Sunday, June 19, 2011

Doin' Stretches... LIKE A BOSS

Remember how I said the other day that I hate stretching? How I wish it didn't work for me so I could quit? Yeah.  Dammit for working so well.  I am not having any pain in my knee or hip today, and I am 134% sure it's because I sat on an icepack, used an ice cup on my hip/thigh, and stretched a crapload yesterday after my (not so) long run.  Running is supposed to be about running, right?  Well poop if it doesn't also turn out to be about stretching and strength building in order to keep running.


Also, you know how I'm a huge nerd for charts?  Like, I wish I would have known in college that there was a job that was about making tables and putting crap in them because I would so have worked my way right up that ladder.  Anyhoo, I made myself a visual reminder of the stretches that seem to be helping me out.  It's amazing what you can do with Google images and a table in Word.  (Yes, I'm being facetious.  There is no serious representation of skills in this post.)

Where I've been experiencing tightness: my hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes/piriformis, and IT bands.  So here's what I came up with.  Rudimentary, but functional.

I made one other decision about stretching this week. When I was in regular PT for my hip, my doc and I talked about flexibility.  She told me then that to make any real progress, one needs to stretch about four times a day.  I was so much smarter than she was so I knew she was lying to me.  Oh wait, that's just what I hoped.  She was RIGHT.  What a turd!  Back then I had my Google calendar on my phone set to beep at me 5 times a day to remind me to stretch.  Annoying?  Yes.  But I was actually pretty successful at stretching at least 4 out of the 5 times each day when I had a reminder.

I set up the reminders on my phone again.  I stretched 4 times yesterday and my legs feel the best today they've felt all week.  I know I need to do some serious work on my flexibility to help out with the pain issues I've been having, so I'm making a commitment to focus on it again.  I'll keep icing, foam rolling, and working on my PT too.  (Those things are actually happening quite regularly now.)

When I tell people that I used to be a dancer they assume that I have some natural flexibility.  LIES.  Any flexibility I had when I was dancing was hard-fought and barely won.  I have zero natural flexibility.  It was a battle even then to keep myself stretching and if I wouldn't have had peer pressure (e.g. fifteen or so girls all around me with lithe legs extended constantly to the ceiling) I'm sure I wouldn't have even bothered.  Just like my body wants to be 150 pounds, no matter what I do (good or bad), it also wants to be rigidly stiff and inflexible.  I have to work SO HARD to make it change.

So, yeah.  Three cheers for flexibility.  Here's hoping I can get some (even a little) if I stop, drop and stretch four times a day.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you don't mind, but I'm klepto-ing this information and I'll be using it to help fast track my IT band ickiness! Thank you for sharing the information.