Entertainer Al Harrington learns the value of movement


At the Still and Moving Center in Kakaako, students are learning the benefits of simple and slow.

“It’s like the Tai Chi master,” explains instructor Eva Geueke. “It looks like easy movement and you train it to make it easier and easier.”

Geueke is describing the Feldenkrais method, named after the doctor who came up with it. It’s the idea that even simple and slow movements can help the body recover from injury. That’s something athlete, actor and entertainer Al Harrington has learned first hand. 

“I got hurt. I really don’t know how it happened but all of a sudden I couldn’t move my thigh, my right thigh leg,” Harrington said. “And then went to the doctor and the doctor said you have sciatica problems.”

Nerve problems were affecting his ability to move. And the prescription, was to move more.

“Stretching as much as possible, stretching,” Harrington said. “Getting your capacity to stretch your muscles and a lot of core strengthening, strengthening your core. I attribute this to my ability to strengthen my body and just to feel good.”

Since his diagnosis five years ago, Harrington has lost 115 pounds. 

“I have to attribute a lot of this to my wife,” he said, referencing his wife Rosa. “Reminds that I have to get some water in my system to replenish the water I might’ve lost over night, and then she’s caring.”

This weekend, the 82-year-old will receive a pair of honors. One, the vitality award from the Still and Moving Center (for information on the honor click here). The other, a Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award (for information on the ceremony, click here).

“I’m so grateful, humbled by it all,” Harrington said. 

And you can bet that even as he ages, he’ll keep moving both his body and his mind.

“I begin my day with my own personal prayers because I like to believe that what we have to do is maintain an attitude of gratitude,” Harrington said. “And with an attitude of gratitude then you move towards strengthening your body.”

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