less-cool hand, though, I did put a lot of stress on my body the last few weeks (not just with physical work but with trying to get paperwork and art taken care of before Yule) which managed to interrupt rather an important physical cycle and one I’m still paranoid about.
For this month-long meditation I mostly focused on physical training – I’m a lot stronger than I think I am – and little things that echo game mechanics in the Witcher 3, like sign casting (I cast runes, they work just as well) and meditating. That last one took an interesting turn, and I actually found a breathing/cold exposure technique – the Wim Hof method – that actually does produce changes in a body related to PH level and blood oxygen content. Potion making is another story. I don’t actually know where the blender is hiding in the kitchen, otherwise I’d do something besides make tea, but tea works for a lot of things.
So for my next experiment I’m aiming for something a bit different, but one that brings the focus in a bit more, rather than being an archetype that encompasses as many things as a Witcher. It is another primarily masculine archetype – maybe one day I’ll work with more feminine ones but today is not that day – and that is the Paladin. Specifically the Paladin as occupied/represented by Reinhardt Wilhelm, Overwatch’s sci-fi version of Thor, basically. Personality-wise, Reinhardt is basically Geralt’s opposite. His abilities are much more focused on taking damage than dishing it out. “I will be your shield.” Which is how I spar, to be honest. My body can take a surprising amount of abuse before it starts really hurting. (I always spar with a helmet and gloves on, don’t worry. I’ve never broken anything, and am classically trained!) My aim for the Reinhardt experiment is even more physical training based than the Witcher one, now that I know how much I can do and stick with. I might continue it for more than a month, just to see what happens.
And now, a quirk of muscle memory from somewhere Back A-Ways: turns out I walk barefoot the same way people used to do before shoes started having really thick soles on them. There is actually a gait difference between, say, 9th century Scandinavians and modern us. Because their shoes were different, they walked with their toes first, rather than their heels, which is both safer when wearing that kind of shoe and better for posture. I honestly didn’t realize I walked like this, or that it was a weird way of walking for modern shoe-adapted people (like my own Bran for instance), until I found a video on it a few days ago. Now, to be fair, I’m not entirely sure what the historical accuracy of this video or the theory is, but it is fun to think about anyway. And now I know why my gait is so funky. 😀
On further investigation it seems there are actually several sources that corroborate this! Sweet. I accidentally walk with pre-thick sole biomechanics! I’m sure I’m not the only one, but it’s still fun to learn about. (For me, anyway.) I don’t think I’m going to be giving up my hiking boots when trudging all the way across the city anytime soon (simply because of broken glass and whatnot) but, it’s good to know anyway!