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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Stretch My Muscles

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. From the window, PETER looks down.

  5. PETER (V.O.): The clubhouse swimming pool is still empty.

  6. EXT. ROAD - DAY

  7. Peter listens to the radio as he drives.

  8. PETER (V.O.): Hong Kong's public swimming pools reopen on May 21? Good, I can soon stretch my muscles.

  9. Pausing.

  10. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The last time I swam was just before the Chinese New Year when public swimming pools were still open.

  11. Pausing.

  12. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To keep fit, I began running, anywhere. In fact, my body mass index is fine and I don't need to lose weight. I don't know if the repeated bounces would strengthen or weaken my joints etc.

  13. Pausing.

  14. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And then I began dancing, checking my balance while moving, bouncing, twisting and turning - in style.

  15. Pausing.

  16. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Initially, I got knee pain. When it's gone, I got back pain which has taken many days of rest before it goes away.

  17. Pausing.

  18. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As a senior citizen, it seems that swimming is suitable for me, strengthening my muscles and making them more durable.

  19. Pausing.

  20. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'll go when the public swimming pools reopen.

  21. Act 2


  23. In swimming gear, Peter sees few souls.

  24. PETER (V.O.): That's good for social distancing in pool water. I can't wait.

  25. Peter gets into the pool.

  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I don't smell any chlorine. How nice it is to be buoyant in pool water!

  27. Peter swims frog style from wall-to-wall.

  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It seems that frog style can stretch the muscles of my back pain a lot. I can't maintain my back position for long when I am not in the water.

  29. Pausing.

  30. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I also feel that muscles and joints in my leg and feet stretched. Moving my head up and down in the water, I feel my neck muscles are relaxed too.

  31. Peter then swims freestyle.

  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Well, moving my head sideways to breath also stretches my neck muscles. I don't move my head when working behind my computer.

  33. Pausing.

  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And when I used my hips to do my twists and turns in moving forward in the water, my movements were natural, unlike my exaggerated hip movements when practising Rumba.

  35. Peter then does backstrokes and some butterfly style ones.

  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I shouldn't stretch myself too much. I'll leave after I've done my usual 1000 meters.

  37. Looking tired, Peter continues to swim freely with his heart for a while before getting out of the pool.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've swum for over an hour. It seems that I've realigned all my joints.

  39. INT. STUDY - DAY

  40. Peter surfs the web.

  41. PETER (V.O.): Here's some educational materials about stretching and flexibility shared by MIT. Let me benefit from it.

  42. Peter reads the small prints.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My bones provide posture and structural support for my body. My muscles, attached to the bones by tendons, provide the body with the ability to move by contracting, generating tension. My bones are connected in joints through the help of ligaments and muscles.

  44. Pausing.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My large muscles, like hamstrings and quadriceps, control motion.

  46. Nodding.

  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I stretch my muscles, they help realign any disorganized fibers in the direction of the tension. The realignment in turn helps rehabilitate scarred tissue back to health.

  48. Peter reads further.

  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And I can train my stretch receptors to allow greater lengthening of my muscles.

  50. Pondering.

  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When stretching, it's easier to stretch a muscle that is relaxed than to stretch a muscle that is contracting.

  52. Digesting.

  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Holding a stretch for a prolonged period of time is to allow the muscle lengthening reaction to occur. I see, it helps the stretched muscles relax.

  54. Peter nods.

  55. Act 3


  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Although it isn't easy to understand the physiology of stretching, I know now what and why I can or can't do certain motions, whether it's running, dancing or swimming.

  58. Pausing.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I also know the reason why each time after I have done some stretching for around 15 seconds, I feel better eg regarding my lower back pain.

  60. Pondering.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's really something that beings can move. And for humans, we can understand why too.

  62. Pausing.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me share this with my younger son so that he would know what I know when giving me his medical opinion the next time.

  64. Peter taps on his phone screen.

  65. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Having studied the MIT materials, I believe through today's swimming, I have begun re-training my muscles, making them relaxed. Soon my nerves needn't send impulses to my brain and put me in pain.


  67. Peter looks down from the window.

  68. PETER (V.O.): There aren't any light in the swimming pool. Anyway, I've gained a lot today.

  69. FADE OUT.

  70. THE END

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